By Michael Huberman
Coming into the season, the proverbial wisdom was that the Boston Celtics would be the second-best team in the Eastern Conference behind the Miami Heat. But through two games, the Celtics look more like a team contending for a Top 5 pick in the NBA Draft.
After losing to former teammate Ray Allen and the Heat on Tuesday, the Celtics were blown out at home by the Milwaukee Bucks last night. Facing a struggling Celtics team on the second night of a back-to-back represents a great opportunity for the well-rested Wizards to get their first win over Boston since April 11, 2011.
On paper the Celtics look like an improved squad from the team last year that pushed the Heat to a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals. But so far it’s all on paper, as the on-court product has yet to gel. While it’s only been two games, the Celtics have so far had serious issues. For a team that prides itself on their work on the defensive end, giving up 109.5 points per game has been a cause for concern. The Celtics have also added new pieces in Jason Terry, Courtney Lee, Jared Sullinger, and got former Georgetown star Jeff Green back, but none of the additions have looked particularly comfortable so far. It’s hard to believe the normally disciplined Celtics would look so sloppy coming out of the gate, but they certainly have.
Since the beginning of the "Big 3" era when Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen joined Paul Pierce and the Celtics in 2007, the Wizards have gone 6-13 against Boston. Since 2008, the Celtics are 12-3 against the Wizards and last year beat Washington in all four meetings. Ironically the Wizards were 3-1 against the Celtics during the 2007-2008 season when Boston went on to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers to win the NBA title.
With Ray Allen gone, the Wizards face the new "Big 3" led by Pierce, Garnett, and Rajon Rondo for the first time. For a young and hungry Wizards team looking for their first win of the season, the Celtics are ripe for the picking.