The Celtics came into this game as one of the hottest teams in the league – going 8-2 in their last 10 games with a +8.6 net rating (good for 3rd in the NBA in the last 10 games). And for the Wizards? 3-7, with a -5.5 net rating.
The Wizards also are still dealing with an absurd amount of injuries – missing players such as Davis Bertans, Bradley Beal, Rui Hachimura, Thomas Bryant, Moritz Wagner, C.J. Miles, and of course, John Wall.
The Wizards came out sharing the ball and pushing the pace, as we have become accustomed to this season – opening up with a 7-2 lead after 2 minutes. However, the biggest surprise was the Wizards’ defense – the Wizards held Boston to just 8 points in the first 7 minutes of the game and only 40 points in the first half. Everything seemed to be going great for the Wizards until the 2nd quarter in which the team suffered another injury, bringing the healthy player count down to only 9 after Garrison Mathews injured his ankle.
The second half was more of the same with Washington looking comfortable until Boston went on a 7-2 run to end the quarter cut the Wizards’ lead to just 74-72. Jaylen Brown’s three pointer tied the game at 80-80 with 8 minutes to play, but then the Wizards went on a 10-3 run over the next 5 minutes, due to Ish Smith scoring 8 straight points. The Wizards never looked back after this run and finished the game off by making 6-of-8 free throws in the final 44 seconds.
The Celtics only had 4 bench points in the first half, compared to the Wizards’ 19. The Celtics bench finished with 23 points while the Wizards bench ended up scoring 49. Ish Smith outscored the Celtics bench 27-23.
New Year, New Wizards?
Stats Over First 4 Games of 2020 (Small Samples)
Jordan McRae – 20.0p/5.8r/2.0a — 35.1/36.0/77.3 — 32.8 minutes
Troy Brown, Jr. – 16.0p/9.3r/1.3a — 50.0/41.7/81.3 — 32.8 minutes
Ish Smith – 21.3p/3.5r/5.0a — 56.1/35.7/60 — 31.7 minutes
Stats Over Entire Season
Jordan McRae – 13.0p/3.3r/2.8a — 43.8/44.6/78.9 — 22.3 minutes
Troy Brown, Jr. – 10.0p/5.8r/2.1a — 45.4/30.7/78.1 — 25.4 minutes
Ish Smith – 11.4p/2.9r/4.3a — 47.1/37.1/65.2 — 26.1 minutes