TD Garden; Boston, MA
How to Watch:
TNT OR live stream it on fuboTV
The Boston Celtics are set to host the Washington Wizards in the first game of the Play In Tournament for the 7th and 8th seeds in the Eastern Conference.
The winner of this matchup will become the number 7 seed in the East and go on to face off against the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the postseason. The losing team however will get a second chance in trying to secure the 8th seed by facing off against the winners of the other East coast Play In Tournament bout.
The Celtics came into this season off of a strong push in the bubble during last years postseason and being the 4th seed in the East. Celtics fans were expecting a phenomenal season out of the team and many are surprised to see them fighting for a chance to even play in the postseason.
The Wizards on the other hand were considered one of the worst teams in the East at the season’s start after some player trades. While trying to find their rhythm the Wizards have turned things around drastically, once being 14th in the standings and now battling for the 7th seed.
With a season ending wrist injury for Jaylen brown the Celtics have lost a core member of the team. They’ll be looking to Kemba Walker with his experience to step up after his absence due to injury (side strain) and Jayson Tatum (26.4 PPG) to lead the team putting up big scoring numbers.
The Celtics are currently 4-6 in their last 10 games and throughout the regular season have met with the Wizards 3 times winning two of the encounters. The most recent of which was February 28th and was won by Boston 111-110 without Jaylen Brown due to injury.
The Washington Wizards struggled early on in the season firstly figuring out their team composition after some player trades, and secondly with a COVID-19 outbreak. The Wizards had just traded 10 year Washington vet John Wall for Russell Westbrook and were finding their footing when hit with COVID-19. Due to the virus infecting 7 players and the team missing 6 games they were off to a rocky start but have since come together and had a great season.
The Wizards will be led by Russell Westbrook who’s just had his 4th career triple double season (22.2 PPG, 11.5 RPG, 11.8 APG) and broken the all-time record for triple doubles with 184 over his career and 32 just this season. Bradley Beal will also be an important player to the Wizards being the second highest scorer in the league at 31.3 PPG and racking up 41, 35, and 46 PPG at 55.2 FG% against the Celtics this season.
Heading into the tournament it looks like a rough game for the Celtics being down one key player and being matched up with the incredible pace of the Washington Wizards (1st in the league) and their star duo of Westbrook and Beal. The Celtics will need to rally together and really fight for the win to avoid playing a second elimination game for the 8th seed.