If the Washington Wizards keep getting hurt, they’re going to have a hard time beating the NBA odds Tuesday night when they visit the Boston Celtics for Game 2.
And everything was going so well for the Washington Wizards. Halfway through the second quarter, they were up 45-42 on the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of their second-round series. Then Markieff Morris sprained his left ankle. He didn’t return, and the Celtics went on to win 123-111 as 4-point home faves.
Will Morris play Tuesday night (8:00 p.m. ET, TNT) in Game 2? Nobody’s saying for sure, but it doesn’t look good for Morris or the Wiz. They’re 5.5-point puppies on the NBA odds board as we go to press. However, our consensus reports do show some early support for Washington. Perhaps the betting market has over-adjusted to this injury news and the results from Game 1.
OK, one person is sure about Morris’ status for Tuesday, and that’s Morris himself. He told reporters on Sunday that he was “definitely” playing in Game 2, but Morris (-1.1 BPM) didn’t practice Monday, and head coach Scotty Brooks seemed rather pessimistic about his chances. Suffice to say he’ll be limited if he does suit up.
Morris had better be healthy if Washington is going to stay in this series. You can forget about Ian Mahinmi (+0.8 BPM) for Game 2; he’s already been ruled out and this whole “day-to-day” nonsense with his strained calf just doesn’t hold water anymore. That already leaves the Wiz without their best defender and arguably their best big man. They can’t afford to lose another in Morris.
This is all good for the Celtics, of course. They caught a break in the first round when the Chicago Bulls lost Rajon Rondo to a fractured thumb. Now they have an opportunity to do some serious damage to Washington’s playoff chances. We had the 'under' in our NBA picks for Game 1 because the spread was too tight for our liking; we’ll recommend the C’s this time, but wait until Tuesday’s shootaround to see if Morris is active, just in case.