Back Wizards Against Celtics Team With No Reason to Care

celtics wizards

Matthew Jordan

Monday, April 9, 2018 4:53 PM UTC

Monday, Apr. 9, 2018 4:53 PM UTC

The Boston Celtics have nothing to play for Tuesday when they visit Washington. The Wizards, meanwhile, are looking to improve their playoff position.

Boston (54-26, 49-29-2 ATS) at Washington (42-38, 36-43-1 ATS)Free NBA Pick: WizardsBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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Six games on the final Tuesday of the NBA’s 2017-18 regular season, and the first of a TNT doubleheader features Boston visiting Washington in a potential playoff preview. It’s an 8 p.m. ET tipoff and the penultimate game for both.

The Wizards leads the season series 2-1 with two of them going to overtime. That includes the most recent meeting, a 125-124 Washington win in double overtime on May 14 in Beantown. That was a fabulous game. Washington trailed by as many as 20. Bradley Beal led with 34 points – John Wall was still out injured. Otto Porter Jr. finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds. The Celtics were without Kyrie Irving, whom we know now won’t return for the playoffs, Al Horford, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart. Horford and Brown are healthy now. Marcus Morris led Boston with 31 points but made a boneheaded defensive play at the end of regulation that allowed the Wizards to tie. Jayson Tatum missed an open 3-pointer at the double-OT buzzer.

The home team is 11-3 ATS in the past 14 meetings.

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Who Might Stevens Rest?

I’ll just cut to the chase here and say I’ll be picking the Wizards to cover because Boston has diddly squat to play for. It will finish second in the Eastern Conference behind Toronto. The Wizards are in eighth so currently would match up with the Raptors in the first round of the playoffs but there’s a shot that Washington could get up to seventh and meet Boston.

You know who doesn’t want that?

The Celtics’ Morris. Of course, his twin brother Markieff plays for Washington. The two are about as tight as brothers can be, and Marcus has flat out said he doesn’t want to have to face his brother in the postseason. "I'm like, 'Kieff, c'mon, man. Like s---. Get to the six or the eight [seed]. I ain't trying to play y'all in the first round," said Marcus Morris. "He's like, 'I know. I know.'”

It’s more likely that the Celtics face Milwaukee in Round 1. Boston is very vulnerable in the playoffs now that Irving won’t return. The team is better defensively without the All-Star on the court but scores about 4.0 fewer points per 100 possessions than opponents when he’s not. The Celtics’ odds of winning the NBA title at BetOnline jumped from +2000 to +5000 in the wake of the Irving news. The C’s are +1600 to win the East.

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Wall, Beal among 35 player roster for 2018-20 @usabasketball team

MORE: https://t.co/hel1iYsmRL pic.twitter.com/gGVaiIbVoE

— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) April 7, 2018
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I fully expect Brad Stevens to rest some starters here, especially with the team playing again Wednesday at home vs. Brooklyn. Stevens rested Brown, Horford, Tatum and Terry Rozier for the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game and the reserves blew a 13-point lead at home and lost to a terrible Atlanta team.

The Wizards enter on a four-game skid but have been off since a home upset loss to the Hawks on Friday. They play in Orlando on Wednesday, meaning Wall will sit out either this one or that one (most likely on the road) in his return from injury. He didn’t play vs. the Hawks in the second of a back-to-back. Washington is 8-6 in the front end of a back-to-back this season and 6-8 in the second. The Wizards are +3300 to win the East.

I see no reason for the Celts to care a lick here, while the Wizards no doubt want a little positive momentum heading to the playoffs. Take Washington for a Tuesday NBA pick.

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