November 2, 2012 Boston Celtics vs. Washington Wizards Preview
Verizon Center (Washington D.C.) – 7 pm
Television: Comcast SportsNet
Radio: 106.7 The Fan DC
PG: Rajon Rondo vs. A.J. Price
SG: Courtney Lee vs. Bradley Beal
SF: Paul Pierce vs. Trevor Ariza
PF: Brandon Bass vs. Trevor Booker
C: Kevin Garnett vs. Emeka Okafor
Why you should watch:
IT’S THE WIZARDS HOME OPENER!!!!! Sorry for the excitement there but the 2012-2013 home schedule for our Wiz Kids kicks off Saturday night at the Phone Booth against one of the best teams in the East, if you can’t get up for that then I am not sure you are a basketball fan. All summer long Wizards fans waited for the chance to cheer on their own team again and it is finally upon us. Are these the Wizards we might have expected to see? Well to put it simply, no it’s not, injuries have already begun to plague this roster and we still have 81 games to go so there is cause for concern in the Nation’s Capital.
When healthy, this is a roster than can compete with any team in the league which is a far cry from what we watched last year as Ernie and co., ran the knuckleheads out of town en route to another high lottery selection. This year’s team gives Wizards fans hope that, once healthy, we actually have a team that can compete in the division and the conference to the point where we won’t be content playing for ping pong balls in March and April. New seasons bring new beginnings and I, for one, and extremely hopeful that this year’s installment will get the Wizards back on track to making another playoff run sooner rather than later (This is not solely based on the fact we’re credentialed media now either…Doesn’t hurt though!).
Underlying story lines:
1) Will Kevin Seraphin play, and if so, how effective will he be?
The French big man that broke onto the scene last year and made us all SeraPhans is, according to his twitter at least, back! Whether the team doctors clear him to play or not remain to be seen but were Seraphin to make his season debut tomorrow night there couldn’t be a better team for it to come against. With Brandon Bass and Kevin Garnett the Celtics have one strong front line that the Wizards will need to make a concerted effort to keep them off of the glass as much as possible. If Anderson Varejao was able to pull down 23 rebounds on his own against the Wizards front line in the season opener I don’t want to imagine what a bruiser like Bass and a crafty vetter like KG could do given the same opportunity.
2) How will A.J. Price handle going against Rondo?
A.J. Price had a rough go of it in Cleveland the other night connecting on only two of the nine three pointers he attempted. After shooting a shade over to 50% from deep in the preseason I would assume it was just nerves taking over in his first start with the Wizards as he has proven he can be relied upon to hit that shot to the coaching staff already. I am a lot more concerned with how he handles Rondo defensively however. It is no secret that Rajon Rondo has transformed himself one of the league’s best floor generals and can be an absolute nightmare for opposing teams to guard. Kyrie Irving was essentially allowed to do whatever he pleased against this Wizards backcourt, if Rondo is offered the same opportunity it could spell one long night for the Wizards.
Call me a homer all you want but I am anticipating a packed Verizon Center this Saturday night and a Wizards victory. The Celtics played a game they would like to forget against the Heat in their season opener giving up 120 points while turning the ball over 15 times. While this may have been an aberration for the Celtics we have nothing else to judge them by than by at the moment than their first game. If they don’t lock things up on the defensive end and become less careless with the basketball they will be in for a rude awakening in DC.