I’ve never been a big Celtics fan so I was hoping for a win. The Celtics don’t have Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving is on restricted minutes so it seemed the odds were in our favour. I had not counted on the luck of the Irish in D.C. though.
Washington Wizards – Otto Porter 27 points; Otto Porter 11 rebounds; Bradley Beal 9 assists.
Boston – Kyrie Irving 28 points; Marcus Morris 8 rebounds; Kyrie Irving 6 assists.
The score stayed pretty even in the 1st quarter. John Wall was looking fresh on the bench, and the players were looking good in their ‘District’ version unis. Those unis really are fire and have great detail close up. Everyone seemed ready and no glaring errors were yet apparent. The offense seemed to flow nicely for the Wizards and Satoransky is a good back up for Wall at this point.
For Boston, this was the first time we saw the freshly signed Greg Monroe. He spent 5 years with the Detroit Pistons, one of my alternate ‘home’ teams, so I’m familiar with his game, and like him. He came in late in the 1st and by the start of the 2nd had picked up a technical so he has clearly not lost that Detroit toughness.
We saw more of Tim Frazier and Jodie Meeks in the 2nd. Frazier fits well and Meeks can make some nice shots. He’s a good veteran player for the bench. Veteran players are often underrated. Oubre looked good on the offensive glass and I’m glad they didn’t trade him. The game was relatively close, was back and forth so I kind of just settled in to watch.
When I settled in and started to listen to the analyst, they were quoting the Celtics coach Brad Stevens about their defense. I don’t have the exact quote, but to paraphrase he essentially said that they don’t have a shot blocker, that they play their defense on the ground. I hadn’t noticed that before. It seems to have worked so far but I think Greg Monroe is likely to play that role for them and enable the team as a whole to score more; enabling Kyrie to be the best Kyrie he can be. They also have Marcus Morris, our Markieff Morris’ twin. Marcus and Greg could become the Celtics enforcement squad. Those 2 are TOUGH.
There was also discussion of Marcin Gortat being a true power forward as opposed to a centre. It’s an interesting theory and he’s definitely not a traditional big man. He doesn’t seem to score as much in the low post. I’m definitely going to take a deeper look at this Saturday when he will be matched up against one of my favourite big men, the Chicago Bulls’ Robin Lopez!
By the half the Wizards were leading the game…in turn overs, 13-8. It seemed like they weren’t all being converted to points so it’s not horrific, but if you’re supposed to treat the basketball like your girlfriend… We have really got to get this turnover situation under control. It’s not because they’re playing without Wall and nervous or just not as sharp due to the new and changing line ups, they had just as many with him. I would also like to note here that this means that while John himself does occasionally seem to have higher turnovers, the turnover problem is not specific to him. Perhaps more to role and the reality of executing the outlined game plays. Turnovers are a team issue, not specific to 1 player though sometimes it can seem that way.
The score was 56-51 in favour of Boston at the start of the 3rd. Satoransky had 11 points, Beal had 12 points and he’d ended the 1st half with 2 really nice shots. The Wizards overtook the Celtics effort and the lead kept moving back and forth. I had naively assumed a win at this point and was trying to google and confirm if Mike Scott did indeed graduate with an Anthropology degree. That’s extremely interesting for a professional athlete. Most of them don’t finish their degree until they retire from the game, and it’s usually sports related, marketing or business. I’m going to try and see if he’ll speak with us for his player profile. While googling I missed a nice steal and breakaway. I’d re-watch the game for you but every time I do that, you get no recap!
Boston took over the lead in the later part of the 3rd and they dominated. It seemed like we weren’t really getting baskets and when we did, Boston answered with twice as many. We took the lead close to the end of the 4th but a foul allowed Kyrie Irving 3 free throws, all of which he made. To overtime we went.
Overtime was a disappointment. We just didn’t have the gas to get it done. Marcin Gortat had a nice basket but the Celtics outscored us 12-6. Celtics won the game 110-104.
Sidenote: Otto Porter REALLY stepped it up. He definitely rewarded us for not trading him. Let’s hope this continues.
Next up: vs. the Bulls in Chicago @ 8p.m.