Tonight’s Celtics Wizards matchup will feature two former Kentucky guards squaring off against each other. On paper, the Celtics should roll over the Wizards, however, strange things can and will happen in the NBA on a nightly basis. The Celtics and Wizards are both coming off a Friday night game and are looking to make a statement on Saturday night. The Celtics are an aging team and an aging team’s worst enemy is back to back games in back to back nights. The Wizards lost to the Suns in a game where they could not match their opponent’s tempo. The Wizards are decidedly better at home (12-9) than they are on the road (0-20) and will be looking to catch the Celtics napping hoping to end the C’s six game winning streak.
The real game tonight will be played between John Wall and Rajon Rondo, both are assist machines, but have been struggling to find their scoring touch the last few games. Wall is the first NBA rookie to have at least 9 assists in 9 games and has 29 over his last two. Rondo is the NBA leader in assists averaging 13.1 per game. An interesting stat considering their assist numbers is their turnovers, both Rondo and Wall are tied for the most turnovers in the NBA per game with 3.9.
Tale of the tape:
Height: 6-4 Weight:195
29 games played, 15.1 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 9.4 APG
Height: 6-1 Weight:186
31 games played, 10.5 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 13.1 APG
These are two teams going in different directions asking their point guards to do different things. Rondo does not need to score and what ever he scores is a bonus. Rondo is often the 4th or 5th scoring option on the floor and he seems to appreciate this role. Wall needs to score to help his team and on a team near the bottom, Wall is their best and sometimes only option. Rondo could put this game away by taking a page out of the Sun’s playbook from last night and keep the game at an up tempo pace. The Wizards could not keep pace with the Suns and evenutally lost the game.
The Celtics are not built to run like the Suns, but one thing working in their favor is the injury to Kirk Hinrich. Hinrich left last night’s game with a shoulder injury and may miss a significant amount of time. The loss of Hinrich leaves the Wizards without a true backup point guard putting more pressure on Wall to perform.
This game may not be exciting on paper, but with two emerging superstars facing off you cannot help to feel excited to watch…..as long as the Celtics win.