The time has come to say goodbye to 2014 - and the Wizards.
Calm down, I don't mean in a bad way. Tonight's matchup against the Boston Celtics is the last home game this year for the Wiz Kids, who are about to go on a five game road trip against some of the Western Conference's best teams.
This matchup is the last one against the Celtics, with the season series tied at 1-1. After a throttling of the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Christmas Day, the Wizards find themselves in a trap game that they can't afford to lose for fear setting themselves off on a wrong foot for their road trip.
When and where? 7 p.m. at the Phone Booth - or over on Comcast Sports Net.
Who's out? Ugh, Martell Webster - please make it a New Years resolution to return soon! For the Celtics, Marcus Thornton is out and James Young remains day to day with a shoulder injury.
Are they good? The Celtics have given the Wizards trouble this season. In the first game on Dec. 7 in Boston, a loss, Washington failed to get into any sort of offensive rhythm going, shooting 36.6 percent from the field and turning the ball over 19 times. And we all remember the second game on Dec 8., which went into double overtime and showed us the human side of John Wall, as he willed the squad to victory with his 26 points and career-high 17 assists.
The Celtics however are on a three game losing streak and look pretty horrid. BUT, they have been putting up good numbers: 103.7 points per game (7th in the league) and 25.6 assists per game (2nd in the league).
Their bench is also good, strong, fast and reliable and as aforementioned, this is a perfect trap game for the Wizards.
Okay, but can we talk about the Wizards? Duh. We want to see more of THIS:
and quite a bit more of THIS:
on Saturday night before we see the Wizards go bye bye for the rest of the year.
Despite losing two in a row last week, the Wiz remain 13-4 at home and third in the Eastern Conference. Wall is leading the squad in points per game (18.0), assists per game (10.5) and steals per game (2.1) and he just keeps on raising the ceiling. He's definitely our MVP of the first third of the year. As the broadcasters said on Xmas Day, "Johnny Wall, doin it all!"
What's next? Well, the Wizards jet off on Monday to Houston to play the Rockets, Dallas to play the Mavericks, Oklahoma City to play
Kevin Durant the Thunder, San Antonio to play the Spurs and New Orleans to play the Pelicans. Next time we will see them will be at on Jan. 7 when the New York Knicks make their first D.C. visit of the season. These five games may prove to be the most crucial of the Wizards' schedule - a true test of not only if they can hang with the Best of the West, but if they can do so out of the comfort zone of the Verizon Center.
The only road games the Wizards have lost were the season opener against the Miami Heat, at the Toronto Raptors, at the Cleveland Cavaliers and at Boston in December. Wins against some of these teams will really cement them as contender, not pretender.
Who wins? I'm not even going to get into this, but the Wizards. Expect Bradley Beal to get a rhythm going early, Nene to continue attacking the basket and J Dub to keep on ballin'.
Did you forget something? Of course I did, forgive me. The last time Washington played the Celtics, John Wall showed us his heart — I melted, as did the rest of hoops fans. Let's have a re-look. #RIPMiyah