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Wizards vs. Celtics Preview: Paul Pierce returns to Boston as a Wizard

Paul Pierce and the Washington Wizards are traveling to the TD Garden to take on the Boston Celtics. We preview the game here and talk about what the Wizards need to do for a win.

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Wizards are in Boston to face the Celtics at TD Garden. Paul Pierce will return to his old stomping grounds for the first time as a Wizard.

When and where? The TD Garden at 1 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.

Injury Report: Nene returned for the Wizards on Friday against the Denver Nuggets. The only Wizard still missing in action is Martell Webster, who is still doing light basketball work and is out indefinitely. The Celtics' center Vitor Faverani will also miss out on the action with a troublesome knee.

What the Wizards need to do to win: The Celtics are not really considered dangerous on either end of the floor, but they also are not a team the Wizards can afford to overlook. They have one of the best point guards and the league's assist leader in Rajon Rondo.

When Rondo is at his peak, he's getting guys good looks with creation from penetration and nifty passes. Although he is not too much of an improved shooter from deep, sagging off of him is difficult because of the way he eats space with his long strides.

Rondo has had five games of 15 or more assists this season. Even with what some perceive as a lack of weapons around him in Boston, he still manages to spread the wealth and make his team better.

The way the Wizards stop the Celtics is by stopping Rondo. It is never an easy task to hold the newest iteration of the Hardwood Houdini under 10 assists, but if the Wizards are able to they should consider it a win when it comes to shutting the C's offense down.

The Celtics will also space the floor out with their big men. Kelly Olynyk and Jared Sullinger have found their stride shooting the deep ball after experimenting with it a bit last season. Olynyk is hitting 42 percent while Sullinger is hitting 36 percent. The Wizards have traditionally struggled covering shooting big men, but they'll have two to deal with when they go into Boston.

Will the Wizards win? This is easily a game the Wizards should win. The Celtics are a very talented 6-11 team on the rise, but this is not the season for them. The Wizards are one of the best defensive teams in the league and should be able to take this Celtics' read-and-react offense.

They will have to be careful in transition with the Celtics being the second fastest team in the league, but I'm not sure a transition battle with John Wall is something anyone really wants to get into. I think the Wizards and Pierce leave Beantown with a win.