clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Wizards vs. Celtics Game 4 preview: Washington aims to even up series at home

New, comments
NBA: Playoffs-Boston Celtics at Washington Wizards Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Game Info

When: Sunday, May 7 at 6:30 p.m. ET
Where: Verizon Center in Washington D.C.
TV: TNT

Injury Report

Everyone’s healthy. However, Kelly Oubre will not be available for Washington because he was suspended for Sunday’s game.

What to watch for

What lineup will Brad Stevens start with?

The Celtics have been searching for a way to slow down the Wizards at the start of games, but they haven’t had much success. In Game 1 and 3, Brad Stevens started Gerald Green and went small with Jae Crowder at the 4. In Game 2, they went big with Amir Johnson while Gerald Green picked up a DNP.

Considering neither approach has had success to this point, don’t be surprised if the Celtics try another approach for this one. They could try to bring Marcus Smart in with the starting lineup to go small and add more defense. They could try Kelly Olynyk to help space the floor and perhaps agitate the Wizards with some of his screens. Or, they could try to go with rookie Jaylen Brown who has had some nice moments in this series and could disrupt things with his length.

It’s anyone’s guess what Boston will do, but it’s safe to assume they’ll try to change something up to avoid a double-digit fourth quarter deficit.

Can the Wizards continue to force turnovers?

Washington forced 10 turnovers in the first half of Game 3, including 6 by Marcus Smart, which played a big part in helping them jump out to their early lead. If the Wizards can keep Isaiah Thomas from getting shots up early, it puts more pressure on other players to create offense, which in turn leads to bad decisions and more transition opportunities for Washington.

Most Likely Wizards Killer: Terry Rozier

Washington Wizards v Boston Celtics - Game Two Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Rozier has quietly been a key part of the Celtics’ success in this series. His effective play on both ends helped Boston erase early deficits and help save Isaiah Thomas’ energy for the second half. In Game 3, the Wizards were able to keep him more in check, not only as a scorer and distributor, but as a rebounder.

In the first two games, Rozier corralled 14 rebounds in just under 40 minutes of action. They held him just 2 in Game 3.

Whether it’s effective defense, or just Brandon Jennings annoying him into a bad night, the Wizards need to make sure Rozier doesn’t wreak havoc again in Game 4.