When: Thursday, February 8 at 8 p.m. ET
Where: Capital One Arena in Washington D.C.
TV: TNT, NBC Sports Washington
Wizards: John Wall (Out, Knee), Sheldon Mac (Out, Achilles)
Celtics: Kyrie Irving (Probable, Quad), Jaylen Brown (Questionable, Ankle), Shane Larkin (Questionable, Knee), Marcus Smart (Out, Hand), Gordon Hayward (Out, Ankle)
What to Watch for
It’s a shame this game has to be played just hours after the NBA Trade Deadline, because it saps a lof of the intrigue that you’d normally have when two of the best teams in the conference face off. Attention will still be focused on whatever moves happen earlier in the day, and there’s a chance the Wizards or Celtics could have to play shorthanded , depending on what moves they make. We deliberately chose not to post win probabilities for this game because so much is up in the air.
The outcome of Thursday’s game probably won’t say much about the state of the Eastern Conference. Even if both teams stand pat at the deadline, they’ll look different between now and a potential meeting in the playoffs. John Wall should be back from surgery, Greg Monroe is on his way to join the Celtics, and who knows, there’s still a chance Gordon Hayward could be back for the playoffs as well.
Still, it’s Wizards - Celtics. Even if the game doesn’t give us a peek at what to expect in the playoffs, it should still be an intense game with a lively atmosphere. Enjoy the fireworks.
A random moment in Wizards - Celtics history: John Wall’s clutch double-double against the Wizards in 2014
Wall’s game-winner to beat the Celtics in Game 6 last season will always be his best moment as a Wizard, but this is a close second.