Oct 27, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) goes to the basket past Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma (33) during the second half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
The Celtics visit the Wizards on Saturday afternoon
Boston is a 2.5-point road underdog
Read on for the odds, preview, and prediction
The struggling Boston Celtics will be looking for revenge against the Washington Wizards on Saturday, October 30th as they face off for the second time in four days. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 PM EST at the Capital One Arena in DC.
The Wizards rallied behind 27 points from Bradley Beal on Thursday to beat the Atlanta Hawks 122-11. With that victory, Washington is now at 4-1 on the season. The C’s meanwhile, are just 2-3 but did win two consecutive games before losing a couple of nights ago on home court.
Celtics vs Wizards Odds
Ov 225 (-110)
Un 225 (-110)
Odds as of October 29th at FanDuel.
2022 NBA Championship Odds Tracker
The Celtics made a comeback in Wednesday’s game after trailing by 15 points in the third quarter, but it was unfortunately too little too late. Boston was very sloppy with the ball in the second half, committing a total of 12 turnovers as well. One of the clear weaknesses of Ime Udoka’s squad so far has been their poor defense. They’re allowing 119 points per game, which is one of the worst totals in the entire NBA.
The C’s were completely outmuscled inside against the Wizards, with Montrezl Harrell in particular absolutely destroying them around the hoop. The offense struggled to click as well, with the starting backcourt of Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown combining for a mere 20 points. On a more positive note though, Jayson Tatum poured in 23 while Dennis Schroder added 22 points off the bench.
Smart is off to a very poor start from an offensive standpoint this season as the team’s starting PG. The veteran is averaging just 7.4 points and 4.8 assists on 25% shooting from the field. He’s dealing with a non-COVID-19 illness and will be sidelined on Saturday. The key to coming out victorious against Washington will be finding a way to stop Bradley Beal, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Harrell. Schroder will likely get the start and must contain specifically Dinwiddie, who absolutely bullied him in their previous matchup.
staying focused ☘️ pic.twitter.com/Qku3oiQcb9
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) October 29, 2021
With the likes of Robert Williams and Al Horford occupying the front court, Boston shouldn’t have any problem winning duels on the glass. Harrell is a tough opponent, but there’s enough size and strength to make life tough on him. It’s just a matter of these two bigs coming ready to play.
Washington’s New Core Looking Solid
The Wizards made some big moves in the offseason, most notably shipping off Russell Westbrook to the Lakers while acquiring Kyle Kuzma, Harrell, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in return. Harrell’s impact has been heavily felt across the last two games, dropping 25 against Boston and Atlanta.
Harrell’s aggressive style of play was on full display, attacking the rim with authority and showing tremendous chemistry with Beal on several occasions. The former Laker even had five assists and truly showed an all-around offensive skill set. As a whole, it was a very solid performance from Washington. Four of their five starters had 20 or more points and they outrebounded a physical team in the Hawks 51-43 while also shooting just under 40% from downtown. The defense held superstar Trae Young to a mere 15 points on 6 for 17 shooting as well, but he did have 13 dimes.
Even more impressive, was the fact that Dinwiddie wasn’t even in the lineup yet DC still dominated. The team is showing a clear strength on the glass, ranking 8th in the Association with 48 rebounds per game. Harrell is definitely a huge factor in that and with Daniel Gafford currently nursing a quad injury, expect him to get more minutes with the first unit on Saturday.
Coming into this game, the Wizards have yet to lose at home this season, beating the Raptors, Pacers, and Celtics. Washington is also 4-1 ATS as an underdog so far. Needless to say, they’ve been a pleasant surprise in the Eastern Conference. Given Boston’s defensive issues right now, Washington will be looking to capitalize here.
Celtics vs Wizards Prediction
Even though the Wizards are currently playing great basketball, I think you’ll see the Celtics respond here. With Smart out, Schroder will get the chance to start and he’s going to show out alongside Tatum after a terrific performance on Wednesday. Expect Jaylen Brown to bounce back as well. Boston needs a win and it’ll happen on Saturday.
Pick: Boston Celtics Moneyline (+118)