Perfect Rebound Game for Celtics? – Washington Travels to Face the Boston Celtics

Washington Wizards AT Boston Celtics
April 8, 2011 at 7:30 PM EST
Opening Line:  Bos -13.5
Current Line:  Bos -13.5
Opening Total:  194.5
Current Total:  193
Opening Moneyline:  Bos -1300 / Was +850
Current Moneyline:  Bos -1600 / Was +1095

Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers has been pushing all the right buttons during the 2010-11 NBA season, but the Celts have gone just 8-9 recently

Last night, Boston suffered what can only be deemed as a huge setback, at least with regard to claiming the number 1 seed in the East.  A loss tonight would make it a near impossibility, requiring the Bulls to lose all of their remaining game while the Celtics go undefeated.

Star forward Kevin Garnett was not pleased with the effort against the Bulls.  “We’ve got to be better than this,” Kevin Garnett following Thursday’s loss.  “No way we can come out and put an effort like this in a game this big.”

Perhaps it would be easier to swallow the loss to Chicago if the Celtics had been winning, but they have won just 8 of their last 17 games, allowing Chicago to propel past them in the standings, driven by likely MVP Derrick Rose.

The Wizards, despite having very little to play for, have played hard.  Part of it can be attributed to having a roster of players eager and hungry to either establish themselves (John Wall, Jordan Crawford, Othyus Jefferies, and Larry Owens) or re-establish themselves (Mo Evans, Yi Jianlian).  The mix of player eager to forge their way into the NBA has created a hard working environment in Washington.  Though Washington has gone just 4-6 and suffered a bad defeat to Indiana, it has to be taken as positive steps moving forward and into next season.

Commenting on the loss to Indiana, “Energy caught up to us,” Flip Saunders said after his team’s season-best three-game winning streak was snapped. “I was worried before the game. Guys just didn’t seem to have that pep in their step. We almost really lost the game in the first seven minutes.”  It will take a more concerted effort to have any chance of beating the Eastern Conference Champs.

Some betting trends:

Washington is 6-19 SU in their last 25 games and they are 4-2 SU over the last 6 games.  The total has gone OVER in 4 of Washington’s last 5 games and it has gone UNDER in 4 of their last 5 on the road.  Washington is 3-22 SU in their last 25 on the road and they are 8-16 ATS in their last 24 games.  The total has gone OVER in 7 of the last 10 games playing in Boston and Washington is 2-7 SU in their last 9 against the Celtics.  The total has gone OVER in 4 of their last 5 road games against Boston and the Wizards are 1-4 SU in their last 5 on the road at Boston.

The total has gone UNDER in 13 of the Celtics’ last 16 games and Boston is 3-6 ATS in their last 9.  The total has gone UNDER in 5 of their last 6 at home and they are 15-5 SU in their last 20 at home.  Boston is 7-2 SU in their last 9 against the Washington Wizards and they are 2-4 ATS in their last 6 against the Wizards.  The total has gone OVER in 7 of the Celtics’ last 10 games against the Wizards.  The total has gone OVER In 4 of Boston’s last 6 games at home against the Wizards and the Celts are 4-1 SU in their last 5 at home against the Wizards.  Boston is 5-12 ATS in their last 17 at home against the Wizards.

Key Matchups:

John Wall vs. Rajon Rondo

It’d be odd to call a player that has had the kind of season Wall has had as a disappointment, but after going into the year as the odds on favor at Bodog to win the Rookie of the Year award, anything less than a smashing success could be labeled a disappointment.  Fair or not, the label has been applied by many pundits when describing Wall.  All that aside, he is clearly a future all star and will be a career long starter, save an injury deriding his career.  On the other side of the ball is the league leader in assists in Rajon Rondo.  Rondo’s assists have sometimes come at the cost of passing on easy shots and his mid range game still needs a lot of work; and improvement at the free throw line wouldn’t hurt either.  For as pronounced as those weaknesses are, Rondo (and Rudy Gay) is still a prize crowning jewel of his weak draft class.

There really isn’t much more to this game than an opportunity to watch John Wall and Rondo go at it. The Andray Blatche vs. Kevin Garnett sideshow should be fairly good, but Wall is the engine of the Washington offense and it all begins and ends with how well he can handle Rondo’s defensive pressure.

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