Rapid Recap is designed for the busiest of Celtics fans. Whether you can’t stay awake to read 10 paragraphs or your hangover is just too much, Rapid Recap tells the timeline of the game in only a minute or two.
Another Kemba-less game against a struggling team for the Boston Celtics, and this time they had zero luck on their side. They never led once in this contest with the Washington Wizards, a team showing far more verve up and down the roster, on both ends of the floor, than anyone in green, resulting in a 99-94 defeat.
Jaylen Brown scored impressively from a raw-numbers perspective, with 23-12-1, but it was on a grotesquely inefficient 7-22/33% line. Grotesque inefficiency described every prominent Celtics offensive player—Jayson Tatum (17-1-2-2; 40%) Gordon Hayward (10-10-4; 36%) and Marcus Smart (13-2-3-3-2; 21%). The team was obviously tired after a back-to-back just two nights ago, but that alone didn’t explain this anemic performance.
Ish Smith, meanwhile, ate Boston’s lunch to the tune of 27-4-4 on 12-18, 67% shooting. Unreal.
We start with A QUICK LAUGH AMONG FRIENDS:
The first quarter was mostly seesaw offense due to speedy transition plays (because the Wizards friggin run, man; I feel winded just watching them sometimes):
The Wizards got ahead somewhat while the Celtics were still adjusting to the tempo that’d been created (and failing to make a bunch of wide-open shots). Got a cool Javonte Green moment early, though:
The experiment was not a success, and the quarter ended with Washington holding a 26-17 lead. But it wasn’t just the young dudes’ fault by any means:
Plus the aforementioned bad shooting (about 30% for Q1). Things did got worse on a broader level when Wizards rookie Garrison Matthews appeared to suffer a non-contact injury.
The Celtics showed greater intensity in the frame, at least to start, with another reserve-heavy lineup (this one featuring Smart, Tatum, Wanamaker, Theis and Grant), but the offense remained stuck in the mud, and the Wizards’ reserves were killing it, as they have been of late:
Offense kept getting gunked up, and there wasn’t strong team defense despite some good moments of on-ball coverage.
Washington didn’t need to play good defense, it seemed like—Boston just couldn’t get close enough for it to matter.
It would ultimately be 40, but the point still stands; 51-40 with D.C. in the lead at the half. At least we had those treys from Smart:
(We briefly interrupt this program to extend well wishes to Dangercart:)
The second half had some excellent defense-into-offense moments in its opening minutes:
But in many ways the third quarter was a repeat of what we’d seen thus far:
So you find the fun where you can:
But there were a lot of moments like this, which was demoralizing:
Only in the final minutes of the third could Boston manage to get the deficit down to its lowest point since the game’s earliest minutes, and it was more a case of Washington finally living up to the general atrociousness of their defense. 74-72 Wizards with 12 minutes left.
Him airballing a three was not a treat. GRANT had no such problems:
He also did this cool-as-shit thing before that:
But. Ish Smith. Would Not. Go. Away. I’m not sure if the Cs were expecting him to start missing or what, but he wasn’t.
Again, you take comedy where you find it:
The remainder of the game, unfortunately, was a much less funny blooper, with a missed triple by Hayward and poor defensive decisions by…well, everyone. All leading to an ignominious defeat.