Celtics

Celtics-Wizards: Game 1 takeaways, looking ahead to Game 2

With Isaiah Thomas scoring 33 points and dropping 9 assists after getting into Boston at 4:00 am because he was attending his sister’s funeral, the Celtics have taken control of the series after Game 1.

What helped propel the Celtics over the Wizards was the huge collective effort. Jae Crowder added 24 points while going 6-for-8 from three, and big man Al Horford had a near triple-double on 21 points (10-for-13 shooting), 10 rebounds, and 9 assists.

If the Celtics are going to be shooting like this the whole series, they could lock it up pretty early.

We know that probably won’t be the case, but Wizards took a big blow when they lost Markieff Morris to a sprained left ankle 11 minutes into the game. They did all they could with John Wall scoring 20 points and producing a whopping 16 assists. An ugly third quarter is when the game turned in the Celtics favor with Wall giving up five turnovers in the quarter.

Bradley Beal stepped up to lead the Wizard with 27 points, while Marcin Gortat and Otto Porter each had double-doubles.

The Wizards can not be happy with their performance after Game 1 considering they produced pretty well offensively. Ultimately, it was a poor loss with how hot of a start they got off to.

Heading into Game 2, the Wizards are hoping they can be at full strength with Markieff Morris trying to play after suffering a sprained ankle. Even if he is able to play, he will not be at 100% and that is tough for a Wizards team that relies on him as the third weapon after Wall and Beal.

Two things that the Wizards have to do for Game two is protecting the ball once they have a significant lead, and also protecting the three-point line. The Wizards turned over the ball eight times in the third quarter, but the Celtics were only able to produce eight points off those turnovers. That will not be the case if they keep being careless with the ball because the Celtics will only score more in the future.

The Wizards have to do a better job of guarding the three-point line in Game 2. The Celtics made 19 threes on the day but made six of them in their third quarter run. Great teams play solid defense when it comes to crunch time in the playoffs, and the Wizards did not do that on Sunday.

As for the Celtics, this game could not have gone better. You were able to overcome adversity in the beginning of the game with the Wizards getting off to a hot start, and were able to shoot the lights out in the second half. There were questions heading into this series about who besides Isaiah Thomas would be stepping up for this Celtics squad, and they got that answer on Sunday.

The production from Jae Crowder and Al Horford were key in Game 1 and will be going forward. The Celtics are a completely different team when they can spread the ball around like they did with 32 assists in Game 1. The supporting cast for both the Wizards and Celtics are crucial for both team’s success.

With Game 2 set for Tuesday, look for the Celtics to continue to try and get production from Horford on both ends of the floor. For the Wizards, they have to take care of the ball in crucial possessions and get production from their bench.

The Wizards and Celtics square off for Game 2 on Tuesday, which could be key for guys who need the extra day of rest like Markieff Morris.

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