Irving-Wall battle on Christmas Day


BOSTON –  Kyrie Irving has played at a level few guards in the NBA have this season. And while he knows he’s one of the best out there, there’s a never-quenched thirst on his part to continue finding ways to be an even better point guard.

The challenges at his position never slow down, and tonight’s game against Washington will be no exception.

While the official word is tonight’s game will be between Boston and Washington, most eyes will lock on to the point guard duel between Irving and John Wall who are two of the best point guards in the NBA.

Both have had outstanding careers with gaudy numbers and all-star appearances.

And while Irving may have the advantage in terms of being more accomplished, tonight’s game is another chance for him to continue doing what he has done well all season and that’s give the Celtics exactly what they need, when they need it.

“I think just reading the game … is probably the biggest thing,” Irving said. “Being out there, being able to understand the flow of the game and the pockets.”

Irving said he breaks the game down in sections.

“If there’s a missed shot or something that happens that could change the flow of the game, free throws that stop the game or something like that or a three that needs to be hit to create separation, or a pass that wasn’t there the last time but will be there the next time  … it’s my job to go out and execute it and do it to the best of my abilities,” Irving said. “Just the consistent evolution of getting better as a point guard out there.”

Here are five under-the-radar story lines heading into tonight’s matchup between the Boston Celtics and the Washington Wizards.


Home is where the wins are when these two teams face each other. Boston comes into tonight’s game having won nine in a row at home, which includes all four games in their best-of-seven second round playoff series last season. The last time Washington won in Boston was a 118-102 win on April 16, 2014.


He says he’s going to play tonight. The Celtics say he’s questionable. Best guess? He’ll play but be on a minutes restriction. Morris has missed the last eight games and 19 on the season but has made it clear on repeated occasions, that he would be on the floor in some capacity for tonight’s game. If he does play, he’ll give the Celtics some much-needed versatility at both ends of the floor, coming off the bench. And that’ll important against a Washington team that has quality depth at the wing position.


The way the NBA is today, everyone seems to be buddy-buddy with each other which includes Boston’s Jayson Tatum and Washington’s Bradley Beal. Not only are they both from St. Louis, but they also attended the same high school and have known each other for years.

After Tatum was selected by Boston with the third overall pick in June, Beal was in his ear shortly before and after the draft.

“He was like a big brother, a mentor to me,” Tatum told NBC Sports Boston earlier. “He texted me and said he’s happy for me, congrats. Now we’re enemies.”


Mike Scott has been on fire from the field lately, shooting 63-88 (.716) from the field in his last 10 games, the second-best shooting percentage in the league over the last 10 games (min. 50 FGA). It has led to Scott having a career year scoring the ball (10.0 points per game) in addition shooting career highs from the field 58.8 percent and 43.5 percent from 3-point range.


A familiar face to the Celtics organization, Tim Frazier has found a nice niche as a backup point guard for the Wizards. He has appeared in 32 games (11 starts), averaging 3.5 points and 3.5 assists per game. The former D-League (now G-League) MVP and rookie of the Year, began his career with the Maine Red Claws. In his fourth NBA season, the 27-year-old guard has played against the Celtics three times with solid numbers – 11.0 points per game along with 7.7 assists and 4.3 rebounds.


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