Celtics-Wizards: What to look for


WASHINGTON - Two games in and the Boston Celtics bench has been outscored both games.

This is not what many in Celtics Nation - or the Celtics players - envisioned this season.

For the next few weeks, you'll hear most of the commentary surrounding the Celtics framed in the context of this season still being young.

But there's no escaping the C's second unit, has played a lot of second-rate basketball thus far.

They have been out-scored each of the first two games by a total of nine points (69-60). That in itself doesn't seem like that big a deal.

But when you consider the two teams to do so - Miami and Milwaukee - are not considered to have as much scoring power off the bench as Boston, it is at the very least noteworthy as something the C's need to improve upon.

None of Boston's reserves are immune to the group's struggles. But none of the backups seems to be taking the struggles harder than Jason Terry.

"We're (bench players) not getting it done at all," said Terry, a former Sixth Man of the Year award winner. "And it starts with me because I am the leader of that group."

More production from the C's second unit will be instrumental in Boston avoiding an 0-3 start for the first time since the 2006-2007 season. Here are a few other keys heading into tonight's game.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Boston has looked too often for points from the perimeter. Tonight's game should see a heavy dose of Kevin Garnett in the paint, and the Celtics guards attacking the basket.

MATCHUP TO WATCH: Paul Pierce vs. Trevor Ariza: The Captain got into early foul trouble, and never found his stride in the loss to Milwaukee. Look for Pierce to come out aggressive offensively which should set the tone for a big night.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Jared Sullinger looked a lot like the Sullinger folks saw in the preseason, in the loss to Milwaukee. With Washington having a more traditional frontcourt, Sully should pick up right where he left off against the Bucks.

STAT TO TRACK: Boston hasn't been a very good offensive rebounding team, but they have to do a better job of limiting the second and third chances that they give opponents. Milwaukee had 11 offensive rebounds on Friday. Although they only generated 13 second-chance points, that doesn't factor how those possessions takes away from Boston's chances to score. Keeping the offensive rebound total given up in the low single digits would do wonders for both the C's struggling offense and out-of-synch defense.

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