Here we see the Celtics players, coaches, and training staff as they have their collective nosedive from contendership in the Eastern Conference.
The Celtics are hoping to defy the laws of gravity and get back on track Tuesday night in Washington against Gilbert Arenas and the Wizards. Arenas leads the Wiz in scoring with 25.7 a night, which puts him sixth in the league in ppg. Arenas also gets 1.9 spg, 5.2 apg and 4.6 rpg, but shoots 42.7% from the floor. Larry Hughes is impressing this season with 22.2 ppg and 6.3 rpg, while also getting 4.9 apg and a league leading 2.92 spg. Antwan Jamison is the third scorer for the Wizards with 19.6 ppg, 7.8 rpg (which leads the team). Jarvis Hayes is the top bench option with 10.2 ppg and 4.2 rpg, but is shooting just 38.9% from the floor. Brendan Haywood has declined a bit and is down to 9.4 ppg and 6.8 rpg while shooting 56.1% from the floor. Jared Jeffries is Jamison's fellow starting forward, but is used more for his defense as his 6.7 ppg and 4.9 rpg would indicate. Juan Dixon is another solid bench performer for the Wiz with 8.3 ppg and 2.1 rpg in just 16.7 mpg.
The Wizards lost to the Celtics in their last meeting on March 13th, which was the third win in the Celtics' seven game streak. Larry Hughes lead all scorers with 26 on 11-20 shooting. Hughes also had 9 boards and two steals. Gilbert Arenas had 25 points to go with six assists. Jared Jeffries went crazy with 13 points and 16 boards. Antwan Jamison went for 14 points. Brendan Haywood had 7 points and 12 assists. Steve Blake scored 9 points in 12 minutes and Kwame Brown had 5 boards in 15 minutes. Paul Pierce led the Celtics in scoring with 20 on 7-15 shooting. Raef LaFrentz had 19 points, five boards, and three blocks. Ricky Davis had 12 points, 6 assits, 5 boards, and two steals off the bench. Al Jefferson had one of his best games with 12 points on 6-12 shooting to go with 8 boards and 5 fouls in 17 minutes. Tony Allen had 12 points on 4-6 shooting in just 11 minutes of action. Antoine Walker had 11 points, 12 boards, two steals, and a block. Marcus Banks had 9 points and four assists in 14 minutes.
The Celtics entered the fourth down by nine, but Doc trotted out Tony Allen, Al Jefferson and Marcus Banks to start the fourth and went on a 10-3 run. Ricky Davis got a 3 point play with 21 seconds left and Gary Payton made a defensive play to seal the win.
After losing against the 76ers, we need to win this one to keep them off our backs. The Wizards beat teams by outscoring them, but the Celtics can keep pace with pretty much anyone in the league. Keeping pace with the Wizards will be a difficult test for this team that has had their confidence hit quite a bit.