The Boston Celtics take on the Washington Wizards again on Wednesday, this time at home at the Boston Garden. The Celtics narrowly hung on to beat the Wizards Saturday in Washington, and this is the type of matchup the team should not take lightly. Even though Washington is not one of the stronger teams in the league, playing a team in back to back games is usually challenging and it is sometimes difficult to sweep. That is what the Celtics are looking to do this week.
The match-up the Celtics have to exploit on Wednesday is Paul Pierce against Trevor Ariza. Ariza is traditionally known as a solid defender, but he has really struggled over the last season and a half and Pierce has to be salivating at the matchup.
The Celtics should look to Pierce early and often and expect him to deliver for their second straight win of the season. Pierce is the team’s most reliable scorer and as some have noticed, the Celtics might have a difficult time scoring consistently this season. Fortunately, they have strong defensive principles and can win games scored in the 80 point range.
Pierce has been inconsistent over the first three games, especially in the team’s loss to Milwaukee Bucks last Friday night. Some raised the question as to whether or not Pierce might be on the decline, as he is now in his mid-30s. I don’t think he is declining; he just might need more rest than usual this year in order to be fresh for the post season.
The Pierce-Ariza match-up is one to keep an eye on tomorrow night at the Garden.
Rob Lunder covers the Boston Celtics for Rant Sports. For all Celtics news go to the team homepage on Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @rlunder18