The Wizards know well what their problem is when it comes to defending the Celtics, who have now scored 252 points in two playoff games against Washington. They knew it before Game 1. They knew it before Game 2 and they know it now that we’re heading into a Game 3.
Eastern Conference scout: “No one wants to say this, but in a lot of ways, they were a better team last year. They won five more games this season, that’s not a giant leap ahead, year-over-year. Especially because the East was worse this season — you had six teams that won 48 games (or more) last year. They played slower this season, they were a little more of a half-court team. I think the offense is good, but they still don’t have the pick-and-pop big man they need for how the offense is set up. The bench isn’t great, either. That’s the roster, that’s not Brad.
“So I think maybe the expectations are too high just because they got the first seed, and again, that is not something that is Brad’s fault. What would bother me, though, is they went and got (Al) Horford, and I don’t think they necessarily got better. He is not a big enough part of the offense. And Brad has not gotten them to defend the way they did last year where they were so good at forcing turnovers and converting on the other end. They overachieved on defense last year, and you’d expect them to come back to reality a little. But they’re only a so-so defensive team now. I think on that, you point to the coaching.”