Weekly Preview: Cold streak could continue

Who: Washington Wizards
When: Tuesday
Where: Verizon Center
TV: CSN New England
Radio: 100.7 WZLX

Breakdown: The Wizards are quietly one of the hottest teams in the NBA and John Wall is on an absolute tear, which could be bad news for the Celtics as they still have to play without defensive stronghold Avery Bradley. The 26-year old point guard is currently having a career year by posting personal bests in scoring, assists, field goal percentage and he leads the league in steals. Wall did have a forgettable game two weeks ago at the TD Garden without Bradley playing – which featured he and Jae Crowder getting into it after the game – but it would honestly be hard to expect that again. Derrick Rose carved up Boston last Wednesday, C.J. McCollum torched them over the weekend and guards for the most part have had an easy time against the team with Bradley out. Washington has won 11 of their last 15 and moved into fifth place in the Eastern Conference as they sit just three games behind the third place Celtics. Regardless of what happened between these two teams during their last meeting – whether it be the final score or beef between players after the game – it’s honestly hard to feel good about Boston right now playing without Bradley against a hot team with good guards.

Prediction: Celtics lose 108-104


Who: Houston Rockets
When: Wednesday
Where: TD Garden
TV: CSN New England
Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub

Breakdown: It’s hard to feel good about the chances for Boston in this one for many of the same reasons you shouldn’t feel that great about facing the Wizards, and the Rockets are just a flat out better team then Washington. Each team is currently in third place in their respective conference but Houston has already won 34 games while the Celtics are still just sitting at 26 while also going through a rough stretch at the moment. The Rockets escaped with a one point win when the two teams met down in Texas back in early-December, which featured Al Horford missing an open layup as time expired. Now the Rockets don’t get the Celtics at full strength and they’ll come into the TD Garden with the team coming off no rest and travel, handing Boston their fourth loss in a row with ease.

Prediction: Celtics lose 110-98


Who: Orlando Magic
When: Friday
Where: TD Garden
TV: CSN New England
Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub

Breakdown: The Celtics beat Orlando without Isaiah Thomas back in December and now they’ll have Thomas for this one but it they’ll still need to knock them off without Bradley. That win against Orlando was probably their most impressive win of the season to be completely honest, as they knocked them down 117-87 on the road despite trailing at the half. It was amazing to watch the Celtics play what was their best half of basketball this season and if they really do enter this game having lost four in a row, they should small blood in the water and coast to a win having a nice day off at home with no travel to think about.

Prediction: Celtics win 111-102


Who: Milwaukee Bucks
When: Saturday
Where: Bradley Center
TV: CSN New England
Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub

Breakdown: Boston travels to Wisconsin for their first meeting of the year with the Bucks and it seems like the Celtics will be getting them at the just the right time as the Bucks have lost seven of their last ten, although they essentially have all week to get on a bit of a hot stretch before these two teams square off this weekend. Giannis Antetokounmpo is the real deal, Malcolm Brogdon would probably be the Rookie of the Year frontrunner if it wasn’t for Joel Embiid running away with it and there’s a lot of other good looking parts to this team as well, but they’ve been up and down all season long so far. But riding high off a win against Orlando could be enough to help push the Celtics over the top against a team that is still below .500 despite all their promise.

Prediction: Celtics win 108-103


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