WASHINGTON — The Wizards host the Boston Celtics Tuesday night, and suffice to say, they’ve been waiting for this game for quite some time.
The last time the teams met, in Boston, John Wall and Celtics forward Jae Crowder were involved in a postgame scrum that required several police officers to separate the two locker rooms. It was just the latest of several incidents between the two teams, a dossier that includes cheap shots, profanity and broken bones.
Adding further fuel to the fire is each team’s current position in the Eastern Conference standings. The Celtics, at 26-17, hold down the No. 3 seed entering Tuesday while the Wizards, who have flipped their season around after a dreadful start, sit in fifth place with a 24-20 record. A win in Washington would bring the Wizards to 1.0 games behind the Atlanta Hawks for fourth place and just 1.5 games behind the Celtics.
Between the bad blood and the bad taste the Jan. 11 loss to the Celtics left in their mouth, the Wizards have plenty on the line Tuesday night. And make no mistake, they’re taking it seriously. Immediately after they clinched a road win against the Charlotte Hornets Monday night, the Wizards had the Celtics on their mind, and it sounds like they’ve got a pregame hype plan in the works.
Per Candace Bucker of The Washington Post (and others), the Wizards will enter Tuesday’s game dressed in all black.
For the record, both John Wall and Bradley Beal emphasized that they’re looking for a clean game. But with this much on the line and the previous confrontations between the two teams, expect emotions to run high.
For anybody interested in snagging last-second tickets, there are still plenty available on resale sites such as StubHub and TicketMaster, but the prices are rising quickly. In early January, before the most recent dust-up between the teams, tickets were available in various 100-section seats for less than $40 apiece, including fees. As of 8 a.m. Tuesday, those same seats were going for more than $50 each.
Here’s hoping the game lives up to the hype.