Ray Allen isn't used to what's going on right now with the Boston Celtics, and in reality, neither are any other members of the Big Four. Allen said on Friday after the Celtics' loss to the Phoenix Suns that Boston's locker room isn't one that's used to losing -- a fair assessment considering Boston won a title in 2008 and almost won another two seasons later.
But here they are, sitting at 5-9 and facing questions the possibility of having their veteran core dismantled if they can't turn things around. Allen and the Celtics will look to answer some of the questions facing them when they take on the Washington Wizards at 1:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday afternoon in Washington D.C. (TV/Radio: CSNNE/WRKO 680 AM).
Boston and Washington met twice in a home-and-home, back-to-back series earlier this season, and Boston won both times. The Celtics opened the season series with a 94-86 win on New Year's Day, thanks in part to Kevin Garnett (24 points, nine rebounds) and Rajon Rondo (18 points, 14 assists, 11 rebounds). The next night, the C's prevailed again, this time by a score of 100-92. Allen scored 11 of his team-leading 27 points in the fourth quarter of that game to lead Boston.
The Celtics are coming of a poor outing against the Phoenix Suns, in which the C's shot 40.5 percent. Allen led the Celtics with 14 points and six assists and Paul Pierce added 12 points and five assists. Brandon Bass had 11 points off the bench and both Kevin Garnett and Avery Bradley finished with 10 points apiece.
Meanwhile, the Wizards are the worst team in the NBA, possessing a 2-13 record. Their only two wins have come against the Raptors and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Washington has lost five of its last six games, falling most recently to the Denver Nuggets, 108-104, on Friday night. Nick Young scored 25 and John Wall finished with 13 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds for the Wizards, who were held to 42.1 percent shooting in defeat.
The biggest question entering Sunday's game is the status of Rajon Rondo, who missed the Suns game after suffering a right wrist injury on Wednesday against the Raptors. Bradley started in place of Rondo and played well after a rocky start, but the Celtics certainly missed Rondo's production. With him in the lineup, the Celtics are a much better team. But if Rondo remains absent, it could provide the Wizards with the opening they need to steal their third victory of the year.