Primarily known as a defensive unit, the Boston Celtics haven't lived up to that billing so far this season.
The Celtics will try to avoid their second straight 0-3 start when they open a home-and-home set with the Washington Wizards tonight from the Verizon Center.
Boston dropped the season opener at Miami, then suffered a 99-88 loss versus Milwaukee in its home opener last night. Rajon Rondo was one of six players in double figures with 14 points and 11 assists, and has dished out 10-plus assists in 26 straight games. Kevin Garnett had 15 points, while Paul Pierce and Jeff Green had 11 points apiece.
"I don't see the urgency yet ... I don't like how we're approaching the games. And until we [improve] that we're going to struggle," Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said.
The Celtics lost their first home opener since 2006 versus New Orleans and also began the 2006-07 campaign 0-3. They had won six in a row against the Bucks before last night's loss. In other news, Garnett tied Otis Thorpe (1,257) for 19th on the NBA's all-time games played list.
Boston will host Washington next Wednesday.
As for the Wizards. tonight represents the first chance to get a victory after the first game of the NBA season Tuesday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Cleveland. The Wizards fell 94-84 and have had a lot of time to improve.
The Wizards shot 35.6 percent from the field against Cleveland, 25 percent from the 3-point line and a putrid 60 percent from the foul line. Only two Wizards, Emeka Okafor and Jordan Crawford, scored in double figures.
Rookie shooting guard Bradley Beal, who was selected third in the draft, only had eight points in his debut for a Wizards squad that finished the 2011-12 season on a six-game winning streak.
So, yes, the Wizards have had time to right some wrongs.
"We've come back here the last two days and today was as good a practice we had," head coach Randy Wittman said on Thursday.
John Wall and Nene are both sidelined for a while, but big man Kevin Seraphin returned to practice during the Wizards' layoff. Seraphin, who injured his calf in the preseason, hopes to play tonight in the Wizards' home opener.
"We get beat up inside on the boards," said Wittman. "He can help. He's a big body."
Wizards forward Martell Webster is four 3-pointers short of 500 in his career.
The Celtics have won 12 of the last 15 matchups and all four last season.