Although he was unable to practice fully the past two days because of a sore left ankle, Jordan Crawford had been adamant that he would be ready to play in Boston.
After going through the morning shoot-around without complications, Wizards Coach Randy Wittman determined that Crawford would be available for the Wizards’ rematch against Boston on Wednesday at TD Garden.
Crawford scored a team-high 21 points but sprained his left ankle after absorbing a hard foul from Celtics forward and former Georgetown standout Jeff Green in the fourth quarter of the 89-86 loss.
He has come off the bench to lead the Wizards in scoring in each of the first two games and has assumed a heavier offensive load in the absence of John Wall and Nene. His absence would’ve created more challenges for a team that ranks 29th in the NBA in scoring and hasn’t scored more than 86 points in either game.
The Wizards (0-2) are focused more on correcting the lapses that have contributed to the team falling behind by double-digit deficits. Wittman still plans to bring Crawford off the bench and stick with the starting lineup of A.J. Price, Emeka Okafor, Trevor Ariza, Trevor Booker and rookie Bradley Beal.
He is just urging his players to come prepared to strike rather than react. “Listen, we’ve played two games. I’m not pushing the panic button here on anything,” Wittman said. “As I told them, I’ve got a belief in them and they’ve got to believe in themselves and we can’t be tentative. That’s the main thing. We can’t come out in a game no matter who we’re playing and see how they’re going to come out and play.”
Reserve Martell Webster has already determined that the game against Boston is a “must-win” and the players feel confident about their chances against the Celtics (1-2) after holidng the Celtics to just 18 fourth-quarter points and without a field goal altogether in the final 2 1/2 minutes.
“Every team is vulnerable,” Beal said. “We came out to a terrible start for sure and then the second group came in, came back and was putting them away a little bit. That just showed that they have weak spots, just like every other team. We were right there we battled hard, we fought hard. That just shows we’re competitive, we don’t give up no matter who it’s against we’re going to fight hard and play to the end.”