Last Year's Losses to Washington May Have Hurt the Celtics' Pride

By Ivan Carter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, December 11, 2008

Based on last season, the Washington Wizards have little reason to be intimidated by the Boston Celtics.

Washington won last year's season series 3-1 and the high point of the season came when the Wizards beat the Celtics in back-to-back games on Jan. 12 and 14.

The Celtics (20-2) enter tonight's game at Verizon Center on a 12-game winning streak, so they could be forgiven for taking the 4-15 Wizards lightly. But Wizards guard DeShawn Stevenson fully expects to see a highly motivated opponent.

"We were talking a lot of smack, too, especially me. So I know they're going to be coming in here ready," Stevenson said. "I know I've got a big target on my chest. Every time we played them it was a real talkative game and a real hard game, so they're going to come in feeling that they owe us something."

Stevenson said the intensity level of any game against Boston rises with the presence of Celtics star Kevin Garnett, who has assumed Alonzo Mourning's unofficial title as the most intense player in the NBA.

Upset after watching the team's reserves nearly squander a big lead against Portland recently, Garnett lit into second-year forward Glen Davis and the reserves, after which Davis cried.

"Sometimes he's talking to himself, other times he's talking to other people, but he's always talking," Stevenson said of Garnett. "Just talking. And that gets me going because I like talking, too. It's kind of scary the way he does it. He cusses at himself. . . . If ya'll could be on the court, you'd see what he says. He's kind of off."

Up Next Tonight vs. Celtics 8 p.m. TNT, WTEM-980 Saturday at 76ers 7:30 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980

View all comments that have been posted about this article.

© 2008 The Washington Post Company