East Notes: Wizards, Deni Avdija, Celtics, Raptors


Coach Wes Unseld Jr. was pleased with how the Wizards were able to move the ball and operate efficiently in racing past the Celtics.

“Probably the best pace, for 36-to-40 minutes, that we’ve seen all year,” Unseld told reporters. “After makes, misses, were able to accumulate quite a few fast break points. Not all of those were just off of misses. So being able to play with pace and kind of get stuff early in the clock I thought helped us.”

Forward Deni Avdija matched a career-high with 25 points in the win.

“Trying to make the right decisions, trying to be aggressive,” Avdija said. “I guess I’m just not thinking, I’m just playing my game, making plays for others.”

  • With the Wizards seemingly out of the playoff picture, some have suggested that they start tanking. “That might be something that on paper makes sense, but you can’t go in the locker room and tell your team that we’re about winning, we’re about being competitive, and we’re just going to lay down and give games away,” he said. “I think (tanking sends) the wrong message.”
  • In case you missed it, star guard Bradley Beal is being investigated for a spat involving a fan. We have that full post here.


  • The Celtics had a three-game winning streak snapped in Tuesday’s loss to the Wizards and fell 2.5 games behind the Bucks for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
  • Fittingly, the Celtics and Bucks — the East’s last two champions — are set to square off Thursday night.
  • But as Brian Robb of MassLive wrote, the Celtics’ long shot to finish with the best record in the East is now a “nearly no shot.” (Full story.)


The Raptors (38-38) improved to .500 with a home win over the Heat on Tuesday — marking the first time they’ve been .500 since they were 13-13 back in early December.

They currently sit in ninth place in the Eastern Conference.

“We need every game right now,” forward Scottie Barnes told reporters. “It’s going to be close but we need every game, and every game is important for us.”

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