Way before tonight’s game began, a Wizard was out on the court measuring jump shots. The shots were from 25, 30 feet away and most of them were going down with barely a ripple. That player was Gilbert Arenas , obviously, (What, you thought Etan Thomas was draining 30 footers?).
With Arenas the Wizards were one of the entertaining and dangerous teams in the league. Without Arenas they were still entertaining, but much less dangerous. Without Arenas and Brendan Haywood  they’re just bad, and not all that much fun either.
That’s a shame for us, but the Celtics  don’t need much fun. They need a win, although it must be said that they seemed looser than usual before top-off tonight.
As for the Stephon Marbury  talk, all we got was this from Doc Rivers , “You know I can’t talk about it,” which was certainly not a No and also not what he said about Dikembe Mutombo, which was more along the lines of yes, we’d like to have Mutombo. So they take that for what it’s worth.
But that’s for another day. What will it be tonight? Will it be the start of a new streak for 2009? Let’s find out…
FIRST QUARTER WRAP: The halfcourt shot by Caron Butler doesn’t count after all. Man that team can’t catch a break. So, after one the Wiz are down 14 and their starting center, Andray Blatche  who went back to the locker room with what looked like an ankle injury.
The wager on press row: Over-under on minutes for the starters in the fourth quarter. The number is four. I’ve got the under. Over to you Jess.
First Quarter Observations
— That pretty much sums up Washington in a nutshell. The Celtics run Perkins backdoor, he gets swatted, the refs take a couple of minutes to figure out who should have the ball, the Celtics run the EXACT SAME PLAY and Perkins gets a layup.
— Interesting. The Wizards have Caron Butler on Ray Allen , which leaves Dominic McGuire on Paul Pierce . Pierce just dusted McGuire who can’t possibly be expected to be able to hang with Pierce for the whole game. There are serious mismatches available to the C’s right now (Mike James  on Rondo, Andray Blatche on Kevin Garnett ), but McGuire on Pierce may be the biggest.
— Blatche is hurt. He’s holding what looks like his ankle. This is really bad for Washington. The only good thing about being 6-24 is that the Wiz get an extended look at players like Blatche (and McGuire
and Javarris Crittenton, etc). Blatche is going back to the locker room.
— The only question tonight is, how much?
— Pierce 13, Washington 12.
— Doc is going to the bench a little bit early tonight. He’s got Baby, Leon and Scal in there already. I think this is the right play, even if Washington comes back a little bit. He’s got to manage some minutes over the next 30 games or so.