Game 1 was a tale of two halves, as the Washington Wizards jumped out to a 16-0 lead in the first quarter and maintained the lead in the first half but completely crumbled in the second half. Led by a barrage of three-pointers from Jae Crowder, the Boston Celtics offense exploded in the second half. What do the Wizards have to change heading into Game 2?

Markieff Morris' injury status

The most important factor for Washington heading into Game 2 is Markieff Morris' health. He injured his ankle late in the first half of Game 1 and never returned. The injury looked rather serious, but he is considered a game-time decision for Game 2.

Morris' presence is crucial in many ways. First of all, without him, someone else from the bench will have to step into the starting lineup, which takes away from the depth of the second unit. Also, the Wizards frontcourt is already thin with Ian Mahinmi out and Jason Smith playing through a leg injury of his own. Lastly, Morris' floor spacing and offensive production is highly needed in this series. They cannot afford to lose a solid offensive weapon.

John Wall vs. Isaiah Thomas

It should be another pleasurable battle between the two All-Star point guards, as John Wall and Isaiah Thomas both had enormous Game 1 performances. Wall notched a double-double with 20 points and 16 assists, but the two stats that stood out the most on the box score were his eight turnovers and two free-throw attempts.

Wall has to be clean with the ball and must attack the basket a lot more than he did in Game 1 to draw fouls.

Meanwhile, Thomas poured in 33 points and nine assists, including five triples and only had two turnovers. Thomas was far more efficient and went to the line seven times as well. His ability to breakdown Washington’s defense in the second half using high screen and rolls resulted into Boston’s second half offensive eruption.

Washington’s three-point defense

In Game 2, the Wizards must fix their horrendous three-point defense. If the Celtics are going to play small by starting Marcus Smart, then Washington must counter to matchup. Otherwise, Thomas will continuously breakdown the defense and find open teammates around the perimeter.

Three-point shooting was the biggest difference in Game 1, as the Celtics were a plus-27 from that range, shooting 48.7 percent.

Boston’s ball movement

The Boston Celtics accumulated 32 team assists, and their center Al Horford had 10 of them to lead the way. The ball movement was flawless, and it again goes back to Thomas’ ability to shakeup the defense to find open teammates. Boston will look overwhelm the Wizards with its beautiful passing once again. It’s up to Washington to have more versatile defenders on the floor to be able to rotate better defensively.

Game 2 is set at 8 pm Eastern Time at TD Garden and will be televised on TNT. Can the Wizards steal one on the road?

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