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Kyrie Irving owns a championship ring and a signature shoe deal, all the trappings of an elite superstar in this league. But in a sense, Irving coveted the one thing he didn’t have, something that belonged to John Wall. A chance to be The Face of The Franchise.
In the Washington Wizards-Boston Celtics Christmas Day matchup, the pair of point guard contemporaries meet for the first time since Irving has the role he’s always wanted after spending the previous three years as LeBron James’s running mate with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The rivalry between the Wizards and Celtics may have shifted, but this Christmas game should enliven the duel between the two best point guards in the Eastern Conference.
ABOUT THE WIZARDS (18-15): Scott’s recent accuracy has been among the most notable aspects of Washington’s season, and he rebounded from a rare off night to make 7-of-8 shots – including his one 3-point try – against the Magic. “Healthy, confidence, work on my game a lot,” he told reporters when discussing the hottest stretch of his six-year career. “With a lot of repetition comes confidence.” Excluding a 3-for-8 effort in the loss to the Nets, Scott is 60-for-80 in a nine-game span while making more than half of his 27 3-point attempts.
ABOUT THE CELTICS (27-9): Kyrie Irving and Jaylen Brown scored a combined 45 points and made 9-of-13 3-pointers in Saturday’s win. Irving has made 23-of-48 triples over a five-game span and is averaging 28.5 points over his past 11 outings. “I think that’s the one thing that gets lost in all the handles and all the different moves and the plays that end up on YouTube, is how – how skilled he is shooting the ball,” Stevens said. “He’s just a tremendous shooter. He’s got beautiful touch. He doesn’t miss when you’re just doing shooting without defense. He’s an elite shooter. So it doesn’t surprise me when he goes on runs. Almost like you take for granted how good he is.”