Celtics Talk Podcast: How much is Bradley Beal's injury a factor vs. Celtics?

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Celtics Talk Podcast: How much is Beal's injury a factor vs. Celtics? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards will play at TD Garden in the NBA play-in tournament Tuesday night, and all eyes are on Bradley Beal.

The Wizards superstar shooting guard finished the regular season as the league's second-leading scorer at 31.3 points per game. He also dominated against the Celtics, scoring an average of 40.7 points in three matchups.

But he's currently nursing an injured hamstring, one that he admitted "probably won't be 100 percent" against the C's.

In the latest episode of NBC Sports Boston's Celtics Talk Podcast, our Chris Forsberg talked with NBC Sports Washington's Wizards insider Chris Miller about Beal's situation.

"On Sunday, I didn't think he should have played. He just didn't look right in the first half," Miller said. "I think he started 0-for-6. Defensively he just wasn't there, and I just didn't like his body language. And then something happened in the second half, especially in the fourth quarter where he just said, look, I'm a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest but I'm going down on my own swords. Here I am. And he performed at a high level. He had a Willis Reed moment."

Celtics Talk Podcast: View from D.C.: Wizards a scary opponent, plus Hall of Fame Mike Gorman | Listen & subscribe | Watch on YouTube

"Now, what does that mean against the C's? He is nowhere near 100 percent, so I'm curious to see how Brad (Stevens) and the group attacks him," Miller added. "Charlotte tried, but they're just a young team. This Boston team is just like the Wizards. They're a desperate group, and you've still got Marcus Smart, and you have that bad man Jayson Tatum."

The Hornets don't really have the elite one-on-one defenders to slow down a scorer of Beal's caliber. The Celtics, on the other hand, have a couple. Smart is the best option to throw at Beal, and Tatum also is a good one because of his size and length.

Beal, even at less than 100 percent, is capable of having an explosive scoring game and leading the Wizards to victory against almost any opponent. 

How the Celtics defend him, and whether they are successful, could be the determining factor in which team wins Tuesday's game. The matchup really is that important.

Also in the new episode: Forsberg talks to NBC Sports Boston's Celtics play-by-play legend Mike Gorman about going into the Hall of Fame later this year as a Curt Gowdy Award recipient.

Check out the latest episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast on your favorite podcast app or watch it on YouTube below.