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Wizards, Celtics Move on, Clippers-Jazz on to Game Seven

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Today is a day without basketball. Strange.

NBA: Playoffs-Washington Wizards at Atlanta Hawks Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Saturday.

For the first time since the playoffs started, there will be no basketball played.

Two series ended last night, with the Wizards finishing off the Hawks in Atlanta and the Celtics cruising past the Bulls in Chicago.

In Atlanta, the Hawks made a big comeback to get close in the second half after going down big early, but the Wizards responded behind monster games from John Wall (42) and Bradley Beal (31) and won going away, 115-99. As has been true for much of the series, the Hawks turnovers did them in. They coughed it up 22 times, with 16 of those being Wizards’ steals.

Now the Hawks have to figure out what they are going to do. Their best player, Paul Millsap, will opt out of his contract, and they have significant money tied up in Dwight Howard, Dennis Schroder, and Kent Bazemore. It’s decision time. I think it’s time for them—I’d probably try to move Bazemore, and maybe even see if there is a decent market for Schroder, though he’s only 24 years old. We’ll see.

The Wizards meanwhile are moving on to the second round, where they will face the Celtics beginning tomorrow in Boston. Neither team is getting much rest between series, as the C’s also just finished the first round last night with a blowout win over a Bulls team that frankly looked like they just wanted it over.

The Celtics were hot from three early, which opened up lanes and the Bulls offered no resistance defensively as Boston built a huge lead. It reached 30 points in the third quarter as the Bulls had very little going offensively outside Jimmy Butler in isolation, and this was never really a contest. After dropping the first two of this series at home and looking pedestrian, the Celtics found their footing and reeled off four in a row. It’s going to be a tough turnaround for them, with a noon start tomorrow, especially given that Isaiah Thomas flew to Washington after the game for today’s funeral.

Only one first round series is going the distance after the Clippers grinded out a win in Utah last night to send it back to L.A. for a game seven, which will take place tomorrow afternoon. The Jazz shot the ball very poorly, and simply couldn’t generate enough offense in a 98-93 final. Chris Paul as always led the Clips, and their bench corps outplayed the Jazz reserves in this one, which made the difference. It was an impressive win without Blake Griffin and on the road; the Clippers had excuses to lose, but instead came up with a big win.

This is an open thread. Since it’s Saturday and I’m feeling lazy, no history or music today.

You get what you pay for.

Talk about things.