The Celtics came to Washington a few days ago wearing all black, dressed in their “funeral” attire as they attempted to close out the series and end the Washington Wizards’ season. In the closing seconds of the game, John Wall did not let that happen.
I’m pretty sure this song was playing all across D.C. that evening.
The series of the 2017 NBA playoffs will end tonight as the Celtics and the Wizards’ bitter rivalry will culminate in the playoffs’ second Game 7 of the year. Game 6 was incredible, or at least the conclusion was, as the Celtics and the Wizards battled back and forth with clutch bucket after clutch bucket.
Notes for tonight’s game
- Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley, as well as Al Horford, have been starring for the Celtics throughout this series. In the last two games, Avery Bradley has been balling out the last two games, scoring 29 and 27 points while shooting over 50 percent in each game.
- If John Wall is going to go down tonight, he will certainly go down chucking. He has shot over 20 attempts in almost every game this series, taking 25 in two of the last three games. His usage this playoffs has skyrocketed to 32.6!
- The Wizards bench is still a problem, which is no surprise considering they had one of the worst benches in the league during the regular season. The Wizards starters have a net rating of -0.2 this playoffs, while their bench’s net rating is -15.7. That is hard to overcome.
- The home team has won every game this series and in Game 4 the Wizards inexplicably laid down and did not seem to give their full effort in an important playoff matchup. The Wizards’ defensive effort has waxed and waned throughout the series, but they will certainly be giving it their all tonight.
- In Zach Lowe’s recent article about the Wizards-Celtics series, he rightfully places a lot of the success that the Celtics have had on offense on the Isaiah Thomas-Al Horford pick-and-rolls that defenses struggle with so much. There is no real good answer when the defense is put in that difficult situation, especially if there are other shooters spreading the court. This sort of high pick-and-roll combo is becoming the crunchtime staple for the best teams in the NBA and is probably the de facto question in regards to lineup construction.
- Who on the Celtics is going to step up tonight? The bevy of role players on the team have seen their roles and playing time shift throughout the series. While it is great that the Celtics have so many options with the lineups they construct, their lack of a real crunchtime final five must make cohesion challenging. Terry Rozier, Marcus Smart, Amir Johnson, Jaylen Brown, Gerald Green, and Kelly Olynyk have all played important minutes this series, but it is hard to know who will be counted on tonight.
- Finally, the most important question, what are the Wizards going to be wearing?
This is the game thread for tonight’s game.
Happy chatting away!