Thursday, 14 November, 2019

The Boston Celtics face their toughest test against the Washington Wizards

Vera Richards | 16 May, 2017, 07:45

The Celtics must find a way not to let the bitterness of Game 6 trickle into Game 7, to make sure one crushing night doesn't contaminate another.

"I think our mindset in 2012 was just to leave everything out there on the floor". "I wouldn't call it smooth sailing at all". The most recent example came a week ago when the San Antonio Spurs beat the Houston Rockets by a stunning 39 points, doing so without Kawhi Leonard or Tony Parker. They came out and challenged us heavy, put a nice little run together. You say there's so-called minute-and-a-half or two-and-a-half-minute timeouts, those are usually four-and-a-half minutes. "He's not anxious about his stats, he's anxious about winning the game". "We've got to capitalize off that and start Game 2 a lot better".

Washington's Ian Mahinmi, who was part of the 2014 Indiana Pacers' team that eliminated Washington in the East semifinals, said both Wall and Bradley Beal have matured a lot since then. The Washington Wizards are averaging 108.3 points on 45.8 percent shooting and allowing 107.5 points on 45.3 percent shooting. Thomas, who was also contained most of the night, scored 10 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter.

Somehow, these unusually careless, cold-shooting Warriors found a way to keep their unblemished postseason record alive at 9-0.

The Celtics lost to the Wizards in Game 6 in Washington on Friday, which tied up the series to three games a piece. Beal led all scorers with 33 points to go with 5 assists.

Leonard first went down after stepping on a teammate's foot along the bench after taking a shot. They've gone 7-for-31 on those shots and managed only three free throws. This was the first win by a home team facing elimination on its court in these National Basketball Association playoffs.

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"It's a tough break". The same can be said of the Celtics' Bradley or Horford, as each has had significant contributions. "So we couldn't react to his absence".

Although the Wizards may have the momentum heading into Boston, recent history isn't on their side. It was Bradley's only Game 7.

"I wear black all the time", Thomas said. "I've worked too hard to be scared of any type of pressure". Since then, the team has made the playoffs each year. To wit, for the series, the Celtics have forced the Wizards to shoot 55.3% of their shots either very tightly contested or tightly contested; by comparison, Boston takes 46.1% of their shots contested.

This season is important for the Celtics team.

Back in early January, several Celtics and Wizards players were involved in a heated altercation on the court after Jae Crowder hit John Wall in the face on a play. These two teams have hated each other during the regular season and it's been no different in these six games. In addition to Game 7 on Monday, the draft lottery in which the Celtics will receive no worse than the fourth pick via the Brooklyn Nets is Tuesday, ahead of what they hope will be Game 1 of the conference finals against the champion Cavaliers.

In Washington, the drought has been much longer. Brooks helped lead OKC to a victory in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals in 2010-11 and a win in Game 7 of the first round back in the 2013-14 NBA Playoffs. In the words of All-Star Isaiah Thomas, Game 7 is where legends are born, such as Bill Russell, Larry Bird, and John Havlicek.

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