Washington went 30-11 while playing in the nation's capital during the regular season. Yet, Boston is hounding Wall and Beal in much the same manner; there weren't any public gripes from them after Games 1 and 2.
LeBron James Awaits Winner of Celtics/Wizards - The Wizards and the Celtics continue their Eastern Conference semi-final series Wedensday night, MAy 10th tied two games a piece.
In typical "Belichickian" fashion, we're on to Game 5 on Wednesday.
For this edition of the Mailbag, I looked at how things have changed since the series moved to D.C, and how the return of Ian Mahinmi has assisted, that courtesy of @Rjjkgold. But Stevens said he is set to go for Game 5.
So, Lakers coach Phil Jackson made several strategic adjustments for the playoff series: Instead of letting Kobe do all the shooting, he asked him to distribute the basketball more, asking others to look for their shot. All early signs pointed to the Celtics avenging their blowout loss in Game 3. They forced eight Celtics turnovers in that span for 19 points off turnovers, all with excellent defense. Blame for Boston's letdown is widespread, but Thomas might be most culpable. Avery Bradley had 4 turnovers while Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart had two apiece. "If we can get it out of his hands we have the best opportunity to win the game", added Porter Jr. But the Washington Wizards have tried just about everything against the Celtics guard, and Thomas hasn't always adjusted well to the additional attention coming his way.
Let's be real, the Wizards are a damn good basketball team.
The only Wizards' players that need to be constantly kept in check are Bradley Beal and whoever Thomas is defending. But that one win was a 115-99 victory at Atlanta in Game 6 of the first round - in a game that saw the Wizards blow a big lead before rallying again down the stretch behind John Wall.
Wall is a top tier point guard. You play for home court advantage for this exact reason, because the fans can pick you up even when you're not at your best. I've been here for four years with him, watched him play, and I think he's playing at a really good level right now.
John Wall of previous years might've shied away. They are both petrified of Thomas and banking on Boston not having enough secondary playmaking juice alongside him.
However, if the Wizards win and make things 2-2, the momentum would suddenly be with them, and heading into a best of three competition with the wind in their sails, many would begin to make them favorites to take the series.
"Just make it tough for him".
The off-ball foul that preceded Thomas's technical in the fourth quarter is exactly what Beal and the Wizards were getting away with for the game's majority. We know that we have the ability to win there. Al Horford is second on the team with 15.5 points per game this postseason, and he's totaled 16 points or fewer in his last three games. The Wizards are a team that likes to turn basketball games into track races.
Coach Scott Brooks called it the Wizards' best stretch this season, crediting defense for making it all happen. "Hopefully, the other guys miss shots like they've been doing". The Celtics will alleviate some of these concerns in Game 5 as they are clearly a different team in the TD Garden, but the city of Boston can only stay on this endless seesaw of emotions for so long.