Celtics versus Wizards Series Recap: A long and contentious series

Celtics versus Wizards Series Recap: A long and contentious series

Kelly Olynyk scored 26 points off the bench to help Boston edge out Washington in an epic Celtics versus Wizards series.

The Celtics versus Wizards series wasn’t exactly the best Eastern Conference semis matchup in the playoffs. However, it has proven to be one of the most memorable and physical. Altercations between Kelly Oubre and Kelly Olynyk. The Celtics dressing in black for Game 6. All of these served to highlight the grudge that both these teams had for each other.

The Celtics benefited from their home court advantage

While the Celtics versus Wizards series was indeed competitive, it also became very predictable. The fact of the matter is, both these teams were evenly matched. Isaiah Thomas was unstoppable for the Celtics and came up with the team’s clutch points. With that said, the Wizards had no problems matching Boston’s firepower. John Wall and Bradley Beal proved they were one of the best offensive backcourts in the NBA. Despite not being as efficient like in the regular season, Wall still presented Boston with a lot of problems. For one, he was extremely fast and always pushed the pace. Beal on the other hand, was there to pick up the slack when his backcourt partner struggled with his shooting.

Indeed the only problem that these two teams had was the fact that they played differently on the road. The Celtics still played gritty defense but their offense usually suffered. This became evident in that epic Game 6 were their bench scored a measly 5 points. As for the Wizards, they were more or less the same. Their over-reliance on their starters resulted in limited playing time for their bench. This got exacerbated even more when the team played road games. In game 7 with their season on the line, the Wizards bench stank to high heavens. Their bench points amounted to only 5 points, all of which came from Bojan Bogdanovic. In contrast, the Celtics got 26 from Kelly Olynyk alone.

Isaiah Thomas versus John Wall

Another revelation for this Celtics versus Wizards series was Isaiah Thomas performance. The mercurial guard was simply too much for the Wizards defense, especially down the stretch of games. A lot of people were discounting Thomas because of his height. However, that hasn’t stopped him from dominating in late game situations.

Sure, John Wall also had a great series. The problem though was that he wasn’t as consistent as Thomas was. In fact, you’d only need to look at Game 7 to see what I’m talking about. Wall had to bleed for his 18 points and couldn’t clutch it out when it mattered. Of course, we should also credit Celtics for the kind of defense they put up against the All-Star. Boston dared Wall to shoot the the three-pointer all game. Never mind the fact that he shot the game winning 3-pointer in Game 6. The Celtics wanted Wall to shoot and shoot he did. He only managed to make 1 of the 8 3-pointers he put up. Thanks to this, he dragged down what was a great shooting night for the Wizards.

On to the next: Celtics versus the Cavaliers

Even though the Celtics versus Cavaliers series is over, Boston still has a lot to work on. They’re next going up against the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers. Unlike the Wizards, the Cavs are a playoffs tested team with an absurdly deep roster. While they managed to get by the Wizards series thanks to home court advantage, it’s going to be different against Cleveland.

One of the reasons for concern against the Cavs is none other than Lebron James. The Celtics should have no problem covering Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. Against the King though, Jae Crowder and/or Jaylen Brown just won’t be enough. And if they opt for multiple coverage against James, he can just as easily pass to an open Irving or Love. There’s no doubt that the Celtics versus Wizards was tough for Boston. However, this Eastern Conference Finals series against the Cavaliers will be totally different.

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