Washington fights back at home.
With a win in Game 6 over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday, the Washington Wizards earned a second-round date with the No. 1-seeded Boston Celtics. It’s the next installment of a season-long rivalry that will reignite some of the bad blood between the two sides from the regular season.
The Wizards and Celtics don’t like each other. First John Wall forearm shoved Marcus Smart into the ground. Then he and Jae Crowder got into a poking match after a game. It led to Boston police standing between the two locker rooms as the Wizards and Celtics jawed back and forth after their Jan. 11 matchup.
In their following game, the Wizards players arrived in all black everything. The reason? Wall said the game was "a funeral," and Washington buried them, 123-108.
Boston also won out on the Al Horford sweepstakes, signing him to a max contract during a free-agency period where Washington was also courting him.
"He's a perfect fit," Crowder said, according to MassLive. "That's what we were telling him. He had Washington and some other teams looking at him, but we beat them four times this year. You don't want to go there."
Game 1: Boston 123, Washington 111 (recap)
Game 2: Boston 129, Washington 119 (recap)
Game 3: Washington 116, Boston 89 (recap)
Game 4: Washington 121, Boston 102 (recap)
Game 5: May 10, 8 p.m. @Boston (TV: TNT)
Game 6: May 12, 8 p.m. @ Washington (TV: ESPN)
Game 7: May 15, 8 p.m. @ Boston (TV: TNT)*
* if necessary
Key Matchup: Avery Bradley vs. Bradley Beal
Celtics vs. Wizards is undoubtedly a showdown between two All-NBA-caliber point guards. But the battle at the shooting guard spot between Beal and Bradley could prove even more important.
Wall and Thomas are going to get theirs, but Bradley’s ability to lock down his assignment could hamper Washington’s second-leading scorer. Beal is having the best season of his career and has a size advantage over the Boston stopper. That mismatch hasn’t stopped Bradley in the past, however, and the Celtics will need him to come up big on both ends to push past an impressive Wizards squad.