Green Street
A WEEI.com Celtics Blog
WEEI.com Blog Network
Posts related to ‘Washington Wizards’
Celtics-Wizards Game 7 draws record TV rating in Boston 05.16.17 at 1:12 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off on Celtics-Wizards Game 7 draws record TV rating in Boston

Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics with 29 points Monday. (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics with 29 points Monday. (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

It looks like Boston is buying into the Celtics. 

According to Turner Sports, Game 7 between the Celtics and Wizards was the highest-rated TNT game ever in Boston, drawing a massive 18.1 number. The contest drew a 5.4 overnight rating for the network, the best for a non-conference finals game since 2012. 

The extraordinary viewership for Monday’s contest is a testament to the drama of the series and the apparent affinity Celtics fans feel for their team. There was a lot of animosity between Boston and Washington, which climaxed when members of the Celtics wore black prior to their Game 6 showdown in Washington –– copying a gimmick the Wizards used in the regular season. Game 7 came down to the wire, too, with the Celtics pulling away after massive fourth quarters from Isaiah Thomas and Kelly Olynyk. 

Though it’s unlikely the Celtics will push the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals, they’ve now won two playoff series for the first time since 2012. With the draft lottery Tuesday, this has a chance to be a banner week for the franchise. People are paying attention. 

Read More: Boston Celtics, Washington Wizards,
After Game 7 thriller, can Celtics give LeBron James, Cavaliers a real run for it? at 12:17 am ET
By   |  Comments Off on After Game 7 thriller, can Celtics give LeBron James, Cavaliers a real run for it?

Kelly Olynyk channels Larry Bird, scoring 14 of his playoff career-best 26 points in a stunning fourth-quarter display while Isaiah Thomas was his typical brilliant self, scoring 29, as the Celtics put away the Wizards in Game 7. Not much time to savor as LeBron James and the Cavs are up Wednesday in Game 1 of the Eastern finals. Mike Petraglia and Josue Pavon recap an electric night at TD Garden.

Read More: 2017 NBA finals, Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Isaiah Thomas
Kelly Olynyk, Jaylen Brown help Isaiah Thomas, Celtics vanquish Wizards in electric Game 7, move onto LeBron James 05.15.17 at 10:42 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off on Kelly Olynyk, Jaylen Brown help Isaiah Thomas, Celtics vanquish Wizards in electric Game 7, move onto LeBron James
May 15, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) shoots the ball over Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) during the first half in game seven of the second round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Isaiah Thomas shoots the ball over Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal in a tense Game 7 at TD Garden Monday night. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Bring on LeBron.

In a series filled with dramatic swings in momentum and emotion, the Celtics outlasted the Wizards, 115-105, Monday night in a tense Game 7 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series at TD Garden. 

“It was ridiculous, I don’t think this building reached that level, since I’ve been here at least,” Brad Stevens said of the TD Garden crowd. 

“It’s good to be able to validate the progress but it’s about the next game,” Stevens said of reaching the Eastern finals in his fourth season. 

Kelly Olynyk put up a playoff career high of 26 points off the bench – including 14 in an amazing fourth-quarter display – while Isaiah Thomas was his usual electric self with 29 points as the Celtics can now get ready for Game 1 of the Eastern finals against the defending champion Cavaliers Wednesday night in Boston. 

“Kelly was the MVP tonight,” Thomas said. 

“They’re playing better than last year, at least when I watch them,” Stevens said of the Cavaliers. “I think they’re playing better than any of the four times we played them, including the last time when they smashed us.”

The heroics of Olynyk and Thomas offset a playoff career-best 38 points from Bradley Beal in a losing cause. 

The reason the Celtics advanced was simple: They had more in reserve. Specifically, their bench gave them a boost that the Wizards just didn’t enjoy. 

The group of Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and Kelly Olynyk gave the Celtics the luxury to rest the likes of Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley and Al Horford. 

When when Thomas and Horford were on the court in the fourth quarter, they put away Washington in dramatic fashion. Thomas and Horford dominated. John Wall looked like a superstar entirely out of gas. Wall couldn’t do it all and Washington’s awful bench was his and the team’s ultimate undoing. 

The Celtics’ bench outscored Washington’s reserves, 48-5. 

For the Wizards, their Eastern finals drought continues. They haven’t been to the NBA final four since 1979 when they beat the San Antonio Spurs to advance to the NBA finals against Seattle. The home team won all 11 meetings this season. 

The Celtics advance to the Eastern finals for the first time since 2012, when they also faced LeBron James and fell in a seven-game thriller to the Miami Heat. The Celtics continued their dominance of the Wizards in Boston, beating Washington for the ninth straight time, dating to 2014. 

With an electric Game 7 atmosphere not seen in TD Garden for a Celtics game since beating the 76ers in 2012, the Celtics took advantage of the thunderous crowd. 

Washington missed five of their first six shots while the Celtics hit three of their first six, including a wing three that ignited the crowd and caused Scott Brooks to call his first time out. 

Otto Porter’s put back with seven minutes left ended Boston’s 7-0 run that helped the Celtics to a 10-2 lead. That started a run for the Wizards, which included Amir Johnson picking up his second foul. Another Achilles heel of the Celtics revealed itself in the first seven minutes, as four turnovers led to seven Wizards points. 

(For a complete boxscore, click here.) 

With the game tied at 17, rookie Jaylen Brown came off the bench to spark a 7-0, including a 3-pointer and a pair of free throws. The Wizards again responded with a run that featured Amir Johnson picking up his third foul with a minute left in the opening quarter. The Celtics picked up some momentum when Kelly Olynyk drove to the basket for a layup and was fouled with 5.7 seconds left. Olynyk made the free throw and the Celtics took a 27-23 lead into the second period. 

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2017 NBA Playoffs, Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, Game 7
John Wall lifts Wizards over Celtics with dramatic 3 to force Game 7, takes shot at Celtics postgame 05.12.17 at 10:51 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off on John Wall lifts Wizards over Celtics with dramatic 3 to force Game 7, takes shot at Celtics postgame

May 12, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) is fouled while dribbling the ball by Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat (13) in the first quarter in game six of the second round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Isaiah Thomas is fouled while dribbling the ball by Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat (13) in the first quarter in game six of the second round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Verizon Center. (Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports)

So close. But still so far. 

John Wall’s rainbow from 26 feet over Avery Bradley fell through the basket with 3.5 seconds left to give the Wizards a 92-91 win over the stunned Celtics in Game 6 Friday night at the Verizon Center. 

The prayer of a three sets up a Game 7 Monday night at TD Garden as the Wizards become the first home team to win an elimination on their home court in 11 tries this postseason. 

Isaiah Thomas’ desperation three at the buzzer clanged off the rim to set up the second Game 7 of these NBA playoffs. 

Al Horford’s bad angle bank shot with 7.7 seconds broke a tie and appeared to have sent the Celtics to the Eastern finals against LeBron for the first time since 2012. But instead, a winner-take-all Game 7 will decide matters in the Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Wall was ice-cold for the first three quarters before heating up when it mattered most. He and Isaiah Thomas reprised their Game 2 battle with each taking turns making big shots down the stretch. Thomas and Wall each had 10 points in the fourth quarter. But the difference might have been Beal, who scored 13 of his game-high 33 in the final period. 

The Celtics came dressed to kill in all black wardrobes on their way to the locker room, something not unnoticed by Wall, as he spoke to ESPN’s Lisa Salters moments after the game-winning shot. 

“I ain’t going home. Don’t come to my city, wearing all black, talking about a funeral,” Wall said. “We worked too hard for this. All we ask for is a Game 7, 50-50.” 

“Great shot by a great player,” Brad Stevens said of the Wall game-winner. “We’re going to guard it as hard as we can. We’re going to shake his hand and move on.” 

The Celtics were led by Thomas and Bradley, each pouring in 27 while Horford had 20. In addition to Beal’s 33, Wall scored 26 for the Wizards, who are now one win from their first Eastern finals appearance since 1979. 

Despite shooting just 4-for-17 in the first quarter and getting manhandled in the paint, the Celtics were able to stay close, trailing just 22-17 heading into the second quarter. 

Down 26-19 in the second quarter, the Celtics scored the next seven points, capped by an Avery Bradley three. 

(Click here for a complete box score of Game 6)

The Celtics caught another big break when Wizards big man Marcin Gortat picked up his third personal foul with 7:27 left in the first half. 

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2017 NBA Playoffs, Boston Celtics, Bradley Beal, Isaiah Thomas
How Avery Bradley and Al Horford took apart the Wizards in Game 5 05.10.17 at 11:59 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off on How Avery Bradley and Al Horford took apart the Wizards in Game 5

Avery Bradley was lights out in the first half and Al Horford was everywhere throughout Game 5 as the Celtics blew out the Wizards, 123-101, Wednesday at TD Garden. Mike Petraglia and Josue Pavon break down the win and look ahead to a close-out chance in Game 6.

Read More: 2017 NBA Playoffs, Al Horford, Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics
Avery Bradley torches the Wizards, leads Celtics to brink of Eastern finals at 10:25 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off on Avery Bradley torches the Wizards, leads Celtics to brink of Eastern finals

May 10, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley (0) drives to the basket against the Washington Wizards during the first quarter in game five of the second round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Avery Bradley dunks against the Washington Wizards during the first quarter in Game 5 Wednesday at TD Garden. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports)

Avery Bradley lit the fuse Wednesday and the Celtics exploded in the faces of Washington Wizards. 

In a relentless display of up-tempo, transition basketball and long-range sharp shooting, the Celtics ran the Wizards into oblivion Wednesday night, 123-101, in Game 5 at TD Garden to take a 3-2 series lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The Celtics can close out the Wizards and advance to the Eastern finals against LeBron James and the Cavaliers with a win Friday in Game 6 in Washington. 

With the likes of Patriots coach Bill Belichick, Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Julian Edelman and LeGarrette Blount in attendance courtside, the Celtics were intent on returning the haymakers the Wizards delivered in Games 3 and 4. They didn’t disappoint, and it was Bradley doing most of the damage. Bradley had a new career playoff high by halftime and finished with 29 points, taking a lot of pressure off Isaiah Thomas, who came out with four minutes left and finished with 18 points and nine assists. Al Horford chipped in with 19 points and seven assists.  Marcus Smart was the biggest contributor off the bench with nine points, 11 rebounds and six assists. 

“I just thought we all came out with a better sense of purpose today than we probably did in those games (in Washington), but, you know, sometimes you feel a lot better when you make shots at the rate we did, and we’ll go back and look at the film and there are areas where we need to improve and get ready for Friday,” Brad Stevens said.

“We just wanted to impose our will. We were definitely the harder playing team tonight. We want that to (be the case) Friday night,” Isaiah Thomas said. “We limit 26-0, 22-0 runs, we’ll be OK.” 

“Avery was on fire,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. “We didn’t have the focus we needed tonight. We’re trying to get to a Game 7. We have to play a lot better in Game 6.” 

It wasn’t just offense either. John Wall (21 points) and Bradley Beal (16) struggled badly from the field, combining to connect on just 14-of-36 shots. 

“We didn’t shoot the ball well tonight,” Brooks added. “Did they make us miss or did we miss a lot of shots? Our started were 4-for-17 from three. We had an off shooting night. Avery was on fire, Al was terrific. We had no answer for those guys. We did a good job on their best player but not enough on the other guys.”

The Celtics continued the home dominance between the two teams this season. Including four regular season games, the home team has now captured all nine meetings by an average of 15 points per game. The Wizards will have to hold serve Friday just to force a Game 7 next Monday in Boston. 

The last two games featured the sight of Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford on the bench, sitting in stunned silence, watching as the Celtics were blown out of the building. On this night, it was John Wall and Bradley Beal who spent most of the fourth quarter on the bench staring at the jumbotron, as the Celtics built their lead to 26. 

The Celtics were again blistering from beyond the arc, draining 15 of their first 29 long-distance field goals. They finished 16-of-33 from deep. 

In a dramatic flip of the script, the Celtics were the ones who went on a massive run that provided separation. And they did it in the first quarter, no less. After allowing the Wizards to score the first four points of the game, the Celtics responded with the next 16 to take a 16-4 lead. 

Bradley was monstrous in the first quarter, hitting 6-of-8 from the field and scoring 14 points in the opening period. Bradley was the key to the Celtics in transition in the first, as he scored 9 of his 14 points before the Wizards could get back, three of them coming on dunks. 

The Celtics outscored the Wizards, 13-0, in transition as the took a stranglehold of the game. The Celtics led 33-21 after 12 minutes and this time they didn’t allow a 12-point lead to immediately wither away like they did in Game 4. 

Jae Crowder’s three from the right wing put the Celtics up 18, 41-23, with 9:51 left in the second quarter. Crowder banked in a three with seven minutes left in the quarter to give the Celtics a 48-26 lead. 

(For a full box score, click here.)

As was the case with Kelly Olynyk in Game 4 in D.C., the crowd waited for Kelly Oubre to come into the game so they could chant his name. He made one of two free throws with 9:30 left in the first half as the Wizards struggled to get back into the game. Oubre was making a return to the series after being suspended for Game 4 after his charge at Olynyk that knocked the Celtics’ big to the ground. 

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2017 NBA Playoffs, Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, NBA
Brad Stevens announces that Amir Johnson will start Game 5 for Celtics vs. Wizards in NBA playoffs at 1:53 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off on Brad Stevens announces that Amir Johnson will start Game 5 for Celtics vs. Wizards in NBA playoffs

Amir Johnson

Amir Johnson

Brad Stevens is sticking with Amir Johnson for Game 5 against the Wizards.

Appearing on sister station 98.5 The Sports Hub on Wednesday, Stevens said that he’ll maintain the same starting five he used in Sunday’s Game 4, which the Wizards won on the strength of a 26-0 run in the third quarter to tie the series at 2-2.

That means leaving the much-maligned Johnson in the lineup, alongside guards Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley, forward Jae Crowder, and big man Al Horford.

Johnson is averaging 3 points and 1.7 rebounds a game during the postseason. He has been overwhelmed by bigger, quicker players against both the Bulls and Wizards.

Starting doesn’t guarantee him big minutes, however. He has averaged just 9.7 minutes a game in the postseason, and Stevens will pull the plug quickly if he’s not playing well.

Is Stevens making the right call? On Tuesday, I made the case for Jaylen Brown to start over Johnson in an attempt to bring more athleticism to the floor.

 

 

Read More: Amir Johnson, Boston Celtics, NBA playoffs, Washington Wizards
Celtics Box Score
Celtics Schedule
Celtics Headlines
NBA Headlines