Home » Blog » NBA playoffs: Wall, Wizards push Celtics to Game 7

NBA playoffs: Wall, Wizards push Celtics to Game 7

The Boston Celtics showed up to the Verizon Center on Friday night dressed in all black. They were preparing for a funeral. They didn’t get one.

Instead, the Celtics had a front row seat to the John Wall show, which concluded with the point guard nailing a game-winning 3-pointer with three seconds remaining, giving the Washington Wizards a 92-91 win. Wall was bad throughout much of the contest. He only hit on 9-of-26 from the field in 42 minutes, albeit his eight assists can’t be discounted. Yet it was Wall, the player many believed was too relaxed in the early stages of his career, who hit the big shot in the huge moment.

For much of the contest, it was his co-star Bradley Beal who took over. Beal scored a game-high 33 points, hitting on 15-of-26 from the field to help push this Eastern Conference semifinal to the limit. With the other three semis long decided, the Wizards and Celtics have the stage to themselves for an all-or-nothing Game 7 on Monday night.

After the game, it was Wall in front of reporters, telling all who would listen that Boston pregame attire played into the Wizards’ motivation to force another affair, per ESPN.

“It was just funny to me. It was kind of copy-catting what we did,” said Wall, whose Wizards donned dark outfits before a regular-season game between these teams that are building a rivalry. “It was in my mind throughout the game that I didn’t want them to come here, wear all black, and basically call it a funeral.”

While it is hard to believe Wall was thinking about what the Celtics wore coming into the arena while on the court, it shows a lack of maturity from a Boston team long on talent but short on resume’. The Celtics in their current form have won exactly one playoff series, and that came a week ago, in six games, against the eighth-seeded Chicago Bulls. Boston has plenty of growing up to do, even though the core of its team — Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford — are not young kids but established veterans.

Should Washington win on Monday, it would mark something significant for a franchise long left in the wilderness. The Wizards have only won a single title in franchise history, back in 1978 when they were the Bullets, and defeated the Seattle Supersonics. The next year, Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes returned to the Finals, only to lose in seven games to Seattle in a rematch. In other words, Wizards fans are starved for a true contender, let alone a champion.

With one more win, either the Celtics or Wizards will get their shot at the champs. Monday should be something special.

  • 100%