Hours after Boston Celtics players wore all black to Game 6 in Washington, D.C.in an abortive attempt at a funeral for the Wizards' season, Avery Bradley has doubled down on gamesmanship ahead of Game 7. Even though Wall has been superior statistically, it hasn't mattered as much to the results as Thomas' performance.
Washington Wizards forward Markieff Morris (5) and Boston Celtics center Kelly Olynyk, left, fight for a rebound during the second quarter of Game 7 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series, Monday, May 15, 2017, in Bos.
"I don't care how well I played", Beal said afterward. It was the Celtics' offensive efficiency and roster depth that ultimately won them the series. He rattled home an open three to start the run and made winning plays all over the floor to keep it rolling. For as much fun as it was to see Olynyk play out of his mind on Monday night, Boston is well aware that level of play from their third big man is not sustainable. He would play 28 minutes, scoring 26 points on 10-14 shooting, collecting five rebounds and dishing out four assists.
Boston has been damn near begging for Olynyk to be an aggressive, in attack mode scorer that a player with his skills has the potential to be. Boston shot 40.5 percent from the field and finished 11 of 35 on 3-pointers. Hedo Turkoglu and Dwight Howard had different plans as the Magic outscored the Celtics 35-21 in the fourth quarter of that one, en route to a 101-82 victory and a date with LeBron's Cavs in the ECF.
The Wizards were bidding for their first trip beyond the second round since 1979.
Washington's Ian Mahinmi, who was part of the 2014 Indiana Pacers' team that eliminated Washington in the East semifinals, said both Wall and Bradley Beal have matured a lot since then.
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"Don't come to my city wearing all-black talking about it's a funeral", Wall said. However, this is his first Game 7 experience and it would be only human for him to have some jitters.
Washington had its moments to steal Game 7 on the road, but inherent sloppiness at the end of the third quarter allowed Boston to take a sizable lead through the rest of the game. "So it's a not a satisfied season to me".
Beal was 0-for-7 from beyond the arc before hitting a three-pointer late in the fourth to pull the Wizards within 2, 87-85.
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The Wizards' win continues a home court advantage pattern in the season series between the two teams.
It has been an ugly series and the bad blood between the two teams dates back tot he regular season. If they do hold on for the Game 7 win, it will be the furthest that any Washington team, Bullets or Wizards will have gone in the NBA Playoffs, aside from their sole Finals appearance against the Warriors in 1978-79.