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Kelly Olynyk saved the Celtics in Game 7 like no one expected

19 Mai 2017

A victory for either team brings them to the Eastern Conference Finals and a matchup against LeBron James and the reigning champion, Cleveland Cavaliers. Game 6 was incredible, or at least the conclusion was, as the Celtics and the Wizards battled back and forth with clutch bucket after clutch bucket. Cleveland lit up IN and Toronto from deep (NBA-best 43 percent through eight games), but expect the Cavs to struggle at times IN the series from downtown. Boston is an extremely tough place to play and the Celtics have so many rotations they can use in various scenarios. Olynyk was a flawless 8-for-8 on field goal attempts inside the arc in Game 7 and a ideal 6-for-6 on contested field goal attempts.

Cleveland rolled through the Detroit Pistons and Atlanta Hawks in the first two rounds of last year's postseason before encountering some trouble against the Raptors in the Eastern Conference Finals. Two minutes into the fourth quarter, the Wizards were down 13 on Isaiah Thomas' three-pointer. Game 7 is an entirely different kettle of fish, however.

"It's great. You always talk about it". They offered support as he played in the first round despite his sister's death in a vehicle accident, and they powered through when Washington evened the second-round series at 2 by effectively containing Thomas' usual scoring punch. Now in his 14th National Basketball Association season, James values rest for his body now perhaps more than he has the rest of his career.

Finally, the most important question, what are the Wizards going to be wearing?

Isaiah Thomas used to imagine what it would be like to play in a Game 7 as he watched some of the NBA's biggest names cement their legacies on the league's biggest stage.

227.7. If things stay true to form, these two teams should have a high-scoring, entertaining set of games, even if the Celtics have no real chance at winning the series. The only loss came at the hands of Boston's superstar in Thomas, throwing all logic out the door when he put on a performance for the ages with a 53-point showcase in honour of his late sister in Game 2. He is averaging 27.9 points in the playoffs, and Beal is averaging 23.8 points. The Second Big Three of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen lost to Miami in Game 7 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Semifinals.

NOTES: Celtics coach Brad Stevens, who borrowed a Bill Belichick line pregame by telling his players to "do your job", on his team's mindset coming in.

The NBA playoffs have been a favorite's delight so far.

Wall and Thomas also have had their supporting casts come through. Avery Bradley will be tasked with slowing down Kyrie Irving, with Al Horford on Love and Thomas guarding sharpshooter J.R. Smith. John Wall looked like a superstar entirely out of gas. When Bradley Beal was going off, Smart took the assignment to shut him down and turned the game on his head.

Beal and Wall, who combined for 59 points in Friday's Game 6 victory, need to be on their game from the start.

Bradley Beal got 38 points for the Wizards but their campaign comes to a disappointing end. "Throughout the series, the home team's bench seemed to play really well". Heading home will make it easier for the Celtics to shake their brutal finish in Game 6. "Just being in the role that I've been, I'm just trying to take advantage of it, and I think I have".

By this point, the Celtics know what the Wizards want to do, and the Wizards know what the Celtics want to do.

The deciding factor in this game may be whether or not Boston will be able to limit Gortat on the glass. If the Celtics embrace the moment the right way, and find that TD Garden magic that has been there for every championship core, then there may not be anything the Wizards can do.

This is the game thread for tonight's game.

The future may be bright for Boston, but the cruel reality for the team's present day is the team is about to get swept.

Kelly Olynyk saved the Celtics in Game 7 like no one expected