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Scores and Series Updates:
Washington 105 – Boston 115
Boston wins the series 4-3
Takes, Takes, TAKES:
1) The Kelly Olynyk Game? The Kelly Olynyk Game.
Folks I can’t see real good is that Lawrence Joseph Bird over there?
26-5-4. 10 of 14 from the field. 14 points in the fourth. Damn near unstoppable from the jump last night.
Kelly goddamn Olynyk.
Basketball is so weird.
2) John Wall just ran out of gas.
Look… not everyone is Lebron James. The minutes catch up to guys. With the pace that today’s game is played and the responsibility placed on the top guys, it’s damn near impossible to play forty minutes a night and sustain that type of energy. Russ ran out of gas. Harden ran out of gas. And last night that moment came for John Wall.
That’s what happens when you’re asked to run the offense, start the break, AND chase Isaiah freakin Thomas around for almost 40 minutes a night. Washington had no depth at the guard position and, while it’s clearly hurt them plenty of times this season, last night we saw the long-term repercussions of not being able to sit Wall more than two minutes at a time.
I’m not trying to excuse Wall from any blame here. When you want to be seen as the best point guard in the game and a real MVP candidate and a genuine superstar–all things he has a legitimate claim too–you can’t come out and lay an egg like that in the fourth. You just can’t. The moment was there. It was right fucking there. And Wall started settling for awful threes on his way to a goose egg in the fourth. He took some major steps this season, and he’ll come back even better because of this. But that was bad.
But you can still criticize Wall while also acknowledging the failure on the part of Ernie Grunfeld to find real backcourt depth in a league with so much guard talent, choosing instead to spend SIXTEEN MILLION A YEAR on a bad backup center in Ian Mahimni. And also on Scott Brooks for not giving more, excuse me, ANY time to Kelly Oubre last night to spell Wall for a little bit defensively. Zero minutes for Kelly Oubre in game 7 will go down as one of the weirder coaching decisions of the playoffs thus far.
3) The Celtics have a roster full of gamers. The Wizards do not.
The difference in the game was, more than Olynyk’s transcendent night or Wall’s goose egg in the fourth, the performance of the 3 through 7 guys on each roster. Isaiah and Horford, Wall and Beal, you knew those guys would bring it for the most part. The difference was what each team could get from the rest of the roster. Washington got an incredible Otto Porter game, a quality Morris game on the offensive end despite a putrid defensive performance, and absolutely NOTHING else. Literally nothing.
On the flip side, Boston got everything from their 3 through 7 guys. Bradley and Crowder were solid as hell. Jaylen Brown gave them an awesome 20 minutes of effort and energy. Marcus Smart hit some monster shots to compliment a great defensive performance. And Olynyk obviously had the game of his life.
Brad Stevens had his rotation set, his guys ready, and pushed all the right buttons. Scotty Brooks had no answers and basically just hoped Wall and Beal would carry them over the top. And while the talent of those two is usually enough to carry them over the top, it’s the bench guys and rotation players stepping up that usually carries teams over the top come Game Seven. Boston had five gamers step up. Washington had one and a half. That was the difference.
Washington got one win last night…
Around The Association:
Draft Lottery coming up tonight. Lot of extremely pessimistic Knicks thoughts coming later today. Can’t wait.
Schedule for Tuesday, May 16th:
NBA Draft Lottery
ESPN Tuesday 8:30
San Antonio @ Golden State (GS -14)
Golden State leads 1-0… Game 2 @GS… ESPN Tuesday 9:00
Schedule for Wednesday, May 17th:
Cleveland @ Boston (CLE -3.5)
Series tied 0-0… Game 1 @BOS… TNT Wednesday 8:30