After both the Wizards and Celtics had tough first round series, they have a date with destiny against one another for the right to play in the Eastern Conference Finals. There is no love lost between these two teams and that should play into one hell of a series.
I am looking forward to this series way more than what should be a complete massacre by the Cavaliers against the Raptors. The Wizards and Celtics do not like each other and there is a year-plus of animosity built up to this crucial seven-game series for both of these hungry young teams.
Both of these teams would not be setback by a loss in this series and both have everything to gain. Once you throw that into the mix of dislike these two teams have for one another, you have what could be a very chippy series.
Last year John Wall and Marcus Smart started this whole thing by getting into it and this season there have been several incidences of distaste that boils onto the court between these two. John Wall got poked (I can’t believe I’m mentioning it either) in the nose by Jae Crowder the last time they played and Smart has gotten into some minor altercations with Bradley Beal too.
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The Sharp Pick
All of this is great, but how can we profit off of such a series. The typical notion is that the referees are going to have to take control of the series early and call things pretty tight. This could lead to many more foul shots and with the pace that these two should play at, we could see some higher scoring games.
Or they could live at the free throw line all series and the officiating could end up like the Wizards’ last series. For better or worse though, that favors the Wizards.
I love Isaiah Thomas, but John Wall is the better player and Bradley Beal is as good or better than the C’s next best player, Al Horford. If it comes down to a battle between the Celtics and Wizards’ third, fourth and fifth best players along with the benches, I like the Wizards here.
Washington brought in two huge moves at the deadline to shore up their bench in Brandon Jennings and Bojan Bogdanovic and these two guys gives them a big leg up over the Boston bench. After Marcus Smart, who will play a key role in this series, the Boston bench doesn’t have much. Kelly Olynyk is a great player, but in this series, it’s going to be a guard series.
Boston does have the better core of guards, but Washington also owns two of the best three guards in the series. They are going to be a problem for the Celtics inside and despite not having home court, I see Wall taking it upon himself to lock in on Thomas and taking advantage of what will be a mismatch somewhere when Thomas is on the court.
I suspect Smart will be in the game early if Wall is torching Thomas, but even when Smart is in with Avery Bradley defending the Wizards’ two best guards, that means Thomas is going to have to be defending Otto Porter.
Even with the move to go smaller in the starting lineup, the Celtics’ are vulnerable to losing a home game even though they are the ones who had the rest. If that happens and the Wizards are able to steal home court, I like them to take the series.
Free NBA Pick: Wizards +140 Best Line Offered: at BetOnline