May. 09, 2017
Celtics' back-to-back blowout losses in Washington have been both shocking and self-made
When the Celtics won game 3 to take a 2-0 series lead over the Wizards, I didn't think Washington was cooked but I thought the Celtics still had control of the series. I figured Washington would play better and take a close game at home but felt the C's would still have a series lead going into Wednesday's game 5 at the Garden. But I didn't see the Celtics getting absolutely pummeled in back-to-back games, suddenly looking at a tied up round 2 series. What happened to this team on the flight from Logan Airport to D.C?
Coming off a game 3 116-89 ass kicking at the hands of the nations capital, the Celtics actually got off to a good start for the first time all series in game 4. They had a 53-48 lead early in the third quarter, and it looked like the Celtics had control of this one. Then, the car didn't just run out of gas, the car got kicked in, windows and all. The Wizards then took the game and the series back in just six minutes behind a 26-0 run. It was both the Wizards running away with it and the Celtics giving them a push. Even though it was sloppy Celtics basketball, the Wizards' stars did step up. John Wall was a threat on both ends of the floor, scoring 27 with 5 steals. And Bradley Beal scored a game-high 29 point on 11-16 shooting. But the Celtics committed 8 turnovers during the run, including back-to-back shot clock violations and went 0-5.
In both of these embarrassing series changing losses in Washington, the Celtics have let the Wizards go on big runs. Throughout the series, the Wizards have had runs of 26-0, 22-0, and 16-0. So no Isaiah Thomas, the refs had zero to do with how this game turned out at all. If the Celtics can't find an answer for these types of dominating runs, they'll have no chance of making it to the next round. The key to these runs by the Wizards are the Celtics just not taking care of the ball. The Celtics have 36 turnovers in the last two games, and they seem to come more when the game begins to get away from them.
Isaiah Thomas also hasn't been the same since his heroics in game 2, when he scored 53 points in the overtime win on his late sister's birthday. Thomas only scored 13 points in game 3 and 2 points in the second half of game 4, finishing the game with 19. Avery Bradley looks like he has cooled off too, but his hip pointer injury could be bothering him. He only scored 5 points in game 4 and hasn't had a steal in the last two games. Bradley had 7 steals in games 1 and 2 combined.
I'm not panicking yet if I'm a Celtics fan, but the fashion that these losses have come by have been startling. It has me quickly rethinking of them giving the Cavs a run for their money in a potential trip to the Eastern Conference Finals. It has me even rethinking of them making it that far at all. We all knew the Wizards were too good to be swept, but the Celtics have let this one turn into a toss up of a series. A loss in game 5 could be the final blow to the Celtics playoff run.