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3 adjustments to make in Game 6 — Washington Wizards

13 May 2017

"So it's a great opportunity for us tonight, and I know that if we come out playing the same way we played last game, we'll have a chance to be smiling, laughing, just like we were after the Chicago series".

Boston will try to buck those trends at the Verizon Center tonight, while trying to continue another one.

In Boston's three wins Bradley has constantly crowded Wall, tormenting him with an assortment of stabs and pokes at the ball, while also cutting off his driving lanes.

"We have to stay in the moment", Isaiah Thomas said of Game 6. Not only are they facing elimination, but even if they win Game 6, they know that they are 0-5 in Boston, the site of Game 7 if there is one, since the start of this season.

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Fan support and familiarity with the court can help explain why teams perform better at home, however if there's a far deeper meaning behind a home-court advantage, then Brooks has yet to find one. Avery Bradley scored 25 of his 29 points in the first half and fueled a 16-0 run in the first quarter that gave the Celtics all the breathing room they needed. That wasn't the case, as Boston answered Washington's 4-0 start with a 16-0 run and that was essentially the ballgame.

The Celtics have been whopped on the road in both games this series, but controlled their home court to pull ahead of the Wizards 3-2. The Thunder were eliminated by the Rockets at Houston in Game 5 of the first round.

Series: Celtics lead 3-2.

It all happened because the Celtics got off to a quick start, which Boston wasn't able to do over the first four games of the series. Despite the skepticism that their inability to defend against Horford as the primary ballhandler was not a fatal blow, it really does come down to who wins the transition race. Look for a dominant game from Wall to will his team to a victory while extending their playoff lives to a Game 7 in Boston. Shooting guards Beal and Bojan Bogdanovic combined to go 8-of-26 from the floor - 1-of-8 from beyond the arc - in the loss. He's also averaging over 10 assists per game, although he was held to a playoff low four assists in Game 5 on Wednesday. One again, it's something we're accustomed to seeing from Curry. No other player in the starting five for Boston can create his own shot. Wall looked timid for much of the evening, and Horford played a big part in that. Isaiah Thomas scored 29 of his playoff career-high 53 points in the fourth quarter and overtime and was the difference down the stretch. The Wizards 3-point shooting has been a problem in the playoffs, with the team down at 32 percent through 11 playoff games after hitting 37 percent during the regular season. So rather than light up the scoreboard on Wednesday, a hard task with a pair of defenders on him at all times, IT did just about everything else to make sure his teammates could put the ball in the hoop.

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Now as his teammate, Horford has an even greater appreciation for what he provides. It was obvious when Bradley scooted by John Wall on the baseline and Jae Crowder experienced success diving straight to the rim.

That tactic only works if other players on the Celtics can step up and make shots, of course. It's often excessive and downright frustrating, but it's one of their deadliest weapons.

"They kind of surprised us", Wall admitted afterward. But rather than preventing a layup or dunk, he pauses at the free throw line to prevent Thomas from pulling-up from the 3-point line. A bad word at a sporting event - the horror! Through the six road games, opponents shoot 49.4 percent against the Wizards, who are 1-5 in those games. Maybe they'll have something clever for him instead of just booing every time he touches the ball, but after Wednesday night's outrage at Boston's potty mouths, it will probably be something cordial and respectful.

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3 adjustments to make in Game 6 — Washington Wizards