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Game 6 Preview: Boston Celtics vs. Washington Wizards

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Well, that was anticlimactic.

Following a Game 5 in the San Antonio/Houston series that proved to be the most exciting and most competitive of the second round, the congruent swing match in the Washington/Boston series proved to be quite a bit less interesting. The Wizards got drubbed by 22 points, John Wall had his worst came of the playoffs and Boston finally looked every bit the 1-seed they constantly have been accused of not deserving.

That was pretty much it.

Boston was awesome, frankly, led by Avery Bradley, who scored a playoff career-high 29 points, 25 of which came in the first half. Al Horford could do no wrong, shooting 8-for-9 from the field, including 3-for-4 from three-point range. Here’s the real kicker—and get ready for this—the Celtics actually outrebounded the Wizards 48-45, something that played a huge role in Boston controlling the pace and scoring a ton of points on fast breaks.

Wall limped his way to 21 points on 7-for-17 shooting and didn’t get much help from the rest of his team. Any Game 5 is integral in a 2-2 series, and Washington blew their shot to steal that critical lead. Now Game 6 is a must-win at home, and the Celtics don’t look anywhere near as vulnerable as they did in their first two games of the playoffs against the Chicago Bulls.

This has been a heated, angry series, but Game 5 didn’t feature a whole lot of emotion. Washington has an edge when they’re all fired up, so that has to be their goal in Game 6. The Wizards have to play bigger, and they have to slow down Boston’s impeccable ball movement.

There are no more secrets in this series. Everything’s on the table, and if the Wizards don’t play with more strength and more emotion, their goose is cooked.

Who Wins Game 6?

By the same token, this series feels destined to go seven games. Expect Wall and the Wizards to ramp things up at home in the elimination game. Washington should win Game 6, and goodness only knows how a Game 7 in Boston would play out.

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About Joel Brigham

Joel Brigham

Joel Brigham is a senior writer for Basketball Insiders, covering the Central Division and fantasy basketball.