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Celtics (2-0) at Wizards (0-2) Round 2 Game 3 5/3/17
« on: May 03, 2017, 10:18:08 PM »

Online FLCeltsFan

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Boston Celtics (2-0) at Wizards (0-2)
Playoff Game #9, Road Game #4
Thursday May 4, 2017
8:00 PM ET
TV: ESPN
Radio: 98.5 Sports Hub, WFED 1500 AM
Verizon Center



Probable Starting Matchups
Point Guard
vs
Isaiah Thomas vs John Wall

Shooting Guard
vs
Avery Bradley vs Bradley Beal

Small Forward
vs
Jae Crowder vs Otto Porter

Power Forward
vs
Amir Johnson vs Markieff Morris

Center
vs
Al Horford vs Marcin Gortat





Celtics Reserves

Jaylen Brown
Terry Rozier
Jonas Jerebko
Kelly Olynyk
Demetrius Jackson
Jordan Mickey
James Young
Tyler Zeller
Marcus Smart
Gerald Green

Injuries
Avery Bradley (hip pointer) probable

Head Coach
Brad Stevens


Wizards Reserves
Bojan Bogdanovic
Brandon Jennings
Sheldon McClellan
Chris McCullough
Daniel Ochafu
Kelly Oubre Jr
Thomas Satoransky
Jason Smith
Trey Burke

Injuries
Ian Mahinmi (calf)  out
Jason Smith (calf)  probable
Markieff Morris (ankle) probable
Otto Porter (elbow) probable

Head Coach
Scott Brooks

Game Notes

The series shifts to Washington with the Celtics leading 2-0.   In the regular season,  both teams won on their games on their home court, including the infamous funeral game by the Wizards in DC.  The Wizards were 30-11 at home during the regular season.  The Celtics were 23-18 on the road during the regular season.  The Celtics won 3 games on the road in the first round against the Bulls.  The Wizards won three games at home in the first round.

The Wizards are 5-2 in their last 7 home games against the Celtics, including 2-0 against the Celtics in this year's regular season.  However, the Celtics were missing key players in each of their regular season games against the Wizards while the Wizards were pretty much at full strength. 

Avery Bradley left Game 2 with a hip pointer but returned to finish the game.  He was limited in practice but is expected to play in game 3.  Brad Stevens went back to Amir Johnson in the starting lineup for Game 2, however after another slow start, he quickly replaced him.  With Stevens seeing the need to get off to a better start, he may once again tinker with the starting lineup.  Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart are two possibilities as are Jonas Jerebko or Kelly
Olynyk. 

Markieff Morris started game 2 in spite of a badly sprained ankle in game 1.  There has been speculation that Markieff's identical (right down to identical tattoos)twin, Marcus, may have played in place of his injured brother but I'll just leave that there.  Jason Smith has been dealing with a calf injury.  Otto Porter landed on his elbow in game 2 and it was slightly swollen but all 3 are expected to play.  Ian Mahinmi is listed as out. 

Key Matchups
vs 
Isaiah Thomas vs John Wall
What a matchup this was in game 2 with Isaiah scoring 53 points and Wall adding 40 of his own.  It was the first time in league history that that has happened in a playoff game.  Expect Isaiah to cover Portis, who is the least threat of Wall, Beal and Portis.  Avery, Marcus, Jae or Terry will more than likely cover Wall who is a threat to score on every possession.   He will be comfortable at home and so the Celtics will need to stay on him defensively to keep him from going off again. 

vs
Avery Bradley vs Bradley Beal
Bradley Beal averaged 24.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 2.0 steals per game so far in this round.  He scored 27 points in Game 1 but just 14 points in Game 2.   The Celtics need to once again defend him well to keep him from having a big game in this one.  Limiting Beal and Wall is key to winning this game. 

Honorable Mention
Al Horford vs  Markieff (or Marcus) Morris
Although Horford may be on Gortat rather than Morris, these two players are definitely key to the fortunes of their respective teams.   After Morris came down on Horford's foot in game 1 and turned his ankle, Morris said he felt that Horford did it on purpose to injure him.   Game 2 began with Morris throwing Horford out of bounds into the media with no foul call from the referee who stood right next to the play.  With 5:24 left in the 4th quarter of Game 2 Morris also threw an elbow at Isaiah's head after IT hit a shot in the paint, again with no call from either referee watching the play.  Morris has now called for his teammates to be more physical and play tougher and I can see him injuring a Celtic in order to get back at them for what he perceives to be dirty play by the Celtics. 

Keys to the Game
Defense - The Celtics need to make defense a priority.   Defense wins games.   They especially need to contain the Wizards' talented back court.    The Celtics can't depend on hitting 19 threes or having IT go for 53 points every game and so they have to limit the Wizards' scoring.  The Wizards shot 50.6% from the field and 43.5% from beyond the arc in Game 1 and the Celtics did better in Game 2 holding them to 46.5% from the field and 29.4% from beyond the arc.  The Celtics will need to do even better on defense to get a win on the road. 

Be Aggressive
- The Celtics need to be the more aggressive team from start to finish.  They need to be aggressive in going to the hoop, in crashing the boards, in fighting for loose balls and in running the court.  They also have to be more aggressive on defense.  They have to be the team that wants it more.  They allowed the Wizards to jump on them out of the gate in both games so far, but they finished the games being more aggressive.  They need to play harder at the start and be more aggressive until the final buzzer. Morris is calling for his teammates to be more aggressive and play tougher and so the Celtics may need to increase their effort even more.   

Rebound - In the first meeting between these two teams, a Celtics loss, the Celtics were out-rebounded 54-31 by the Wizards.  In the 2nd meeting, a Celtics win, the Celtics out-rebounded the Wizards 45-44.  In the third game, a loss, the Celtics were again out-rebounded 43-32.  In their 4th meeting, a Celtics win, the Celtics out-rebounded the Wizards 54-39.  It isn't a coincidence that the team that won each game had the rebounding edge.  In Game 1, the Celtics and Wizards both finished with 38 rebounds. In game 2, the Wizards out-rebounded the Celtics 44-41.  The Celtics have to put out the extra effort to grab rebounds and match or exceed the Wizards efforts on the boards if they want to get a win in this game.

Focus -  The Celtics at times can shoot the lights out and other times can't hit the broad side of a barn.  Much of that has to be their focus on taking good shots and taking their time with their shots and not rushing them.    They need to take care of the ball and focus on making good passes and not give the Wizards extra possessions and fast break points by turning the ball over. 
The Celtics must stay focused and play team basketball and not allow the Wizards, their crowd,  or the Refs to take them out of their game.

Reserves - The Celtics have the stronger bench and so players like Marcus Smart, Kelly Olynyk, Terry Rozier, Jaylen Brown, and Jonas Jerebko must produce for the Celtics when they come into the game.  They did a great job of outplaying their counterparts in the first two games and must do so again in this game.   The Celtics' reserves must play good defense as well as hit their shots and give the Celtics an advantage when the starters go to the bench. 


X-Factors

On the Road -  The Celtics won't have the incredible Garden crowd behind them in this one.  They will have to play through a hostile atmosphere and overcome the inconveniences and the distractions of playing on the road.  The Celtics have played fairly well on the road this season and they have to continue that in this game.  They won all 3 road games against the Bulls and they have to have that same mindset to go after this game as well. 

The Little Guy
- The Celtics depend on Isaiah Thomas to lead the team.  He led the team with 33 points in Game 1 after getting in at 4 am from his sister's funeral.  He lost a tooth and kept on playing.  After 11 hours of oral surgery on Monday, he came into Game 2 and scored 53 points on what would have been his sister Chyna's 23rd birthday.  Hopefully he can keep up his superhuman exploits in this game as the Celtics need him.   

Officiating -  Officiating is always an x-factor. How the refs call the game has a big influence on how the teams play. Will they let them play or call every little bit of contact? Will they call it evenly or will they favor one team or the other. Will they be influenced by the home crowd?  It all effects the outcome of the game and most importantly, the Celtics need to adjust to the way the officials call the game.   
 

Re: Celtics (2-0) at Wizards (0-2) Round 2 Game 3 5/3/17
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2017, 10:25:24 PM »

Offline tarheelsxxiii

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"As far as playing, I didn't care who guarded me - red, yellow, black. I just didn't want a white guy guarding me, because it's disrespect to my game."
-Larry Bird

Re: Celtics (2-0) at Wizards (0-2) Round 2 Game 3 5/3/17
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2017, 10:25:50 PM »

Offline Monkhouse

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Second.

We win this and it's ovaaaaaaahhhhhh!!!!
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Re: Celtics (2-0) at Wizards (0-2) Round 2 Game 3 5/3/17
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2017, 10:26:23 PM »

Offline Ogaju

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Lets Go Celtics !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TP FlCF.

Re: Celtics (2-0) at Wizards (0-2) Round 2 Game 3 5/3/17
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2017, 10:26:38 PM »

Online FLCeltsFan

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TP to tarheelsxxiii and Monkhouse for posting first in the game thread!   

Gooooooooooooooooooo Celtics!!!!

Re: Celtics (2-0) at Wizards (0-2) Round 2 Game 3 5/3/17
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2017, 10:33:24 PM »

Offline slamtheking

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TP for another great game thread FL

Re: Celtics (2-0) at Wizards (0-2) Round 2 Game 3 5/3/17
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2017, 10:33:42 PM »

Offline Vox_Populi

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If Amir starts, I hope he has a big game.

Re: Celtics (2-0) at Wizards (0-2) Round 2 Game 3 5/3/17
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2017, 10:38:45 PM »

Offline jpotter33

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If Amir starts, I hope he has a big game.

Brad should have his head checked if Amir starts again this series.
Quote from:  Ron Swanson
It's never too early to learn that the government is a greedy piglet that suckles on a taxpayer's teet until they have sore, chapped nipples.

Re: Celtics (2-0) at Wizards (0-2) Round 2 Game 3 5/3/17
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2017, 10:43:00 PM »

Offline Eddie20

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If Amir starts, I hope he has a big game.

Brad should have his head checked if Amir starts plays again this series.

Fixed.

Sidenote: What is the matchup that Amir is actually playable in? Talk about falling off a cliff!

Re: Celtics (2-0) at Wizards (0-2) Round 2 Game 3 5/3/17
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2017, 10:44:11 PM »

Offline Ogaju

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If Amir starts, I hope he has a big game.

Brad should have his head checked if Amir starts plays again this series.

Fixed.

Sidenote: What is the matchup that Amir is actually playable in? Talk about falling off a cliff!

lol you guys are funny.

Re: Celtics (2-0) at Wizards (0-2) Round 2 Game 3 5/3/17
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2017, 11:10:55 PM »

Offline max215

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If Amir starts, I hope he has a big game.

Brad should have his head checked if Amir starts plays again this series.

Fixed.

Sidenote: What is the matchup that Amir is actually playable in? Talk about falling off a cliff!

Local men's league?
Isaiah, you were lightning in a bottle.

DKC Clippers

Re: Celtics (2-0) at Wizards (0-2) Round 2 Game 3 5/3/17
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2017, 11:12:19 PM »

Online hwangjini_1

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First page!   These days that is I can hope for. You guys are fast. :o

Thanks flc. So far your game threads have produced 6 straight victories. Number7 is almost upon us.

Tp for everyone here, especially flc.



Gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Celtics!
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Re: Celtics (2-0) at Wizards (0-2) Round 2 Game 3 5/3/17
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2017, 11:20:36 PM »

Offline jpotter33

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If Amir starts, I hope he has a big game.

Brad should have his head checked if Amir starts plays again this series.

Fixed.

Sidenote: What is the matchup that Amir is actually playable in? Talk about falling off a cliff!

I was thinking about that earlier. He could play and start against Cleveland's frontcourt, though I feel like he'd be absolutely killed on switches and the PnR to the TT alley-oop.

I'd prefer to stay smaller with Al at center to give us more overall spacing, but I could see Brad going back to him if we make it to the next round and play Cleveland.
Quote from:  Ron Swanson
It's never too early to learn that the government is a greedy piglet that suckles on a taxpayer's teet until they have sore, chapped nipples.

Re: Celtics (2-0) at Wizards (0-2) Round 2 Game 3 5/3/17
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2017, 11:36:00 PM »

Offline saltlover

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If Amir starts, I hope he has a big game.

Brad should have his head checked if Amir starts plays again this series.

Fixed.

Sidenote: What is the matchup that Amir is actually playable in? Talk about falling off a cliff!

I was thinking about that earlier. He could play and start against Cleveland's frontcourt, though I feel like he'd be absolutely killed on switches and the PnR to the TT alley-oop.

I'd prefer to stay smaller with Al at center to give us more overall spacing, but I could see Brad going back to him if we make it to the next round and play Cleveland.

I think Amir gets some run against Thompson in the next round.  TT will wear Horford out over the entire game.  Also, it's tougher to play small, since Crowder needs to be LeBron's primary defender, and you need someone to guard Love.  Obviously Olynyk can do that some of the time, but we'll probably want Amir at least occasionally.

Re: Celtics (2-0) at Wizards (0-2) Round 2 Game 3 5/3/17
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2017, 12:13:01 AM »

Offline BringToughnessBack

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Is it game time yet? Can't wait for our winning streak to continue..day 7 for me being in game threads!!! Go Celtics!