The Boston Celtics will advance to Eastern Conference Finals after beating the Washington Wizards, 115-105, in Game 7 on Monday night at TD Garden. Isaiah Thomas, who led the Celtics with 29 points and 12 assists, praised Kelly Olynyk for his outstanding performance and called him Game 7’s MVP.
“Kelly was the MVP tonight,” Thomas said. Kelly Olynyk posted a new playoff career-high 26 points together with 12 rebounds on 71.4 percent shooting from the field and 33.3 percent from beyond the arc. Olynyk exploded in the fourth quarter, dropping 14 points to help the Celtics reach the next level.
Wizards’ defense focused too much on Isaiah Thomas
As expected, the Washington Wizards became more aggressive in stopping Isaiah Thomas on the offensive end. However, their decision to focus their defense on Thomas resulted for other Celtics players to get easy shots. Kelly Olynyk was one of the players who managed to take advantage of the situation where he’s noticeably getting lots of open shots in the game.
“They were putting a lot of attention on [Thomas] — a lot of attention — and he was putting us in great spots,” said Olynyk. “Then, we’re playing 4-on-3, and if they don’t want to run at you or try to run at you too hard, you’ve got to be able to make a basketball play. They weren’t going to let him make plays at the end, they were going to make other people do it so someone had to do it.”
Bradley Beal stepped up for the Wizards with 38 points, four rebounds, two assists, and two steals. John Wall, who helped the Wizards force a Game 7, posted a double-double with 18 points and 11 assists. However, he only shot 34.8 percent from the field and 12.5 percent from beyond the arc.
Eastern Conference Finals: Boston Celtics vs Cleveland Cavaliers
With the victory, the Celtics will advance to the Eastern Conference Finals to face the defending NBA champions, Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavaliers easily beat their opponent in the first and second round, giving them plenty of time rest and prepare. Coach Brad Stevens urges his players to double their efforts if they don’t to be the Cavs’ next casualty.
“They’re tremendous,” Stevens said. “They’re the defending champs. I think they’re playing better this year than they did last year when I watch them at least. … I’ve seen them play before. We played them four times. I think they’re better than any of the four times we played them, including the last one where they smashed us. We’re going to have to play really well.”
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Video courtesy: Youtube/FreeDawkins