Two blowout games and a nail-biting finish have led to a Game 7 between the Washington Wizards and Boston Celtics, who played three games in a crazy week.

Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) shoots over Washington Wizards guard John Wall (2) during the second half of Game 6 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series, Friday, May 12, 2017, in Washington. The Wizards won 92-91. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

To say the series has been back and forth would be underselling the drama that’s flowed through all six games. This series has seen it all: a suspension-inducing shoving match, a 50-point game from Isaiah Thomas, and a clutch game-winning three-pointer from John Wall. The Wizards/Celtics series has definitely been the most entertaining matchup of the postseason so far.

Despite their top-ranked finish in the regular season, Boston has had its hands full with the Washington Wizards. No matter, what happens in Boston on Monday, the Wizards can build upon this year’s playoff run. Perhaps Washington can give the awaiting Cleveland Cavaliers a tougher matchup than the Celtics, but it won’t matter. Neither Washington or Boston appear strong enough to stop LeBron James from making a seventh straight Finals appearance, and their looming Game 7 may only determine who gets to be the runner-up in the Eastern Conference.

Monday’s game will be the Washington franchise’s first Game 7 appearance since 1979, a sharp contrast to the decades of postseason glory the Celtics have enjoyed. But despite all the banners that outfit Boston’s TD Garden, nobody on the Celtics’ current roster has had any input on those titles. Wall, Bradley Beal, Marcin Gortat and Markieff Morris are just as new to playoff success as Boston’s Thomas, Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder.

Washington hasn’t played well on the road in this series, while Boston has dominated at home. The Celtics will be favored at home and the Wizards will need herculean performances from both Wall and Beal to leave Boston as winners. The Celtics wore all black to Game Six at the Verizon Center, an attempt to get revenge on the Wizards for wearing all-black “funeral” attire to one of the teams’ regular season matchup in January. With Game 7 on the horizon, both teams can safely wear all black, as one team will see their season come to an end.


Stephen D. Riley

Special to the AFRO