Celtics, John Wall
The Wizards' John Wall has been dominant in the series so far. Getty Images
Wizards guard John Wall has been in the NBA since 2010 but it’s taken seven years for him to have an official coming out party in the playoffs. Wall has arrived this postseason, and so far in the Washington – Boston series, he’s been more consistent than Celtics star Isaiah Thomas.
Thomas had that monster 53-point outburst in Game 2, but in Game 3 he scored just 13 points and on Sunday night in Game 4, he tallied 19. Nineteen is a good night for most, but Thomas has raised the bar on his own offensive game this season.
Meanwhile, Wall dropped 40 in Game 2, had 24 in Game 3 and 27 in Game 4. He’s also had double-digit assist games in three of the four games this series.
Wall was equally as impressive last round. In the Wizards’ six game series against the Atlanta Hawks, the 26-year-old Wall averaged 29.5 points per game and 10.3 assists per game.
He has been on fire for a month now.
In this series, the Wizards have shown that they’re capable of containing Thomas. Unfortunately for Celtics fans, the C’s haven’t shown the ability to be able to contain Wall in the four games thus far (Game 5 Wednesday night at TD Garden).
During the regular season, the Celtics had some success against Wall. In the Celtics’ 117-108 win in Boston on Jan. 11 (which involved the memorable Jae Crowder – Wall finger pointing and slap session), Wall scored a season-low nine points.
The excuse emanating from Washington after that ugly performance by Wall (4-of-21 shooting) was that he was dealing with a “jammed finger” and a “sore wrist.” The injury hardly affected him three nights later though when he dropped 25 on Philly.
Nonetheless, whatever worked for the Celtics four months ago against Wall and the Wizards is not working now. They need to find a solution and find it fast.
The C’s made some great adjustments in their series against Chicago, particularly when it came to the Bulls’ top scorer. In the final four games of the series (all Celtics wins), the Celtics made Jimmy Butler shoot just 29-69 from the field and Butler went an ugly 2-for-13 from the 3-point line. Avery Bradley was given much of the credit for coming up big against Butler in Games 3-6 of that series, and he will again have to play a critical role in stopping the opposing team’s best player in this series, or else the Celtics will be on summer break by this time next week.
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