Besides the final two games in the Celtics/Wizards series, every game in the playoffs have been a blowout (average margin of victory remained above 15 points for most of the first two rounds). Forgetting the fact that 2017 has featured some of the worst playoff basketball, there were some notable moments.
(2) Cleveland Cavaliers vs. (4) Toronto Raptors
The Cavs destroyed the Raptors in 4 games which felt like was last played a week ago (9 days to be exact). The Raptors lost Lowry in game 2 after he collided with teammate Norman Powell. The Raptors went on to lose that game by 23 points and he didn’t play again in the series.
The Raptors are a good team that will likely fall apart in free agency this off season, but I hated watching them. They are similar to the Clippers, a team loaded with talent who never got close to reaching their potential. The punchable faces of Lowry and Valanciunas didn’t help much either.
LeBron is playing the best basketball he has ever played. In the 8 games of the playoffs so far he is averaging 34.4/9.0/7.1 on 47% shooting from the three point line and 56% overall. After getting fouled in game 1 LeBron jokingly grabbed a beer from a vendor and pretending to take a swig. In game two he was so comfortable he spun the ball in his hand as if he were at the free throw line and drained the deep shot in the face of Ibaka. Carrying that momentum on 10 days rest will result in a crater where the TD Garden currently is in Boston. The Celtics have zero chance of beating the Cavs.
(1) Boston Celtics vs. (3) Washington Wizards
It took 7 games for the Celtics to squeak by the Wizards. The deciding factor in the series was the bench play (the Wizards bench was outscored 48-5 in game 7). If the Wizards had any kind of a bench they would have been able to defeat the Celtics.
John Wall played insane in his 13 playoff games. I never realized how fast Wall is until watching him every night in the playoffs. The dude is a blur and his agility around the rim avoiding defenders while creating his own shot was impossible to stop. The gifs of him stopping Kelly Olynyk in his tracks with a spin move will be saved on my phone forever. Wall averaged 27.2/10.3 in the playoffs on 45% shooting.
Kelly Olynyk was the center of the controversy in the growing rivalry between the Celtics and Wizards. First of all I just want to point out how fucking annoying Olynyk is just too look at. His neck goatee, man bun, and mouth breathing face, combined with a clumsily limb flaying playing style irritates the hell out of me. I can’t imagine playing against him (I feel you Kevin Love). That’s why in game 3 I cheered Kelly Oubre on when he charged Olynyk knocking him to the ground. Olynyk set a hard screen on Oubre, which wasn’t worthy of a fight by itself, but the fact that it was set by that ugly m-effer would lead anyone into a furious rage. Oubre was so angry he hit the ref standing next to Olynyk as well. Oubre received a one game suspension for the incident.
I am learning that it doesn’t take much to start a beef with Markieff Morris, but Al Horford did just that in game 1. After putting up a jump shot, Morris twisted his ankle after landing on the foot of Horford. The sprain looked horrible live but Morris was able to play the rest of the serious after accusing Horford of being a dirty player.
Some gnarly performances were put up by guys from both teams. In game 2 Isaiah Thomas scored 53 points in a overtime victory (he average 27.4 for the series) after having a 4 hour dental procedure to fix his broken teeth from the first series with the Bulls. Those 53 points overshadowed the 40 put up by Wall in the same game. Avery Bradley scored 29 points (25 in the first half) in game 5.
The Celtics lost game 3 (after winning the first two games at home) in Washington after the Wizards went on a 26-0 run in the third quarter. That was one of the biggest runs I have ever seen and despite their best efforts, the Celtics were not able to recover and lost the game by nearly 30 points.
Game 6 was by far the best game of the series and of the playoffs at the time. Late in the game Brad Stevens drew up a play to get Horford a shot which he luckily made off the glass. The Celtics were up 91-89 with just 7.9 seconds left. On the other end of the court Wall caught the inbound pass and took a three point shot from way behind the line and drained it. The balls he had to take and make that shot. There were still 3.9 second left but the Wizards prevented the Celtics from scoring. Morris celebrated the victory by slapping Stephen A. Smith on the ass on his way through the tunnel.
Game 7 was won by the Celtics with the help of 26 points and the best game of the career of Olynyk. This victory was strangely predicted by TNT via the banner on their social media feed (conspiracy?)