This roller-coaster of a series and season between the Celtics and Wizards is heading down the final stretch.
John Wall has scorched Thomas for most of this series and will go back to playing isolation basketball in Game 6 to make Thomas almost unplayable like he was in Games 3 and 4.
The Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards meet in game six of the National Basketball Association second round playoffs Friday at the Verizon Center. A similar start on Friday night would amplify the pressure on Washington, and could take them out of the game early. He could force shots more often, but he cares more about keeping Boston's offense flowing. Neither team this season has accomplished that feat.
It will be critical that the C's get out to another fast start tonight at Verizon Center.
They certainly did that Wednesday night.
The Wizards would never threaten the rest of the way, trailing by as much as 26 points in the fourth quarter. Thoughts of an inspired comeback departed quicker than the Celtics on leakouts.
It is coach Scott Brooks turn to make some adjustments for Washington for Game 6.
But if you watched the game, you know Horford's scoring only tells part of the story. We know it's going to be a hostile environment.
"If you miss a shot, you miss a shot", Brooks said.
If the Celtics win Friday, they would open against Cleveland on Monday. "Both teams been playing well at home". Unfortunately, the Wizards didn't learn a thing from that experience. "If he could take it back, he would", Celtics coach Brad Stevens said before the game.
"They're going to do what they're going to do", said Wizards point guard John Wall, per Duffy.
The only real surprise was Washington's level of non-competitiveness. "We've got to take advantage of it. Think of it as a positive and forget about this game, move on". The Wiz have done a better job containing Isaiah Thomas since his 53 point Game 2 performance as he was held under 20 points in games three, four, and five. "Hopefully, everybody else is treating it like that". On the above one, he was caught well behind the play and didn't get back in time to guard Bradley (and nobody else stepped up, either).
Bradley eclipses previous playoff-high of 24 points.in the first half.
How else to explain the Celtics winning at home three times by double-digit margins (12, 10 and 22) and the Wizards slapping that same team around twice on their own court by 27 and 19 points respectively?
Thomas and Jae Crowder both scored 18, Thomas with nine assists and Crowder with eight rebounds.
"As a basketball player, you've got to read what the defense is giving you, and they're really having two or three guys on me at all times", Thomas said after Wednesday's 123-101 win. "We've done a pretty good job on their best player, but not (a) good enough job on the other guys".
Can the Washington Wizards even out the series again?
All hope isn't lost because they've yet to lose at Verizon Center and could get another crack on the Celtics' parquet.
This has been a heated, angry series, but Game 5 didn't feature a whole lot of emotion.
The Wizards attempt to be first home team to win at home while facing elimination this postseason.