This may have been the single craziest week that any Celtic fan has had to endure, at least my lifetime. But while it was crazy, it was sure worth it. Before we get into last night’s game, let’s recap how the Celtics advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals.
With the Celtics up 3-2 in the series, they had a chance to close it out in Washington. After being blown out twice in Washington earlier this series, the Celtics finally had a lead in the 4th. In fact, they had a 5 point lead with the ball with 90 seconds to go. But it wouldn’t last long as the Wizards eventually tied the game up at 89 a piece. Then Al Horford hit the go ahead jump shot off the backboard with a few seconds to go in the game. All they had to do was to stop the Wizards and they would win the series. But, John Wall happened. He hit long 3 pointer over Avery Bradley and the Wizards won 92—91 to push the series to a Game 7. What made this loss even more frustrating was because the Celtics had their foot on the Wizards throat and couldn’t finish the job. So it was time to head back to Boston to win or go home.
The Celtics were able to get out to a good start as they led 27-23 after the first quarter. The Wizards fought back as they took a half time lead 55—53. The two teams proceeded to trade punches in the 3rd quarter until the Celtics went on a 15-3 run to pull away a bit. Bradley Beal single handedly kept the Wizards in the game as he poured on 38 points. But the Celtics were able to punch back as they were led by, wait for it, KELLY OLYNYK. While Isaiah Thomas led the way with 29 points, it was Kelly Olynyk who was the hero of Game 7. He scored 26 points off the bench and scored 14 points in the 4th quarter alone to lead the Celtics to a 115—105 win. The Celtics won the series and advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals.
After advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in 5 years on Monday, the Celtics followed that up by winning the NBA Lottery on Tuesday. So it was safe to say was an incredible 24 hours for the franchise as a whole. But it was time to stay in the present and host the defending NBA Champions in Game 1. Despite being the 2nd seed, the Cleveland Cavaliers are heavy favorites in this series. Considering they haven’t lost a game this postseason, it’s rightfully deserved. But with all the good mojo around the Celtics, there was no way they lose this game, right? Wrong.
The Cavaliers dominated from the tip and won the game going away 117—104. The only real bright spot the Celtics had was Jae Crowder. He scored 21 points on 8-13 shooting. As for Cavs, LeBron James casually dropped 38 points, grabbed 9 rebounds, and dished out 7 assists. Kevin Love played out of his mind as he scored 32 and hit 6 3s alone. Honestly there wasn’t much to tell here when reviewing this game. The Celtics were wiped from Game 7 and the Cavs were well rested. Not to mention they are that much more talented than Boston. I believe that the Celtics can play better and I believe they will play better. But I don’t expect them to win the series. All I want them to do is get a game or two and look competitive. They clearly didn’t do that tonight. But despite the loss, this was a great week for the Celtics in more ways than one.
Written By: Steven Santoro (SVS_1993)