Game 7s. The most nerve-wracking games for sports fans. A single game where legends are made and teams are truly tested. This game will be no different. The Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards will face off for the final time this season in what will be hyped up to be one of the biggest games of the year, and basketball fans wouldn’t want it any other way. Who will face LeBron and the Cavaliers in the Conference Finals, and who will be sent home after coming up short in the best series of the playoffs thus far?
This game will be a real test for the Boston Celtics. This game is the biggest of the season for both teams. The thing is, Boston has far more to lose. A number one seed getting upset by a number four seed isn’t crazy. It’s been done before, and it isn’t the most shocking thing in sports. But this number one seed getting upset by this number four seed would be heartbreaking. They can’t blow this series after going up 3-2 and showing up to Washington wearing all black for their “funeral.” That was a dumb move, and it could come back to haunt them if they lose this series. The Celtics have all the pressure on their shoulders. They are the one seed in a conference that is still run by LeBron. It’s their job to prove why they should be the one seed.
Isaiah needs to have the game of his life. After a poor shooting performance and coming up short with the game winner in game six, Isaiah needs to back up why he’s the “King of the Fourth” and prove why he’s the superstar that has put his doubters to rest. Isaiah has had an incredible playoff run so far. He’s scored 50+ and has played through the pain of his sister’s passing. As amazing as he has been, those performances don’t matter anymore. He needs to create another playoff memory in game seven, where he leads his team to the Eastern Conference Finals, a place where nobody thought they’d be after going down 0-2 in the first round.
Avery Bradley needs to continue being the scoring machine he’s been the past couple games. It’s hard to beat the Celtics when both Isaiah and Avery are scoring the ball well. If Avery can put up another solid 25+ point performance and continue being one of the best on-ball defenders in the league, they’ll be in good shape.
Al Horford needs to continue to be himself. He’s been phenomenal. He’s been clutch. He’s been a leader. A lot of people questioned why the Celtics would pay so much money for a guy that didn’t seem worth his huge contract at the time. Well, times have changed, and Horford is showing why he’s worth every damn penny. In the playoffs thus far, Horford has come up big, and he’s been huge in this series for Boston. He’s been in game seven situations before in Boston as a Hawk, but this time he’s on the good side. Not only is he happy about that, but so are Boston fans.
The bench needs to step up big time, too. Terry Rozier, Marcus Smart, Kelly “the Clinic” Olynyk, even the rookie Jaylen Brown need to have big games off the bench to help the starters out with the scoring. I really hope Brad Stevens starts Jaylen over Amir Johnson this game. I know he’s a rookie, but Jaylen has been a difference maker when he’s out on the court this series. Jaylen’s young and inexperienced, but he needs to show why he is ready for the bright lights. I know he’s ready. He knows he’s ready. Brad, let the kids play.
Boston has had its fair share of big playoffs games. Game 7 in the finals versus the Lakers. Games 6 and 7 versus LeBron and the Heat. The game two 7’s in ’08 where the Big Three were pushed to their absolute limits. Those games were career-defining, and this game will be no different.
Game seven is the biggest game in all of sports. Legends will be made and hearts will be broken. Who will step up when it counts and who will face backlash for not doing enough for their team once the final buzzer goes off? There is so much to gain and so much to lose for both teams.
Isaiah Thomas and the Celtics are done playing around. It’s time to show the world why we are the one seed and why we are the better team. We love playing with our backs against the wall and with all the pressure on us, and we wouldn’t want it any other way. Boston, are you ready?