The basketball gods must be in a giving mood, as the wishes of hoops fans have been granted one after another in recent weeks. First, the Wizards and Celtics matched up in the playoffs in a series everyone wanted to see following their spirited regular season rivalry. Then, very quickly that series lived up to the hype both on the court and off the court in terms of the pure disdain between both teams. And now, after the shot of John Wall's basketball life on Friday night, we get a do-or-die Game 7.
Wall and Bradley Beal sat next to each other on the podium following the Wizards' 92-91 victory, an instant classic that is among the biggest wins for the franchise in decades. When asked if it this series was destined to go seven, they immediately nodded their heads in unison.
"It's only right," Wall said.
"It had to go seven," Bradley Beal added.
Though most of the games so far this series have lopsided, the two teams are very closely matched. Each has held serve at home so far this series. Now it will all come down to one final battle in Boston where the Wizards haven't won since 2014.
"Yes. I think absolutely," head coach Scott Brooks said when asked if a Game 7 was inevitable. "We played each other during the regular season and split the series 2-2. It seems like it was meant to be... It's going to be great for the league, great for the fans and we're all going to look forward to it."
Brooks is undefeated in his coaching career in Game 7s. His Oklahoma City Thunder won Game 7 in the first round back in 2013-14 and in the second round to reach the conference finals in 2010-11. The Wizards hope to do the same and reach their first conference finals since 1979.
"It's great. You always talk about it," Brooks said. "The two best words in the playoffs are 'Game 7.' You get an opportunity to play in a Game 7 when every player on this team as a kid dreamt about playing in Game 7. Those were the places you dreamt about. I dreamt about playing in the Spectrum. That was my favorite team growing up. I'm sure all the guys had their favorite teams. You always want the opportunity to make that last shot when you were a kid. All of these guys get the opportunity to be part of a Game 7 and it doesn't happen often. I don't know if half the guys have been in a Game 7."
In order to keep their season alive, the Wizards will have to win a road game despite being 1-5 as visitors in these playoffs. It won't be easy, but they will relish the opportunity.