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Everyone agrees Wizards-Celtics series going Game 7 was meant to be

Everyone agrees Wizards-Celtics series going Game 7 was meant to be

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.

How fitting.

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.

[RELATED: Thomas thinks it's ridiculous Wizards were motivated by all-black stunt]

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.

[RELATED: Chenier delivers for Wizards again, sets Verizon crowd on fire]

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Wizards vs. Sixers: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

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Wizards vs. Sixers: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre, Jr. and the Washington Wizards battle Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, J.J. Redick and the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night.

Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch:


Where: Capital One Arena
Tip-off: 8 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington (coverage begins at 7 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Another test

The Wizards continue their difficult stretch coming out of the All-Star break against a very dangerous Sixers team. Philly has proven to be very streaky this season, but right now they are rolling. They come to Washington having won their last seven games dating back to Feb. 6 when they beat the Wizards at the Wells Fargo Center. The Wizards are also playing well, having won eight of their last 11, despite their loss to the Hornets on Friday.

The Sixers are currently seventh in the East and appear on track to make the playoffs. If they keep rising the standings, they could meet the Wizards, who are currently fourth, in the first round. 


Season series

Speaking of the playoffs, this game could end up looming large for postseason seeding. The Sixers have won two of the three matchups between these teams this year. If they win on Sunday, they will take the season series and own the tiebreaker over Washington.

If the two teams tie head-to-head and end up with the same record at the end of the season, it will then come down to conference record. The Sixers currently have a better record against East teams than the Wizards. But if they can beat Philly this time, the Wizards will have a chance to secure the conference tiebreaker down the stretch of this season.


Sixers are tough to guard

The Wizards have found out the hard way this season just how difficult it can be to match up with the Sixers, who are led by two emerging stars in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Embiid is 7-foot-1 with rare abilities to stretch the floor and beat opponents off the dribble. Simmons is 6-foot-10, yet can lead the fastbreak with rare speed and vision to find his teammates with crisp passes.

The mobility for their size is almost unmatched and it has not been easy for the Wizards to answer. In their last meeting earlier this month, Simmons had 15 points, eight assists, six rebounds and three steals. Embiid had 27 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks. The Wizards have to try to limit those guys while also dealing with other challenges like Robert Covington, Dario Saric and J.J. Reddick.


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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

Instead of visiting the White House when they come to Washington this week to play the Wizards, the defending-champion Golden State Warriors plan to hold an event with D.C.-area kids.

Their invitation was rescinded by president Donald Trump following a back-and-forth between the two sides last year. After the Warriors won the title, they openly questioned whether they should follow the tradition given many of the players and coaches disagree with his policies. Trump took the opportunity away before they came to a final decision.


The Warriors' event will be closed off to the media and held at an undisclosed location. It is set for Tuesday, the day before they play the Wizards at Capital One Arena. The Warriors had the option of holding a ceremony with other politicians in the Democratic party, but decided that would send the wrong message. 

"It's their championship. They got disinvited to the White House, so it's up to them what they wanted to do. So they made their plans," coach Steve Kerr said. "I want the players to have a good day and to do something positive and to enjoy what they're doing."

The Warriors are the first NBA team to make this choice since Trump was elected president. Last season, the Cleveland Cavaliers held their celebration with president Barack Obama in November. They did so just days after Trump was elected and LeBron James questioned at the time whether he would visit the White House with Trump in office.


Sports teams visiting the White House goes back to the mid-1800s. The first World Series title team to visit was the 1924 Washington Senators. By the 1960s, NBA teams were going and by the 1980s NFL and NHL teams made it a tradition.

Entire teams snubbing the White House is unusual, but many players have turned down the opportunity. In the NBA, some famous cases include Larry Bird in 1984 and Michael Jordan in 1991, according to Rolling Stone.

Perhaps the Warriors start a trend, or maybe it will be a one-off thing. Regardless, the alternative they chose is a respectable one.