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5 storylines to watch in Wizards-Celtics second round series in NBA Playoffs

5 storylines to watch in Wizards-Celtics second round series in NBA Playoffs

Here are five storylines to watch for the Wizards vs. Celtics' second round playoff series, which starts on Sunday at 1 p.m.:

1. The Wizards and Celtics plain don't like each other

We will get into this more in a later post, but the Wizards and Celtics have developed a considerable rivalry over the last two seasons. It may not be the premier marquee battle of the Cavaliers and Warriors, and it doesn't have the history of Lakers-Celtics, but there is definitely some history between these teams. Last season, Marcus Smart broke Bradley Beal's nose and gave him a concussion. This season, John Wall was ejected from their first matchup on Nov. 9 for a flagrant foul on Smart. Then, there was the postgame confrontation between Wall and Jae Crowder on Jan. 11 in Boston, an incident that earned both of them fines. Then, of course, there was the funeral game where the Wizards wore all-black to their Jan. 24 matchup in Washington and proceeded to blow out the Celtics. There is some serious beef between these teams and it should be fun to watch them go at it.

2. Horford nearly signed with the Wizards over the summer

The Wizards entered last offseason with the goal of signing hometown superstar Kevin Durant, but like many teams couldn't make it happen. So, like many teams, they turned their attention towards Al Horford, the second-best option on the market. Horford was intrigued enough to meet with the Wizards, and according to some reports considered them as a finalist in his decision, but ended up choosing Boston instead. It has worked out fine for Horford, as the Celtics earned the No. 1 seed in the East this season, but the Wizards have also enjoyed a great year. What an ironic twist of fate that they will now play each other in the playoffs.

[RELATED: Keys to look for in Wizards-Celtics semifinal series]

3. Matchup of top point guards

Wall will go up against one of his best counterparts at the point guard position in Isaiah Thomas, a 5-foot-9 force of nature who finished third in the NBA with 28.9 points per game. Thomas gets a lot of attention for scoring at his size and on the best team in the conference. That should provide an opportunity for Wall to prove himself on the national stage. If we know anything about John Wall, he will notice that dynamic and be motivated by it.

4. Wizards aim to make franchise history

The Wizards are in the second round of the playoffs, a place they have been three times in the last four years. But one more round would put them in a place they haven't been as a franchise since 1978-79 when the Bullets made it all the way to the NBA Finals. The Wizards won a division this season and had their highest win total (49) since that season, so why stop there?

5. D.C. sports history also on the line

The Wizards haven't been in the conference finals in a long time and neither have other D.C. sports teams. No D.C. major sports team (Wizards, Nationals, Redskins, Capitals) have made the semifinals of their league since 1998 when the Caps lost to the Red Wings in the Stanley Cup Finals. That's the longest drought in North American sports for cities with at least three teams in the four major leagues. We at CSN have been harping on this fact for years and years at this point, yet no one has broken through. Will the Wizards?

[RELATED: Celtics' Thomas dealing with tough times, travel before Wizards series]

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Bradley Beal, Jayson Tatum partner to donate $250K for coronavirus relief in their hometown

Bradley Beal, Jayson Tatum partner to donate $250K for coronavirus relief in their hometown

As the world reels from the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the Boston Celtics' Jayson Tatum and the Wizards' own Bradley Beal have stepped up to help.

In an Instagram post Monday, Tatum announced that he, through The Jayson Tatum Foundation and in conjunction with Lineage Logistics, will match $250,000 in donations in the Boston area to provide meals to those in need through Feeding American and an area food bank. Additionally, he'll partner with Beal to match $250,000 in donations in the St. Louis area, where they both hail from, for the same purpose.

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As this virus continues to spread, the future has never felt so unpredictable.  And while I sincerely pray that everyone is staying safe, healthy and social distancing, the reality is this virus has negatively impacted our families, loved ones and communities in so many ways.  Because of the hardships created through this national health crisis and in an effort to help those in need in the Boston and St. Louis area, I am, through The Jayson Tatum Foundation, partnering with @feedingamerica and @lineagelogistics on their “Share A Meal” campaign.  Together, @lineagelogistics and The Jayson Tatum Foundation are pledging to match $250,000 in the Boston area and, with my good friend and fellow basketball player Bradley Beal, $250,000 in the St. Louis area, to help provide meals through @feedingamerica, @stlfoodbank and @gr8bosfoodbank.  This campaign will help some of the hardest hit communities in Boston and in Brad and my hometown of St. Louis, receive meals.  If you are able to help, I am asking my family, friends,  fans and partners to follow the link in my bio to help make a difference in our communities during a very difficult time. I would especially like to thank all the frontline workers and volunteers who are working around the clock to keep all of us safe and healthy. Together…. we will make a difference. #NBATogether #ActsOfCaring

A post shared by Jayson Tatum🙏🏀 (@jaytatum0) on

"This campaign will help some of the hardest hit communities in Boston and in Brad and my hometown of St. Louis, receive meals," Tatum wrote in the Instagram post.

To donate, fans can follow the link in Tatum's bio to contribute to the St. Louis Area Food Bank and the Greater Boston Food Bank.

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Rui Hachmiura takes water break, uses real waterboy in NBA 2K20 Player Tournament victory

Rui Hachmiura takes water break, uses real waterboy in NBA 2K20 Player Tournament victory

He may have not been on an actual basketball court, but Rui Hachimura must have still broken a sweat during his NBA 2K matchup with Donovan Mitchell on Sunday.

He needed a real-life water break - and even had some help from a waterboy.

Hachimura, the 13 seed, took on four-seed Mitchell in the NBA 2K20 Player Tournament, and came out with a 74-71 victory. 

The winner of the tournament receives $100,000 to go to a charity in support of coronavirus relief efforts.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE WIZARDS TALK PODCAST

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

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