John Wall, Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards battle Isaiah Thomas, Al Horford and the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of their second round series in the 2017 NBA Playoffs on Wednesday night.
Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…
GAME 5: WASHINGTON WIZARDS at BOSTON CELTICS
Series: Tied at 2-2
Where: TD Garden
Tip-off: 8 p.m.
TV: TNT (pregame coverage begins at 7 p.m. on CSN+)
Live stream: TNTdrama.com
Radio: 1500 AM
Three things to watch...
Wizards head coach Scott Brooks, when asked about the importance of Game 5 after Tuesday's practice, quipped with a smile: "We better win." It drew laughs from the reporters around him, but there is of course plenty of truth to the statement. Whichever team takes Game 5 will be the overwhelming favorite to win the series.
If the Wizards win, they will have two chances to take the series with the first coming in Game 6 at home where they haven't lose once in these playoffs. They are 5-0 at the Verizon Center. If they lose Game 5, they will have to not only win at home in Game 6, but then beat the Celtics in Boston in Game 7. The Wizards are just 1-4 on the road this postseason and lost both of their first two games in Boston. They haven't won in Boston since 2014, so that would not be easy at all.
The Wizards made out okay in Game 4 without Kelly Oubre, Jr., who was suspended for his shove of Kelly Olynyk in Game 3. Despite missing Oubre, one of their best bench players, they destroyed the Celtics by 19 points.
Now Oubre will return and the Wizards will be happy to have him. But bringing him back into the rotation after he missed 1 1/2 games (he was kicked out in the second quarter) will not be as simple as it sounds. Small forwards Otto Porter and Bojan Bogdanovic have been huge in the last two wins and they play the same position. It will be interesting to see how Brooks re-incorporates Oubre with how well things have gone since he was ejected.
Will Thomas adjust, or get his way?
Isaiah Thomas issued another harsh critique of the referees after Game 4, saying that the way the games have been called "has to change." Thomas did not shoot a single free throw after ranking seventh in the NBA during the regular season in free throw attempts. Thomas believes he is playing his game the same as usual, it's just the refs who haven't been holding up their end of the bargain.
It seems unlikely that the referees will react to Thomas' comments favorably and simply start giving him the calls he wants. But Thomas will certainly have all of this on his mind during Game 5. Getting to the line is a big part of his game and for that to continue in the short-term one side will have to give.