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NBA Playoffs 2017 Wizards at Celtics Game 5: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

NBA Playoffs 2017 Wizards at Celtics Game 5: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

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...

Pivotal game

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.

[RELATED: Looking for a Wizards' Death Row D.C. T-shirt?]

Oubre's back

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.

[RELATED: Oubre's funny story about watching Game 4 while suspended]

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.

[RELATED: How does trash talking in the NBA compare to other sports?]

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Wizards release statement on the passing of John Wall's mother

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USA TODAY Sports Images

Wizards release statement on the passing of John Wall's mother

The Washington Wizards announced the passing of John Wall's mother, Frances Pulley on Friday. 

Wall's mother had been battling cancer before her passing. She was 58. 

In a statement on Twitter, the Wizards said, "Sending thoughts and love for John Wall and his family after the passing of his mother, Frances Pulley. She will forever be a part of our #DCFamily."

Zach Leonsis, the senior vice president of strategic initiatives at Monumental Sports & Entertainment, also released a statement

"Thinking of @JohnWall and his family right now. Keeping you guys in our prayers. So terribly sorry for your loss and know that she will be remembered forever. #DCFamily

Wall's Kentucky coach, John Calipari also expressed his condolences for his former star: 

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Bradley Beal sees a young John Wall in the Grizzlies rookie sensation Ja Morant

Bradley Beal sees a young John Wall in the Grizzlies rookie sensation Ja Morant

WASHINGTON -- It is not often you see a rookie find initial success in the NBA to the degree Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant has, already with borderline All-Star numbers at the age of 20. And oftentimes, opponents are careful throwing out player comparisons for guys his age, wanting to see more before they anoint anyone.

Morant, though, is a different case and questions from media members at Wizards practice this week as the team gets set to face him for the first time naturally led to parallels to great players. On Thursday, Brooks brought up unprompted how much Morant reminds him of Russell Westbrook, his former player in Oklahoma City.

And on Friday, Bradley Beal invoked a teammate of his when breaking down what makes Morant so good.

"He loves to get up and down. He's really fast with the ball. It reminds you of John [Wall] in a lot of ways. He plays with his pace," Beal said.

Through 19 games this season, Morant is averaging 18.7 points, 6.4 assists and 1.3 steals per game. He is shooting 42.2 percent from three on 2.2 attempts.

The threes have been surprising to most, as he shot a relatively modest 36.3 percent his final year in college at Murray State. But also surprising maybe just how lethal he has been at attacking the rim.

Sure, that was a big part of his game in college. But this is the NBA where athletes are much bigger and stronger. And he isn't the biggest guy either, weighing in at 175 pounds according to Basketball-Reference.

But despite lacking in size, he has shown an ability to finish through contact rarely seen from any player.

"I think he has a no-fear type of mentality. So, you have to respect his aggressiveness," Beal said. "He'll get respect from a lot of players in the league, a lot of refs in the league because of his aggressiveness and... with all the posters he has. So, he's an assassin. You gotta respect his game."

Beal likely won't draw the defensive assignment on Morant. That will probably go to Ish Smith and back-up point guard Chris Chiozza, who is with the team while Isaiah Thomas recovers from a left calf injury.

Beal knows it is going to be tough for the whole Wizards team to contain Morant. He said the trick will be trying to stay in front of him, though he knows that is easier said than done.

Really, Morant is such a unique player that the Wizards can only gameplan and prepare so much until they actually experience facing him for the first time.

"He's gonna be a handful," Beal said.

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