John Wall, Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards battle Isaiah Thomas, Al Horford and the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of their second round series in the 2017 NBA Playoffs on Monday night.
Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…
Three things to watch...
History on the line
After the Wizards beat the Celtics in Game 6 on Friday night, the best game of the NBA Playoffs so far, the two will square off in a do-or-die Game 7 as they fight for a chance to meet the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals. If the Wizards win, they will make history on several accounts. For one, they will be the first team in franchise history to advance that far since the 1978-79 Bullets lost to the Supersonics in the Finals. By reaching Game 7 of the second round they have already gone further than any Wizards or Bullets team since that season. This is the fifth time Washington has been to the second round during that stretch, but this is the first time in those series they have made it seven games.
The Wizards, though, can accomplish something much bigger than all of that. If they are to reach the Conference Finals, they will go further than any D.C. major sports team (NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB) has been since 1998, when the Capitals lost in the Stanley Cup Finals. That's a 19-year drought, the longest among U.S. cities with three or more major pro teams. Those Caps were the only D.C. team to get there since 1992 when the Redskins won the Super Bowl. Basically, the Wizards are one win away from doing something no D.C. team has done in a generation.
Have to shoot better
The Wizards have lost each of their three games at Boston this series and haven't won there in any game since 2014. They are just 1-5 on the road in these playoffs. In order to advance, they will have to conquer those demons and win at TD Garden.
In order to do that, they will likely have to shoot much better than they have the last two games. In Game 5 at Boston, the Wizards shot a horrid 38.5 percent from the field and 24.1 percent from three. Because of that, they were demolished 123-101. In Game 6 at Washington, the Wizards won but that was despite shooting 43 percent from the field and 20.8 percent from three. Another outing like that and they will probably lose.
If Bradley Beal can start knocking down threes at his usual rate, the Celtics will likely be in deep trouble. He has shot just 26.4 percent from three in 12 games in the 2016-17 playoffs and just 26.3 percent in this series. In Game 6 he scored 33 points, but he only shot 1-for-8 from three. He seems due for a breakout game from three after hitting 40.4 percent of them during the regular season.
Can Otto bounce back?
Another guy who hasn't been himself from three is Otto Porter. He has enjoyed an excellent series overall with 13.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. He scored in double figures in each of the first five games.
Porter, though, went scoreless in Game 6 and this series is shooting just 21.1 percent from three. That's very surprising from a guy who was fourth in the NBA at 43.4 percent during the regular season.