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A rundown of the history between rivals Wizards and Celtics ahead of their NBA playoff series

A rundown of the history between rivals Wizards and Celtics ahead of their NBA playoff series

For two teams that haven't met in the playoffs since 1984 and have no longstanding history as a rivalry, the Wizards and Celtics sure have made up for lost time. Over the last two years, many events have added up to what is arguably one of the more contentious rivalries in today's NBA. The Wizards and Celtics really, really don't like each other and it is well-documented. 

Here is a timeline to refresh your memory of why the Wizards and Celtics just don't get along...

Jan. 16, 2016 - Wittman and Crowder get into it

It's not often you see an argument between a coach and a player on the opposite team, but that's just what happened in a game in Washington when then-Wizards coach Randy Wittman and Celtics forward Jae Crowder got into a shouting match. Afterwards, Crowder claimed Wittman used obscenities.

Jan. 25, 2016 - Smart breaks Beal's nose

During a game in Boston, Celtics guard Marcus Smart elbowed Bradley Beal in the face on a layup. Beal suffered a broken nose and a concussion.

July 2, 2016 - Horford chooses Celtics over Wizards

After Horford widdles his free agent choices down to two teams, the Wizards and Celtics, he ultimately chose Boston. This was after the Wizards brass had traveled to Atlanta to meet with the All-Star forward. 

July 21, 2016 - Crowder takes shot at Wizards

Weeks after Horford signed with Boston, Crowder had this to say about the Wizards via MassLive.com: "He had Washington and some other teams looking at him, but we beat them four times this year. You don't want to go there."

It's not often you hear a player take a dig like that at another team. Marcin Gortat, for one, really didn't like it:

Nov. 9, 2016 - Wall ejected for foul on Smart

In the fourth quarter of the first meeting between the teams this season, John Wall went straight after Smart and commited a flagrant foul. The refs thought he was targeting him, so they quickly kicked Wall out of the game:

Jan. 11, 2016 - Beal and Smart get tangled up

This game is remembered for what happened after the final buzzer, but Beal and Smart had an interesting dustup during the third quarter. They collided and fell down under the hoop and after getting up, both players had some words for each other:

Jan. 11, 2016 - Wall and Crowder's postgame confrontation

Soon after that incident, Wall and Crowder had some words for each other once the game was over. They met at halfcourt and that's when Crowder touched Wall's nose, earning him a quick slap to the face. Both players were fined for their roles in the confrontation:

Jan. 24, 2016 - The Funeral Game

The teams met just two weeks later in Washington and the night before, after Beal came up with the idea, Kelly Oubre, Jr. announced through the media that the Wizards would wear all black to their game against the Celtics. It became known as the Funeral Game and it was all sorts of fun.

Celtics players derided the effort as "cute" the morning of. Then, Wizards players actually showed up in all black.

The Wizards later beat the Celtics by 15 points in what was one of their most impressive wins of the season. At the time, many said how great it would be if the two teams met each other in the playoffs. Well, here we go.

[RELATED: 5 storylines to watch in Wizards-Celtics second round series in NBA Playoffs]

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2017-18 Wizards roster review: Marcin Gortat

2017-18 Wizards roster review: Marcin Gortat

To wrap up the 2017-18 season, we are looking at each player on the Wizards' roster. Today, we evaluate Marcin Gortat's season...

Player: Marcin Gortat

Position: Center

Age: 34

2017-18 salary: $12.8 million

2017-18 stats: 82 G, 25.3 mpg, 8.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 1.8 apg, 0.5 spg, 0.7 bpg, 51.8 FG%, 67.5 FT%, 51.8 eFG%, 112 ORtg, 107 DRtg

Best game: 10/18 vs. Sixers - 16 points, 17 rebounds, 3 blocks, assist, 7-for-12 FG

Season review: Marcin Gortat is self-aware enough to know that what happened to him in 2017-18 was inevitable in many ways. He even publicly called it before the season.

He was one year older, with Ian Mahinmi healthy and in the rotation, and with the NBA continuing to move towards small-ball and big men who can play on the perimeter. As a result, Gortat saw his role in the Wizards rotation pared down noticeably.

Though he still started all 82 games, his minutes went down from 31.2 per game the year before the 25.3. Kelly Oubre, Jr., who played the majority of the season coming off the bench, logged more minutes than Gortat, though he was a starter.

Gortat's minutes were his fewest since the 2009-10 season, when he was a 25-year-old bench player for the Orlando Magic. His numbers this season followed suit. Gortat's points and rebounds per game were both the lowest since that 2009-10 campaign.

Gortat averaged a career-best 10.4 rebounds per game in 2016-17, but the minutes had a direct effect on his volume of boards. He pulled in 2.4 less per game this season despite his rebound percentage (17.0) being close to his career average (17.5). That career average, by the way, is 30th-best all-time an eighth among active players.

Not getting the same opportunities he had in years past, plus public misunderstandings with teammates, combined to make for a frustrating year for Gortat. He said on the Wizards Tipoff podcast midseason it was the worst year of his career. Gortat, though, did continue to make an impact setting screens for the Wizards and he rallied to finish relatively strong.

He had several solid outings in the playoffs, including his 16 points in Game 3 and his 12 rebounds in Game 5. The question is whether that is the last time we will see Gortat in a Wizards uniform.

Washington has played with the idea of trading Gortat for a while now. He popped up in rumors around the trade deadline in February, but remained on the roster. Now he has an expiring contract working in his favor, making it a bit more likely he gets dealt.

Gortat knows his future in Washington is uncertain, though he said following the season he would like to stay. It would not be surprising to him or anyone if he were traded this summer. If not, he's got one year left with the Wizards and could very well have his role decreased even more.

Potential to improve: Rim protection, midrange shooting, free throw percentage

More player season reviews:

John Wall, PG

Bradley Beal, SG

Otto Porter, SF

Kelly Oubre, Jr., SF

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2017-18 Wizards roster review: Kelly Oubre, Jr.

2017-18 Wizards roster review: Kelly Oubre, Jr.

To wrap up the 2017-18 season, we are looking at each player on the Wizards' roster. Today, we evaluate Kelly Oubre, Jr.'s season...

Player: Kelly Oubre, Jr.

Position: Small forward

Age: 22

2017-18 salary: $2.1 million

2017-18 stats: 81 G, 27.5 mpg, 11.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.0 spg, 0.4 bpg, 40.3 FG%, 34.1 3P%, 82.0 FT%, 48.2 eFG%, 106 ORtg, 109 DRtg

Best game: 3/21 at Spurs - 21 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, 2 steals, 9-for-17 FG, 3-for-6 3PT

Season review: The first half of Kelly Oubre, Jr.'s 2017-18 season went very differently than the second half. Through 46 games to begin the year, Oubre shot 44.9 percent from the field and 40.5 percent from the perimeter. Oubre then shot just 34.9 percent from the field and 27.4 percent from three in his last 35 games to close the regular season. That included a stretch from March 25 through April 5 in which he shot 2-for-35 from long range and 23-for-77 (29.9%) overall in seven games.

As his head coach described, Oubre had a tale of two seasons. By mid-January it appeared to be a breakout year, as he was scoring consistently and shooting at a high percentage. He was even limiting his mistakes on defense. Then, his shot went away and Oubre could never quite regain it.

All in all, Oubre's season represented a step forward. He proved he could be a top-six player in a playoff rotation and had extended stretches of success he can draw confidence from in the future.

Now Oubre enters his biggest offseason yet as a basketball player. He has just one year left on his rookie scale contract and will be in line for a considerable raise if he keeps developing. If Oubre takes even a slight step forward, he will make big money in his next contract. If he takes a major leap forward, like Otto Porter did when he was in the same position in 2016-17, he could earn way more money than the Wizards can afford as currently constructed.

That dynamic gives the Wizards a decision to make this summer on Oubre's future. He has significant trade value at this point, given his upside and his contract. He is due to make just $3.2 million next season and will be a restricted free agent in the summer of 2019. If they don't see a long-term future for him in Washington, trading him this offseason should not be ruled out.

It figures to be a busy summer for the Wizards and when it comes to Oubre there are a lot of factors in play. If they want financial flexibility, another option would be to deal Porter or another frontcourt starter and roll with Oubre as a less expensive option. Though his season was inconsistent, Oubre has shown enough to warrant consideration as a starter.

Regardless of what the Wizards decide, Oubre himself is in good shape. If he keeps getting better, he will earn a nice deal whether it's in Washington or somewhere else. He just needs to find consistency on both ends of the floor. 

He can do that on offense by tightening up his ball-handling and improving his ability to get to the rim. That would allow him to circumnavigate the type of shooting struggles that held him back late in the year.

Defensively, he has all the natural ability needed to be an elite player. He just needs to limit the gambles he takes that turn into blown assignments or unnecessary fouls.

Potential to improve: Consistency, efficiency, ball-handling


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