This second-round NBA playoff series between the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards has been ripe for overreaction.
After the Celtics jumped out to a 2-0 series lead, there were talks of Boston rolling to a long-awaited Eastern Conference Finals clash with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Fast forward to Sunday night, where the pendulum decidedly swung back in Washington’s favor with a second blowout win in as many games.
And now it’s the Wizards’ turn to boast.
After a 121-102 rout of the Celtics in Game 4 at Verizon Center that evened the series at 2-2 heading back to Boston, Washington big man Markieff Morris spoke in no uncertain terms about his team’s confidence level.
“(We’re) the better team, and we feel like we’ve been the better team,” Morris said, via The Washington Post. “We go out there and we play like that, I think we’ll get the wins.”
Wizards guard John Wall took things a step further when asked about state of the series.
“I feel like we feel like we’re in control,” Wall said, via the Post. “We feel like we can win (in Boston). We know we can. … We like our chances.”
Apparently that confidence extends off the court. Post columnist Jerry Brewer wrote bluntly after Game 4 that the Wizards are “flat-out better than the Boston Celtics,” and that the only reason this series is tied is because the Celtics “(are) tough, and they have played well at the right moments at home.”
Of course, it’d be hard to argue against these comments after watching Games 3 and 4. Washington went on runs of 20-plus point in both blowout victories, and there were long stretches where Boston didn’t look like it belonged on the same court. Wall has been unstoppable, while the Wizards’ defense has stifled Isaiah Thomas.
Yet two of the final three games in this series are at TD Garden, where the Wizards haven’t won since April 16, 2014. We’ll find out if their confidence is enough to buck that trend Wednesday in a crucial Game 5.
Thumbnail photo via Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports Images