Boston’s Bench Propels Them Over Washington in Game 7

Credit: : Mike Lawrie/Getty Images North America

Boston’s Bench Propels Them Over Washington in Game 7

 

The Boston Celtics have been known for their dominant, championship-winning culture since the Bill Russell era in the 1960’s.. Numerous great teams throughout the years have won them a league record seventeen championships and this year, are heading to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2012.

This year’s Boston Celtics team is like no other. Led by All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas, there is no superstar player alongside him as do other teams in the league. Al Horford made a few All-Star appearances in the past, but the Celtics’ team is full of young, gritty players who gelled together to clinch the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

The deep roster put on a show for Celtics fans in the Game 7 victory over Washington, 115-105, having their bench outscore their opponents’ 48 points to five in the biggest game of the season. Kelly Olynyk led the bench mob with 26 unlikely points and a fourth quarter domination, scoring 14 points alone in the quarter. He was an efficient 10-of-14 from the floor and sent the Twitter world into a tizzy after nailing shot-after-shot in crucial situations in the 4th quarter.

 

 

Boston Celtics bench players combined for 82 minutes in Game 7, a rare number for a bench in such a significant game. Head coach Brad Stevens gave Isaiah Thomas a huge boost all game long with constant rotations of fresh legs—Thomas scored 29 points of his own, along with twelve assists.

 

“We needed it,” Olynyk said of the bench impact. “That’s a tough team that we played seven tough games against, and they can score. We needed to help out the starters, help out Isaiah [Thomas].”

 

Along with Olynyk, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown combined for an effective 22 points off the bench. The efficiency throughout Game 7 was very important for pulling away in the final quarter. As a team, Boston shot 53.2 percent and hit eleven three-pointers at a 42.3 percent clip. Their eight turnovers, compared to Washington’s fifteen, was a game changer

The TD Garden’s full capacity crowd roared all game long with a sense of nervous energy, but was as loud as ever. Whether it was players giving up their bodies to dive on a loose ball or a clutch three-pointer, the fans gave a boost the entire night.

Now, it’s time for the two best teams in the Eastern Conference to square off in the Conference Finals. For Boston to take out LeBron James and the reigning champion Cleveland Cavaliers in a series, they’ll need constant production from their bench, more unlikely heroes as well as some prayers.

 

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