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Boston Celtics, Washington Wizards Rivalry Is Exactly What NBA Playoffs Need



“I guess that’s playoff basketball” Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas said after Game 3 of Boston’s series against the Washington Wizards.

“We don’t like them and they don’t like us.”

And that’s how it should be. Eight technical fouls, three ejection and boiling over of some serious bad blood made for an intense, over-top physical game.

It made a game that was never really interesting, due to the score, interesting.

Washington’s Kelly Oubre Jr. was ejected when he jumped up like a madman after Celtics’ Kelly Olynyk laid out Oubre with a hard offensive foul. Oubre rammed into Olynyk in response which added another layer to already thick tensions.

Oubre could be facing a suspension which would mean he would miss a crucial Game 4 in the series.

“We can’t respond that way,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. “When you keep getting hit in the head, you might respond that way and I think that’s what he did. I’m not saying that that was the right thing to do. We have to focus on playing basketball.”

Celtics’ Thomas needed to have his dental work adjusted at halftime due to the physicality of the game.

“They came out, so I had to get `em back in,” the Boston guard said after the game.

But this is what the NBA playoffs need.

What is often a marathon in totality, the NBA Playoffs can lose fans attention at times. Series lasting up to 7 games, over a long period of time can take it’s toll on fans.

These kind of series, steeped in bad blood, are what keeps fan interest in tact.

“I guess just two teams that really don’t like each other,” Wizards guard John Wall said. “We’re two teams that’s trying to compete and trying to win this series.”

And that’s the sort of thing fans want to see.

While the physical kind of basketball that the 90’s is known for may be gone, it doesn’t mean the teeth shouldn’t be ripped from the mouth of competition.

90’s playoffs gave us great rivalries such as the Miami Heat and the New York Knicks, the Chicago Bulls and the Eastern Conference and pretty much every team battling it out in the Western Conference.

Series were chippy, confrontations aplenty and hard fouls were the norm and it made for “must see TV”.

This series is a throw-back to the emotionally charged playoff series that the 90’s gave us plenty of and kept us coming back for more and are exactly what the 2017 playoffs need.

Bring it on, and then some..



Anthony DiMoro is the creator of Sports Rants and the CEO of Elite Rank Media. He is a former Contributor for Forbes and the Huffington Post where he covered sports, social media, and SEO. Anthony formerly hosted the 'Forbes SportsMoney Podcast'.