How should the Wizards defend the Celtics in Game 6?
The Wizards made everyone but Isaiah beat them in Game 5. It backfired. They should do it again in Game 6. An excerpt:
Though it didn’t work out in Game 5, the Wizards should go right back to the same strategy in Game 6 and make the C’s prove they can do it again — this time in the Verizon Center. Much like Washington, Boston was a very different team at home than on the road this season, with a 0.732 winning percentage at TD Garden and a 0.562 winning percentage everywhere else. They won all three games in Chicago during the first round, but got blasted by a combined 46 points across Games 3 and 4 of this series.
As you’ve heard over and over during playoff TV broadcasts, role players typically aren’t quite as good on the road as they are at home. The Celtics’ role guys aren’t immune from that — and they’re not the only ones. Isaiah has had his share of road struggles during this postseason as well. He’s averaging 30.2 points on 48–34–83 shooting at home during the playoffs compared to 18.6 on 43–29–79 in away games.
Devoting extra resources to shutting him down is no guarantee you’ll actually be able to stop him, but there’s a reason it’s such a common playoff strategy against teams whose offense is so dependent on one player. It works more often than not. The Wizards shouldn’t get discouraged by one result going the opposite way, just as coaches employing the hack-a-whoever strategy shouldn’t stop just because [bad free-throw shooter X] makes both on the first go-round.
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