Storyline: Celtics-Wizards Scuffle

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A fun new wrinkle to what’s been a fiery series between the Celtics and Wizards: Avery Bradley apparently told Marcin Gortat that he was going to beat him up. That’s what Gortat had to say in an interview with EuroSport, anyway. The interview, which has been translated from Polish to English, contains the following exchange: [Isaiah] Thomas said after the second game: we do not like them, they do not like us … “Which is a popular story with the media. This hostility thing between these two teams looks a bit different, though. We play tougher, but we only care about our own team, while they want to provoke us. Avery Bradley approached me last game and said that if I set one more screen, he’s going to beat me up.”

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As the team continued to win, the name started to stick, the hashtag #DeathRowDC gained life on the social-media platforms of Wall, Beal and Morris – and the Wizards slowly started to embrace that edgier side on the floor. No game exemplified the Wizards’ new attitude more than an otherwise meaningless January game against the Boston Celtics in which they showed up wearing all-black funeral attire with the intent of burying a team that was above them in the standings.
9 months ago via ESPN

The dustups date to last season. In the teams’ third meeting, in mid-January 2016, Jae Crowder — perhaps the central protagonist in this entire drama — got tagged with a technical foul in the final minute of Boston’s 119-117 win in Washington. Crowder could be seen barking at the Wizards’ bench and pointing at then-coach Randy Wittman. After the game, Crowder suggested Wittman cursed at him and called him soft. “[Wittman] was saying something about me being soft, and bleep, bleep, bleep,” Crowder said. “I feel like he was getting away with a lot of curse words and inappropriate words to me, and I retaliated and I got hit [with the technical].” Wittman later admitted he yelled at Crowder but denied using profanity. There was no obvious escalation when the teams met again two weeks later — a lopsided Boston win — and Wittman was fired after the season.

The question is simple, given all that has come before: do the Washington Wizards dislike the Boston Celtics, Bradley Beal? “Yeah,” Beal said last Tuesday, after a beat. “I guess, yeah, you could say that. And they don’t like us. It is what it is. I think we’re all grown men and we’re just able to play ball. It makes it more competitive, right? That’s like playoff basketball halfway through the season. It gives you a little taste and a little foreshadow of what may come.”

Celtics forward Jae Crowder and Wizards guard John Wall were both fined after the two engaged in an after-the-buzzer dustup during the teams’ most recent contest. That Jan. 11 meeting culminated with five Boston police officers standing guard between the two locker rooms at TD Garden after players continued to bark at each other upon leaving the court. “We’re wearing all black to the game. You know where we’re going with that,” Wizards forward Kelly Oubre Jr. told reporters in Charlotte, North Carolina, following the Wizards’ 109-99 victory over the Hornets on Monday.

Washington Wizards guard John Wall and Boston Celtics forward Jae Crowder have been fined for their altercation after Wednesday night’s game, the NBA announced Saturday. During the incident, Crowder, who was fined $25,000 for “a postgame confrontation on the playing court” and for “attempting to escalate the situation after exiting the playing court,” pointed in Wall’s face and made contact with his nose. Wall, who was fined $15,000 for “his role in the confrontation on the court,” retaliated by swinging at Crowder.

After taking a flagrant-2 foul from Wall midway through the fourth quarter of a 118-93 loss Wednesday night, Smart drew a technical foul for bouncing up and informing Wall he did not like the hard hit. “He made a hard foul and I didn’t take too fond of it. So I let him know what I had to say,” Smart said after the game. “I ain’t backing down from nobody and that’s going to be understood from here on out. I don’t know what he thought but I think he got the message.”
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December 15, 2017 | 5:04 am EST Update
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