After Game 5's explosion by Boston's supporting cast, do you see the Wizards changing their strategy again and allowing Isaiah Thomas to get his and shutting down everybody else?
Keith Smith: I don't think Washington can change at this point. They might make a slight adjustment and not trap IT as hard. Or they could throw some dummy traps at IT. Boston should focus on running the offense through Al Horford and hopefully guys like Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder will step up again.
Alex Kungu: The blueprint for the Celtics has always been to force anyone else to beat you not named Isaiah Thomas. In Games 3 and 4, the Wizards full-court pressed Thomas just about every time he brought the ball up and constantly had two other guys shading him while they put a lanky defender on him to disrupt his vision and ability to get downhill. The Wizards threw out a similar strategy in Game 5, except this time Thomas was more than willing to set screens and be a passer, and Al Horford absolutely shredded the Wizards high-pressure defense.
Going into Game 6, the Wizards will be faced with a choice: either believe that the great shooting Boston displayed was merely an anomaly that won’t unfold again or put less pressure on Isaiah Thomas and pray that he doesn’t end your season. My money is with them staying with the same strategy and relying on the fact that the Celtics shooting from game 5 is most likely unsustainable.
Bill Sy: I hear everything that everybody is saying, but I don’t think the Wizards are very disciplined. Watching Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Al Horford, and Amir Johnson hit 30-of-48 shots gets into the psyche of a player. I can see Washington easing up their pressure on IT tonight and guess who’s one of the best players in the NBA at taking advantage of the smallest cracks in a defense?
Sean Penney: Wizards will stick with the gameplan of trying to stop IT because it worked for them in the other games in Washington. They won't count on Avery Bradley catching fire the way he did in Game 5. Stop the guy you know can hurt you and take your chances with the inconsistent offense of the supporting cast.
Jared Weiss: I tried asking Scott Brooks if their defensive gameplan against the Horford and Thomas actions were a death blow for the Wizards. He insisted that it was the transition failure that killed them. Despite the skepticism that their inability to defend against Horford as the primary ballhandler was not a fatal blow, it really does come down to who wins the transition race. Doubling Thomas off the ball is a risky move, as the Celtics are adept at opening up space to operate underneath and are able to feed the scrappy underbelly wings. Don’t expect to see nearly as much of that in Game 6. This is the kind of game where the coach needs to tell his star point guard (hint: not Brandon Jennings) to push himself to take the responsibility on both ends, guarding Thomas while dominating on offense. Wall is capable of it and all but promised he’ll do it after Game 5.