With the Washington starters a +49 through three games, should the Celtics concentrate more on shutting John Wall down or everybody else?
Alex Kungu: There is no such thing as stopping John Wall, so it has to be about containing his supporting cast. The Celtics can’t beat themselves by turning the ball over and allowing the Wiz to gain momentum in transition. They can survive big games from Wall and Beal, but they can’t let guys like Otto Porter or Marcin Gortat beat you.
Jeff Clark: Great point guards like Wall have an answer for whatever you do. If you try to stop him he'll be a facilitator. If you try to play him straight he'll burn you. Maybe they should just stay home on their guys and make him shoot 100 shots. It worked (occasionally) against Steve Nash.
Keith Smith: Boston needs to figure out a way to contain Wall and at least make him work. Things have been far too easy for him, especially early in games. It would be best to let Bradley check him right from the tip and make him work for everything he gets.
Bill Sy: Here’s the compromise: let him shoot long 2s. Wall has been murder in the mid-range in these playoffs (47.2% in the post-season vs. 38.7% in the regular season), but I’d take my chances with him shooting that 15-footer over him turning the corner and getting to the rim. Giving him space for the jump shot allows him to get his and also takes away the rest of his team. It’s a little live-and-die-by-John-Wall-who-is-their-best-player, but it’s the NBA and you can’t take everything away.
Lachlan Marr: This is a tough one. With Wall it can be hard to know how to pick your poison. Wall is one of the best passers in the league, and as his assist record shows if you close in on him he can usually still find open teammates. I think as always it needs to be an all-around team effort to close out on shooters and shut down whoever you can whenever you can. The Celtics managed to contain Bradley Beal for the most part in Games 1 and 2, but Washington’s second guard was much more instrumental in Game 3, and the Wizards got the win. So I think it’s a matter of trying to contain Wall while also trying to contain everyone else. Hey, no one said this was going to be easy, it’s the playoffs!