John Wall is an established NBA All-Star now and had a great run at Kentucky as a freshman sensation. Fans know who he is and realise just how potent his offensive game can be, but these playoffs have become a monster coming out party for the point guard.
Now against the Boston Celtics, he is looking to add another chapter to his playoff history by chasing a Game 7 win on Monday in The TD Garden. Beating the C’s on the road in a final game would be the greatest achievement of his career so far.
In fact, it would be by far the most impressive win in multiple decades for the franchise. That is to say, Washington has had a lot of brushes with seven-game series over the course of their history as a franchise and it has been up and down.
Here are the four best examples of how the club responds in Game 7:
1970 Eastern Conference Semis and Finals
The Bullets, as they were known back then, came out to a hot start by grabbing a 3-1 lead in the semifinal round of the playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers. Somehow, they ended up in a Game 7 despite that advantage, but emerged victorious in the deciding game 128-120.
Strangely, the team found itself in a similar battle in the next round as the New York Knicks gave them everything they had. Washington secured a Game 5 victory and squandered a chance to close it out at home and prevailed 113-96 in New York City to advance to the NBA Finals.
1976 Semis against Cleveland
Most current fans of the NBA would claim that the Wizards’ biggest rival is LeBron James because of their frequent meetings earlier in the superstar’s career. But, a deep dive into their history shows that they had battles in the playoffs before.
In ‘76, the upstart Cavaliers battled the Bullets tooth and nail to face the Boston Celtics in the next round. Cleveland hit an astounding three game-winning field goals to win this series in seven games and the Bullets were left to wonder what could have been.
1974 Conference Semis against Buffalo Braves
1974 featured two teams that would be known by different names now as the Buffalo Braves took on the Washington Wizards. (They are known as the Los Angeles Clippers now and the Wizards were rebranded last decade.)
The playoffs saw the Bullets survive a tough 7-game series against those Braves. In a strange twist, the home team took all 7 games in this series. That is strange because that is exactly how this current series with Washington has shaken out and they are hoping for similar results.
1978 NBA Finals against Seattle SuperSonics
Washington battled the team now known as the Oklahoma City Thunder for the NBA Championship back in 1978. The entire series was captivating because of the stages involved for both sides.
Wes Unseld claimed Finals MVP honors and things looked hairy heading into the final game of the series with the Bullets having to face winning a Game 7 on the road to claim their title. They would go on to win and no other team could claim that feat until last year’s Cleveland Cavaliers.