NBA

John Wall .

Celtics and Wizards set to resume hostilities in Christmas Day showdown

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The standout contest in the NBA's marquee slate of Christmas Day games might be the finals rematch between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers but it may not be the most heated.

The encounter between the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards sees two teams resume a rivalry that threatened to boil over last season.

After a number of chippy affairs in the regular season, the two teams met in the second round of the playoffs and played out a thrilling and intense seven-game series which the C's eventually won at home.

The two teams will resume hostilities on Christmas in their first meeting since their postseason clash and it promises to be another exciting encounter.

Hatred

When asked to explain the feud between the two sets of players during that playoff series, John Wall simply said: "I guess, just two teams that really don't like each other."

The point guard has been at the center of many of the physical altercations between them that have sparked the animosity.

Last season, he was fined $15,000 for almost sparking a fight with former Celtics small forward Jae Crowder after the game. He was also involved in a separate scuffle with Marcus Smart that resulted in him being hit with a flagrant two and an ejection from the game.

Boston Celtics v Washington Wizards - Game Six

"Yeah, I think it's a little rivalry," Wall told Candace Buckner of the Washington Post.

In one of their regular season matchups last year, the Wizards wore all black to the arena to signal that it was a 'funeral' game for Boston.

It's hard to pinpoint how this feud started but it has certainly escalated over the last two campaigns as they've engaged in physical and verbal taunts, trash-talking and the aforementioned wardrobe choices.

Their playoff series was compelling viewing and their meeting on December 25 should be another entertaining affair.

Washington Wizards v Boston Celtics - Game Seven

It will be interesting to see just how much of the bad blood is retained as the Celtics completely revamped their roster in the summer and retained just four players.

Two of the main figures in the beef, Isaiah Thomas and Crowder, have since moved on so there's no telling if the likes of Kyrie Irving and rookie Jayson Tatum will immerse themselves in the feud.

In the eyes of many, this has blossomed into the league's most entertaining rivalry and that was surely in the NBA's thinking when they scheduled it for the biggest and most popular day on the schedule.

Washington Wizards v Boston Celtics - Game Seven

Both franchises come into the game in different circumstances. Boston leads the Eastern Conference with a 26-9 record and has been enjoying an impressive year.

In contrast, Washington has struggled for consistency and are sixth in the east at 17-14.

But with the likes of Wall, Irving, Bradley Beal and Jaylen Brown on show, we should be in for a hotly contested duel in front of a sell-out crowd at TD Garden. You'd be silly to miss it.

Topics:
Washington Wizards
Southeast Division
Eastern Conference
NBA
Boston Celtics
Atlantic Division
John Wall

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