WASHINGTON (AP) — One game into the playoffs, Paul Millsap said his Atlanta Hawks were playing basketball while the Washington Wizards were “playing MMA.”
One game into the second round, Isaiah Thomas had his tooth knocked out by an elbow from Otto Porter. Yes, with the backcourt duo of John Wall and Bradley Beal the Wizards like to get out in transition, but they’ve also showed a willingness — maybe even an eagerness — to physically mix it up.
Forward Markieff Morris didn’t even consider Washington’s Game 3 win against the Boston Celtics on Thursday night terribly physical despite eight technical fouls and three ejections.
“I felt like Atlanta was a little bit more physical, as far as our style. We can turn it up a notch and be more physical,” Morris said. “As long as we win, we don’t care how it goes.”
On Friday, the Celtics said Thomas had two other damaged teeth that required “extensive oral surgery to stabilize” and added that he “did not suffer a fractured or broken jaw.”
Thomas has a four-piece temporary bridge that cracked when he was re-injured and replaced at halftime of Game 3. Team doctors are prepared to replace them again, if necessary.
Morris is the engine of the Wizards’ edgy play, unafraid to bump and grind inside, get under the skin of opponents and trash-talk with the best of them. Since he arrived in a trade from Phoenix last year, some of that has rubbed off on teammates, like mild-mannered Kelly Oubre Jr. He was tossed from Game 3 for charging and knocking over Kelly Olynyk.