It got more than physical on Wednesday night in Boston's 117-108 win over Washington at the TD Garden, as tempers reached their boiling point immediately following the conclusion of the game.
If you haven't heard or watched what happened between Celtics forward Jae Crowder and Wizards guard John Wall, both guys were involved in what was best described by Wall as two players 'trash talking' to one another just moments after the final buzzer.
Both players had to be restrained and separated once it escalated to Crowder pointing his finger and touching the point guard's noise and Wall responded by slapping the Celtics swingman's face.
The incident will likely warrant fines from the NBA's front office, who have yet to comment on the situation.
Afterwards, both teams looked to downplay the altercation while five Boston police officers stood outside of each team's locker room, that are right across from one another
"We knew there was going to be some trash-talking," said Wall. "We knew it was going to be a physical game. That's all it was: Just a little trash-talking and a physical game."Jae Crowder refused to shed some light on the dust-up, electing to speak about the Celtics win instead.
"I don't know what you're talking about. I ain't got no comment about that," said Crowder. "You want to talk about the game? Anyone want to talk about the game?"But he did have some choice words about both teams when asked about how tough it is to keep a cool head.
"The game was a good fight, " Crowder added. "Both teams kind of went back-to-back, so the effort was there. Just two teams playing hard."The Wizards Otto Porter second his locker-room's sentiment while throwing a little jab towards the Celtics (no-pun intended) as well.
"We got some past history the last couple of years with those guys," said Porter. "They bring the best out of you...They're a physical team, they try to play dirty and take you out your game. That's just how they try to play."When asked to respond to Porter's comments, Isaiah Thomas brushed it off as an non-issue.
"It's not us. I know that," said Thomas, who was the game's highest scorer with 38 points. "That's not what the Celtics are about. We play hard. So if playing hard is dirty, then I guess we are a dirty team.
"I don't play dirty," Thomas added. "I'll talk. That's the name of the game. You talk. You want to compete. You can talk trash. But just as a man, don't disrespect nobody. And if you don't disrespect nobody, it won't turn into nothing else."
These two teams have had their back-and-forth, especially over the past year. If you recall last January when these two teams played each other, Crowder accused then Wizards' coach Randy Whittman of using obscenities towards him as the two engaged in a shouting match. The Celtics swingman was assessed with a technical foul that almost cost his team the game.
Ultimately, Crowder would have the last laugh as he hit the go-head jumper and also happened to be the game-winner that night in D.C.
Over the summer when Al Horford chose to sign with Boston instead of the Hawks or the Wizards during free agency, Crowder decided to throw in his two cents about Horford making the smart move while slighting Washington in the process.
"He had Washington and some other teams looking at him, but we beat them four times this year. You don't want to go there." [CSNMid-Atlantic]Just imagine how much the Wizards also dislike Marcus Smart (among other Celtics players), who was accused of being a 'dirty player' when he and Wall (who was ejected) got tangled up in this season's first meeting back in November.
Circle January 24 on your calendar, which is the next time these two teams will meet and have your popcorn ready. This Celtics-Wizards matchup just got a whole lot better down in the nation's capital.
Click here to view footage of Wednesday's scuffle
Photo used is courtesy of CSNNE.com