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How Wizards vs. Celtics became the pettiest rivalry in the NBA

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Washington and Boston are meeting up in Round 2 of the playoffs. Get ready for some fireworks.

The Washington Wizards and Boston Celtics have serious beef. Flagrant fouls, technical fouls, a verbal altercation with a coach, face poking, and the need for heightened security in the locker rooms.

That was all regular season though, and now we are headed for a playoff matchup. The Wizards and Celtics finished off their first-round opponents and will begin their second-round series on Sunday at 1 p.m. And it will be heated.

Back in January, John Wall told reporters that the Wizards would be wearing “All black everything,” to the third regular season matchup between the two teams. “A funeral.”

The idea to dress in all black came from Beal, according to the Washington Post. His troubles with Marcus Smart date back a year ago when the guard’s elbow accidentally clipped his face, breaking his nose, and giving the Wizards guard a concussion.

“We’re wearing all black to the game,” said Wizards forward Kelly Oubre. “It’s a memo that the team’s giving out. We’re ready for whatever. Round 3. Let’s get it.”

Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas mocked the hype of the regular season contest. "That's cute that they're wearing all black," Thomas said, according to CSN. "I just kind of laughed [when I heard] ... it's not like it's a Game 7."

The Wizards won that game, 123-108. We’re about to get an entire playoff series of this, and if we’re lucky we’ll get a Game 7.

How did we get to this point?

Wizards-Celtics scuffles date back for more than a year now. Last season, Jae Crowder accused former Wizards coach Randy Wittman of cursing at him. Only Crowder was hit with a technical foul. Things have escalated since then.

In a November game, Wall was ejected for getting into an altercation with Marcus Smart.

Also in January, Crowder poked Wall in the face after the Celtics 117-108 win in a bizarre postgame spat. Wall was fined $15,000 and Crowder $25,000.

That came after Beal was given a technical foul after tangling up with Smart earlier in the game. The perpetual animosity between players called for heightened security after the game.

There’s another layer to this, too

One of Washington’s wins in the regular season came in the absence of Al Horford. The center was Boston’s prize free agent signing of the summer, a player the Wizards needed to become an Eastern Conference threat, but they ultimately fell short. Jae Crowder fanned the flames when he explained the Celtics pitch in a summer interview with MassLive.

"He's a perfect fit," Crowder said. "That's what we were telling him. 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.” Well, Horford did in fact go there.

The regular season series ended up split 2-2 but we are sure to see plenty of drama now that this regular season rivalry finally heads to the playoffs.