With Isaiah Thomas leading the charge, the Celtics have rejoined the fray.
But Washington turned things around, thriving at times under Brooks and finishing with 49 wins, and its guard tandem could smile Tuesday while discussing the perceived rift between them.
In this seven-game series, Boston will have to slow down LeBron James. He has scored 33-plus in seven straight games.
Even though the Celtics are the top seed in the conference.
Of course, none of what Boston does on offence will truly matter unless they manage to slow down a red-hot Cavaliers offence, which is now shooting lights out at 43.4 per cent on 3-pointers, a mark even better than their efficient 39.1 per cent in the regular season.
These Celtics aren't short on belief, though, and their confidence has been intensified by a postseason filled with adversity. The Cavs were 20-21 on the road in the regular season, but they are 4-0 on the road in the playoffs. Lost at home for the first time since Game 2 of first round against Chicago.
But the Celtics have yet to beat the Cavs this season with Cleveland at full strength. "So we'll have to see what happens". "I told him, 'We're 8-0". We've got to get ready for the defending champs.
"We're not focused on the outside noise and what they think we're going to do", said Thomas. "We understand that we only can worry about us and what we can control, and that's our effort, and that's all we care about".
"Thomas is averaging 25.4 points per game in the postseason, and his teammates have picked him up when he's needed it, too. They made big shots all series".
Boston's mettle has been tested.
For the third time in four seasons, John Wall and Bradley Beal exited the playoffs in the second round, extending the Washington Wizards' almost four-decade drought without a conference finals appearance. Every possession will count even more against the Cavs.
Hes the first player to score at least 275 points with 70 rebounds and 50 assists in his teams first eight games, hes scored 30 or more in six straight and, in a sweep of Toronto, he became the first player to score at least 35 in each win. We're just going to keep pounding on that. We know we have a chance.
"Boston may be opening a new era of basketball relevance, but the last chapter from the Big Three's story isn't quite complete".
The Celtics advanced to the Eastern Conference final after downing Washington in Game 7 of their semi-final series on Monday.
"I hate losing, especially because we felt like we were the better team", Beal said. Celtics have been desperatley lacking another guy who can create for himself and others, Fultz provides that without costing the Celtics all of their cap space.
James is trying to get to his seventh consecutive NBA Finals and join a small group of Celtics players from the 1950s and 1960s, including Bill Russell, to achieve such a remarkable accomplishment.
Jae Crowder #99 of the Boston Celtics drives against LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dec. 14, 2015.
"The schedule comes in and helps us out", guard Shaun Livingston said. "They're going to bring it and try to pick us apart and take advantage of certain matchups".