Celtics vs. Bucks rating, takeaways: Boston bounces again vs. Milwaukee, evens sequence with dominant Sport 2 win

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The Boston Celtics received embarrassed on their dwelling court docket in Sport 1. They made certain that did not occur once more in Sport 2. Jaylen Brown places up a game-high 30 factors because the Celtics bounced again with a dominant 109-86 win over the Bucks Tuesday evening to even the second-round sequence at one sport apiece. Sport 3 is Saturday in Milwaukee.

Boston was sizzling from the beginning, outscoring Milwaukee 65-40 within the first half. Boston’s scoring got here largely from behind the arc because the Celtics made 20 of their 43 3-point makes an attempt within the victory. The Celtics’ protection made life tough for the defending champions, who had been held to below 90 factors.

The Bucks went into Boston on Sunday and handed the Celtics a shocking 101-89 defeat of their sequence opener. Within the course of, the defending champions stole dwelling court docket away from the East’s No. 2 seed. Boston rebounded with a win at TD Backyard, they usually did so with out the providers of Defensive Participant of the 12 months Marcus Good, who sat out with a proper thigh contusion. Listed below are three takeaways from Sport 2.

1. The Boston 3 Social gathering

The Celtics tried 50 3-pointers in Sport 1, nevertheless it wasn’t by selection. Milwaukee’s protection — already geared round defending the paint and sacrificing 3s — took issues to a different degree within the opener by beginning Bobby Portis alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez. The concept was to place a lot dimension on the ground that the Celtics can be baited into capturing nothing however jumpers. They fell for it, and within the course of made solely 10 2s in all the sport.

Most assumed that Boston would attempt to discover methods to take fewer 3s in Sport 2, nevertheless it did not. As an alternative the Celtics determined that this time, they’d merely make all of their 3-pointers. The Celtics scored 65 factors within the first half and began the sport 11 of 17 from behind the arc. Grant Williams (6), Jaylen Brown (6) and Jayson Tatum (5) all made extra 3s within the sport than the Bucks did as a crew (3). Boston outscored Milwaukee by 51 factors from deep, however what’s extra, that sizzling capturing helped the Celtics discover simpler factors within the first half. Milwaukee grew so afraid of Boston’s capturing that its protection lastly began to shut out on open Celtics. Boston retaliated with an unimaginable half of ball motion to create simple appears that took benefit of Milwaukee’s scattered protection.

The issue for Boston was that it did not maintain this high-energy offense for 4 quarters. The Celtics scored simply 44 second-half factors as a result of their offense received lazy. It devolved too ceaselessly right into a ball-handler driving into visitors, frantically passing it out, the vitality dying and a Celtic taking a contested 3. The primary half was proof that Milwaukee has a neater time defending stationary Celtics than transferring ones. If Boston can seize what it did within the first half transferring ahead, it could win this sequence shortly. If it performs the low-energy offense it did within the second? Milwaukee can take management of this sequence at dwelling.

2. The Williams wall

There are usually not sufficient superlatives for the defensive efficiency Grant Williams gave in Sport 2. There are dozens of performs that need to be highlighted, however I wish to key in on this one, particularly. No want for setup, let’s simply have a look:

Giannis Antetokounmpo, the practically 7-foot freight practice who has received two regular-season MVPs and is the reigning Finals MVP, bumped into Williams at full velocity … and collapsed. Grant Williams is an absolute brick wall. If Giannis cannot exert his physicality in opposition to Boston’s younger ahead, no one goes to have the ability to. One of the best half? He is not even the most effective defensive Williams on the Celtics. Robert Williams III might need received the Defensive Participant of the 12 months award that finally went to Marcus Good had he not gotten damage late within the season. 

Grant is 23. Robert is 24. They share the frontcourt with Al Horford for now, but when Boston can afford to maintain each, it’ll have among the finest and most versatile pair of defensive large males in all of basketball for the foreseeable future, they usually each occur to have the identical final identify. Robert has drawn a lot of the reward all season for his spotlight blocks, nevertheless it was Grant’s power that proved so pivotal in Sport 2.

3. Taking part in two totally different sports activities

In two video games so far on this sequence, the Celtics have tried 41 extra 3-pointers than the Bucks. Once more, a few of that’s by design. Milwaukee’s protection is designed to permit 3s. However its offense is designed to take them as properly. Milwaukee ranked fifth within the NBA by taking 38.4 3s per sport within the common season. Boston took fewer at 37.1 per sport. But in Sport 2, the Celtics took 43 3s and the Bucks took simply 18. 

These 18 3-point makes an attempt are by far the fewest of the Mike Budenholzer period in Milwaukee. Below his teaching, the Bucks had by no means taken fewer than 22 in a sport earlier than Sport 2. However Boston modified up its sport plan defensively in a means that took away the 3s Milwaukee lives off of on offense. Somewhat than doubling Antetokounmpo and permitting him to rack up double-digit assists as he did in Sport 1, Boston trusted Grant Williams and Al Horford to take him one-on-one. They had been largely profitable. Giannis shot 11 of 27 from the sphere. 

With out having to commit further assets to him, the Celtics had been capable of keep at dwelling on shooters, and with Khris Middleton out, the Bucks lacked the shot creation to seek out their most well-liked appears in different methods. Now it is as much as the Bucks to determine how they will get their photographs off in opposition to Boston simply as Boston adjusted to them in Sport 2.

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