Even without Chris Middleton, the Bucks have assured that they should be counted on to defend their title. Brutal in defense and in physical control, Giannis Antikonmo’s teammates won 101-89 at TD Garden. After starting the game under the “Hooray Basket” sign, the Pax got their hands on the game with their accuracy and protection of the circle. The Celtics can’t even get close to the basket, and they only score in the transition. Milwaukee loses a lot of balls, and after five minutes, the score is tied (10-10).
The first changes turn out to feature the Celtics who are giving themselves a little break (18-12) but Milwaukee isn’t alarmed. While Jaylen Brown’s big flick went off Giannis, Pat Connaughton and Bobby Portis planted two new 3-headers and Ime Udoka had to stop the game (24-22). At the back, Jevonne Carter gives the Bucks (25-24) an advantage. Clumsy, Giannis turns into a bystander, and Milwaukee signed 10-0 to end the first quarter (27-24).
Brooke Lopez as a goalkeeper
Payton-Pritchard stopped the bleeding (27-27), and Boston survived the offensive rebound. The two defenses are very high and access to the circuit is complicated. Jayson Tatum opens his meter, Jaylen Brown still struggles, and Giannis continues to play the others (39-34). Matthews leads the nail to 3 throws after five minutes from the end of the first half (42-34). Patience bucks rewarded. Tatum and Brown get up, and Horford sets a 3-point layer back to -2 (45-43). But Grayson Allen is hurt badly, and the Bucks’ very wide 2-1-2 defense corners the Celtics. Even worse, Marcus Smart was knocked out due to injury, and the Bucks took the opportunity to take off to reach a 10-point lead in the first half (56-46). In the first inning, the Celtics scored only six two-pointers. This is the lowest total for the season.
On his return from the locker room, Lopez covers the scores of Williams and Portis behind him: +12. The match is more and more suspended. Lots of communication, guns torn, and Tatum (finally) catches fire (58-52). But Holiday plants a triple pointer, then steals a ball… and Portis continues (64-54). There’s less control in the Bucks, but Boston doesn’t take advantage of it. The defenses captured the counter-attacks of Williams, Giannis and Lopez. It’s still hard to go into the circle on both sides (74-66). Boston does not benefit either from Giannis’ exit and Holiday is responsible for attacking the defense (78-70).
Finally, it was Bobby Portis who knocked out the Celtics by three pointers from the corner (87-72). Nine minutes into the finish, Boston lacks solutions and lacks aggression toward the circuit, like Transparent Brown. Vacation still kills the game: interception then triple pointer: Leading 17, and Brad Stevens already leaving his box. In the back, Giannis performs a “T-Mac” and then causes the force to pass. To make matters worse, Tatum sends an air ball. End of the game interest-free, the Bucks won 12 points, leaving the Celtics under 90 points!
What to remember
Marcus Smart is injured. Minutes after the break, Marcus Smart injured his shoulder and thigh. We thought it was a dislocated shoulder. He came back in the second half, but he was clearly down, and the Bucks let him shoot from distance. When he came back to the bench, Milwaukee definitely took a breather.
Bobby Portes remains in office. Mike Budenholzer continues to trust Portis in his starting line-up. It should be noted that Grayson Allen was the first to come off the bench and was to replace Jrue Holiday.
Real battle. We’ve rarely seen so many players on the ground since the start of the playoffs, and let the referees play a lot. The Celtics erected a wall, and Giannis Anticonmo repeatedly sent Robert Williams or Marcus Smart to the ground. There were crutches and kicks in the lower abdomen. But everyone got up, and the good spirit was throughout the match.
– Im Odoka knows defeat. Rookie coach Im Odoka won’t equal Steve Kerr and Tyrone Lowe who started their playoffs career with five straight wins. They were then the NBA champions…
✅Brooke Lopez. Racquet coach for 48 minutes. Robert Williams can’t shoot from distance, and Lopez was able to defend from cover. Dominate the bouncing balls and the ball. A Style Marc Gasol match.
✅Jrue holiday. He was as good in defense as in offense, and was the most consistent in offense. A bodily beast that doesn’t hesitate to challenge the Boston greats, or throw himself at all the balloons.
✅⛔Giannis Antikonmo. Lots of wastage from the best player in the 2021 finals with free throws and wasted passes. But his calmness is contagious, as is his altruism. He played with the others and was rewarded with his second career Triple Threat in the playoffs. His “T-Mac” is the business of the game.
✅Alhorford. It’s hard to get a player out of the Celtics group but Alhorford was the most consistent and most effective defender of Giannis.
✅⛔Jason Tatum. It wasn’t a great performance on his part with that ugly 6 out of 18 shots, but he kept hope at the start of the second half. More aggressive than Brown, he is also more involved in the game.
⛔Jaylen Brown. Like Jason Tatum, he lost his first half. The problem was that he couldn’t raise his head, and it was disastrous from far and near.
Game 2 in Boston on Tuesday-Wednesday night (1:00)