Don’t Count Out the Celtics due to Game One Loss
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Matt Bassin: This team only made 10, two point shots the entire game, which I don’t know if I’ve ever seen before. Is game one just a bad game for the Celtics, or is it a sign of issues that they cannot overcome against this Milwaukee Bucks team?
Ryan Griffin: I think it’s a bad game. Now for transparency, we do have a cheat sheet.
The Celtics are up 15 to three right now against Milwaukee at the start of game two, at least they started out strong. But why you would say it was just a bad game, as you mentioned, the 36% from three, which isn’t that bad, but the Celtics also missed a ton of open threes that normally they would have made.
Maybe they came out thinking, Hey, Khris Middleton isn’t here or we got the first two games at home, this should be something easy for us. They were coming off a sweep so maybe they’re a little bit rusty. Granted, the Bucks only played five games against the Bulls so I don’t know how much of that excuse you can lend some credence to.
And then in game two, they’re not going to have Marcus Smart, at least for game two and it still seems like Middleton’s going to be out the entire series. So, I do think it was a bad game.
I don’t necessarily know that means they could beat the Bucks anyway in the series because they just don’t have a player on the level of Giannis Antetokounmpo. As a great as Jayson Tatum has been this year, he’s still no Giannis. Giannis has proven that he can do it in the playoffs just last year.
He’s got two regular season MVPs and that might end up being the difference. Tatum can’t really muscle out Giannis like he could Kevin Durant last series and even in the first game where Giannis didn’t shoot so well, he still had a triple double and he still dominated really on both ends of the floor, I think is plus minus, which isn’t always the best stat. I think he was like, plus 26 or something, shooting 10 of maybe 25.
Matt Bassin: Yeah. I agree with everything you said, it’s a big difference. Look, no one else really has. There’s a couple out there, maybe, that are similar as far as size and skill level, but to be 6’11” or seven foot, I’m not sure exactly what his height is at this point and have the skills that he has and the ability to really take it to the rack.
Tatum Vs. Giannis
Yeah. Jayson Tatum is a really good player, but he’s not tall enough to take care of Giannis. And Giannis is just as strong, if not stronger than Jayson Tatum. Kevin Durant is nowhere near that. He’s got other ways where he’s sneaky and crafty. He’s a great shooter and all that, but the man is slender as can be.
So, to not have that muscle and now you have to deal with that muscle. That’s a big turnaround for someone of Jason Tatum’s level to have to try and get ready for while also trying to carry the team offensively. He didn’t have a great game one., he had 21 points, but it took 18 shots to get there.
Tatum had no help essentially. Brown had 12. Al Horford and Marcus Smart had 10, but that was it. I’m wondering if you might be right with the whole taking them lightly with no Khris Middleton because we were talking about this, and as good as the Bucks are, not having your second-best player can be detrimental against a very good team.
And in the playoffs, you’re generally playing very good teams, but John has got a bunch of help. Drew Holiday pitched in, Bobby Portis pitched in, Grayson Allen pitched in. Unlike Brooklyn, for the Celtics they’re now playing a team that plays a little bit of defense as well. And so life just got a lot harder for the Celtics to have to get through this.
And you’ve already given up home-field advantage. Definitely not a good look. They have to bounce back. Now you’ve got Magic coming out, tweeting that if the Celtics lose this game, it’s going to be a sweep by Milwaukee.
You got to feel good going home up two nothing. It doesn’t mean the series is over, but this feels like it is a must-win game for Boston, because you don’t want to go to Milwaukee down 0-2.