Boston Celtics: Game 2 Preview vs Milwaukee Bucks

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: Terry Rozier
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: Terry Rozier /

Boston Celtics set for pivotal Game 2 vs Bucks

The Boston Celtics defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 113-107 last Sunday at the TD Garden, as Al Horford and Terry Rozier propelled the Celtics to their first victory of the playoffs.

Game 2, however, is set to be of monumental proportions.

While the Celtics were able to somewhat contain Giannis Antetokounmpo, limiting him to 35 points overall on 52 percent shooting from the field, Boston’s approach to guarding the rest of Milwaukee’s roster will likely change heading into Tuesday’s matchup.

Containing the Bucks Shooting

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Antetokounmpo is a transcendent talent. His ability to drive to the basket and throw down with a force only comparable to that of Russel Westbrook is quite remarkable.

Boston’s biggest issue in Game 1, however, was clearly Khris Middleton.

Marked by many to be a potential X-Factor in this series vs Boston, Middleton showed his entire arsenal on Sunday. He scored 31 points and hit over 71 percent of his three-point shots, and his late game heroics gave the Celtics an overtime scare.

Not only did Middleton contribute offensively, his stat-line was quite extraordinary. He tallied 8 rebounds and 6 assists while leading his team with a +11 plus/minus.

If the Celtics want to get a pivotal game two at the TD Garden, the key will be to contain Middleton and force someone else to hurt them from deep.

What worked for Boston

There were a number of different factors that allowed Boston to come away with the first victory of this first round series.

Al Horford‘s overall game was incredible. He tallied a double-double with 24 points and 12 rebounds on the night, and his contributions from the line while being guarded by one of the most physical defenders in the league was outstanding.

There were also some outstanding performances from a number of different youngsters.

Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and  Rozier combined for 62 points on the night, while Brad Stevens raved about his young studs, especially Rozier in his first career playoff start.

"“Terry’s a stud. Terry is a hard-nosed guy, he’s a competitive guy” coach Stevens noted after the Celtics’ victory on Sunday. “He’s got great ability. And you know, obviously, he made some huge, huge plays there for us. And the shot of the end of regulation, obviously, was the highlight of that.”"

With around 10 seconds remaining in regulation, Rozier received the inbound pass from Tatum and proceeded to milk the clock.

With 4 seconds to go, Rozier drove hard on Eric Bledsoe, and proceeded to cross over into a step-back three point jumper, giving Boston an emphatic lead before Middleton’s remarkable half-court heave.

While Middleton is the Bucks’ X-Factor for the series, Rozier has the potential to be the X-Factors for the entirety of the playoffs.


The Celtics were very impressive in Game 1, but as NBC Sports’ Brian Scalabrine noted, the Celtics will come out with a very similar fire after their first playoff victory of the year.

Brad Stevens won’t allow the Celtics to feel secure after just one win, especially after the way it unfolded. Expect the team to play hard and attack early and often.

Should the Celtics come away with another victory, it will put them in prime position to steal a game on the road in their next two contests at Milwaukee.

Next: Terry Rozier Needs to Keep Attacking

Prediction: Celtics 115 Bucks 108