Boston Celtics: B/R not high on C’s chances of advancing against Bucks

3 Reasons why Cs shouldn't worry about the Bucks Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
3 Reasons why Cs shouldn't worry about the Bucks Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /

The Boston Celtics stormed by the Brooklyn Nets in round one of the 2022 playoffs, downing their divisional rivals in sweep fashion, and were flying high into their second-round matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Unfortunately, however, their momentum came to an abrupt halt in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, as the C’s simply couldn’t find the type of rhythm and two-way efficiency that turned them into one of the best ball clubs in the league during the second half of the season.

Led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, who notched the second triple-double of his playoff career, the Bucks stole the first game of this best-of-seven series on the road at TD Garden, breezing by the Boston Celtics by a final score of 101-89.

Now, luckily for the Jays and co., there are still a potential total of six games to be played in this highly touted matchup, meaning they still have ample time to get things in order and position themselves for yet another triumphant series and their fourth Eastern Conference Finals berth in six seasons.

However, after their Game 1 drubbing, there are quite a number of people who have soured on Boston’s chances of advancing against the defending champions, including the folks at Bleacher Report who, in a recent piece, predicted that Milwaukee would ultimately come away victorious from this series.

Citing the way Giannis dominated in all facets of the game during Sunday’s matinee, coupled with their great looks at the rim and the physical dominance of Milwaukee as a whole, writer Andy Bailey predicts that, while things will likely go the distance, ultimately the reigning champs will reign supreme in round-two:

"On several drives, Antetokounmpo was stifled by multiple Celtics, patiently waited for his outlets to give him passing lanes, and he hit them. His 12 assists were three shy of his playoff career high.The supporting cast won’t always convert as well as it did in Sunday’s 101-89 win, but those shots figure to be there. And if Boston adjusts and stays home on the shooters, whoever’s guarding Giannis will find himself on an island. That might be a worse option.Another potential advantage that showed up on Sunday was Milwaukee’s size. With Middleton out, the Bucks started Bobby Portis alongside Brook Lopez. Those two and Giannis each got to double figures on the glass. And Giannis and Lopez combined for five blocks.Al Horford has plenty of skill, and Robert Williams III is one of the game’s more explosive interior presences, but that much sheer size is hard to compete with.Still, you have to figure this is far from the best we’ll see from the Celtics in this series. Milwaukee’s defense deserves plenty of credit, but Boston also missed a lot of good looks on the way to a 33.3 field-goal percentage for the game. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined to go 10-of-31 from the field.In at least two or three games, either or both of those star wings will get going. And combining that with a defense that you can count on in pretty much every game at this point (it held the Bucks to 41.1 percent shooting in Game 1) should lead to some wins.There just aren’t many forces in sports as devastating as playoff Giannis, though. With the championship experience that he, Jrue Holiday and much of the rest of the team is bringing, Milwaukee should be able to win three more games."

Considering the fact that both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown easily played one of their worst games of the season, coupled with the bevy of missed shots (many of which were clean takes, yet just fell short) from the supporting cast, an 11-point loss is by no means a joyous thing to see, but one could argue that the Boston Celtics should have been down by even more once the final buzzer sounded.

We’ve seen this team bounce back from greater adversity than this (heck, they just put forth one of the greatest midseason turnarounds in NBA history from January on) and, being that they still have two of the best two-way wings in the league today, two incredibly versatile big men, the Defensive Player of the Year, and a truly impressive coach in Ime Udoka all on their side, don’t expect the team to play like this on a consistent basis moving forward.

Make no mistake about it–the Boston Celtics will make this a series and still have a great chance of nabbing four wins before these Semifinals are all said and done.

Hopefully, Game 2 will serve as a stabilizer and will lead to an evening 1-1 record.

This series has only just begun!

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