Milwaukee Bucks dominate Boston Celtics in Game 1 of East semifinals

Milwaukee Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo (Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports)
Milwaukee Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo (Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Milwaukee Bucks stun, dominate Boston Celtics in Game 1. 

The Milwaukee Bucks handled business on the road in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals. A historically poor shooting night for the Boston Celtics resulted in a loss on their homecourt.

Milwaukee certainly looked like the defending champs Sunday afternoon. Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, and Jaylen Brown will not go down without a fight, however.

Boston struggled to score the ball all game long, and Milwaukee was playing exceptional defense on top of that. As a team, the Celtics shot 33 percent from the field, and 36 percent from the three-point line. They shot 50 three-pointers, only making 18 of them.

The Celtics were outscored in three of the four quarters in Game 1. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown had off nights shooting. Tatum went 6-18 from the field, and Brown went 4-13. The pair also combined for 7-18 from deep.

When your two best scorers are not playing well, it’s hard to win games. I don’t expect the Celtics to deal with this all series long. This was one historically bad shooting night that Boston will look to erase from their memory. Boston only scored 89 points in Game 1, and that has happened five other times this season. 

A bad shooting night can be fixed for the Celtics, but their defensive intensity needs to be raised to a different level. One player who needs to have a bigger impact in Game 2, is Marcus Smart. He left the game on Sunday with a right shoulder injury/right quad contusion.

Marcus Smart won Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY) for a reason. He makes an impact that cannot be matched by any other player. Boston will look for him to leave his mark on Game 2, both defensively and offensively. Smart only scored 10 points in Game 1, going 3-11 from the field, and 1-6 from the three-point line.

Milwaukee had a dominant Game 1 vs. the Celtics. They did this all without the help of three-time all-star, Khris Middleton. He’s expected to miss all of the semifinal games vs. Boston. Even with Middleton out, the Bucks were able to steal a road game.

Basketball is a team game, and all five players have to be on the same page if you want to have postseason success. One player can make a huge impact on a team, however. For Milwaukee, that is six-time all-star, two-time NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP), and 2021 NBA Champion, Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Giannis recorded his second career playoff triple-double in Game 1. He had 24 points, 13 rebounds, and 12 assists. There will always be a debate about who is the best player in the world, and Antetokounmpo will always be at the top of that list.

The Bucks have an assortment of complementary players that help the team win big games. With Middleton out, certain players will have to contribute more scoring. Veteran Jure Holiday answered the call in Game 1, with 25 points, compared to his 18.3 average in the regular season.

In my opinion, I think Jrue Holiday is just as good, if not better than Marcus Smart. The two average very similar numbers and quite honestly, they play the same type of basketball. Both are point guard hybrids who are defensively oriented, while still contributing to the team’s offense in various ways.

Anticipate seeing a much different game from the Boston Celtics in Game 2. It would take a lot for the Celtics to shoot much worse than they did in Game 1. Boston does not want to lose their first two home games and go down 2-0 heading to Milwaukee.

Jayson Tatum and the Celtics will look to bounce back in Game 2, on Tuesday night. You can watch the game on TNT, at 7:00 pm EST. Celtics look to even up the series, while the Bucks look to have another dominant game on a quest to get back to the NBA Finals.

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Who do you think will take Game 2?