The Boston Celtics had this game won, they had it and the Milwaukee Bucks simply took it from them. The first half was phenomenal for the Celtics, crisp offense and on-time defensive rotations galore. It was almost too good to be true, I thought and unfortunately I was right. The second half started out on a decent note but the Celtics began playing one on one instead of as a team. Without further adieu, I will tell you just how opposite the halves were.
1st Half: Not to take anything away from the Celtics’ defensive work but the Bucks’ were playing awful the first quarter. Nothing seemed to drop for the Bucks and nearly everything went in for the Celtics. Although this was a night to celebrate Bill Russell’s legacy, that did not stop rookie Vitor Faverani from trying to steal the show. Faverani was everywhere on the defensive end, whether he blocked a shot or not, I was extremely impressed with how he has played on defense. Rookie bigs tend to struggle with the defensive end of the court the most but he has flourished there. Another big man playing well is Brandon Bass. He’s hitting his jump shot, rebounding well, quarterbacking the defense (at times) and running the floor very well. Jared Sullinger also impressed, making his regular season debut and return from back surgery. Sullinger made his present felt as he always does, by rebounding. Jeff Green also had a solid half with 11 points. Speaking of rebounding, the Celtics had 28 rebounds at the half! Sticking with the in the paint stats, the Celtics scored 42 out of their 63 points in the paint at halftime.
2nd Half: The 3rd quarter is where things began to go south for the Celtics. It was most likely their enormous lead at half time that led them to believe the Bucks had given up to die another day, but Milwaukee came out battling (which compared to their effort in the first half, was a big change). The Celtics, I felt, forced the ball to Bass, Faverani and Wallace in the 3rd quarter, thus taking away opportunities from Green. I want to make clear that I am not making excuses for Green as he certainly could have been more aggressive in the third quarter. Although posting up that trio did result in some good things, it was done too much and the Celtics, as Tommy Heinsohn repeatedly noted “The ball is sticking in one guy’s hand too much.” The fourth quarter was the case of “Too little, too late,” in my opinion. Boston finally gave up (sorta) on force feeding Bass, Faverani and Wallace in the post & tried to get Green going. While Green got to the line, he missed free throws that would have immensely aided the Celtics in search of the win. Simply put, the Bucks converted and the Celtics did not. The Celtics had a grand total of SEVEN field goals in the entire second half. Yeah.
Bad loss, but lost in the whole “WE BLEW A 20 POINT LEAD.” Talk is that we played very well as a UNIT in the first half. Granted, we won’t be that efficient in every half but it was definetly nice to see the Celtics play well on BOTH ends.
Kelly Olynyk is still trying to find his comfort zone on this team and in the NBA. He’s STRUGGLED with boxing out NBA bigs, defending as a whole and been scared to shoot. He’ll find his comfort zone eventually so be patient with him.
Avery Bradley has fouled out in both games, look I’m all for him being who he is on defense but just cool it for a while. We need something out of Bradley offensively and not just field goal attempts.
Kris Humphries and MarShon Brooks tallied up a DNP-CD this game. Humphries primarily because of Sullinger’s return and Brooks really doesn’t seem to have given Brad Stevens any reason to play him.
Once again I have to say how well Brandon Bass is playing. It’s good for us and him as I’m sure he would like to play on a contender than a rebuilding team at his stage in his career.
Vitor Faverani is so much better than Fab Melo and it’s amusing to look back at our predictions for Faverani. Pretty much everyone was hoping he’d be slightly better than Fab and now he’s our hero.
Jeff Green- 13 points on 4/13 FG, 1/3 from 3PT range, 4/7 from the free throw line, 9 rebounds and four turnovers.
Vitor Faverani- 12 points on 4/6 FG, 4/6 from the free throw line, 18 rebounds and 6 blocks.
Brandon Bass- 17 points on 6/11 FG, 5/6 from the free throw line and 9 rebounds.
Avery Bradley: 8 points on 4/14 FG, 0/3 from 3PT range, 4 turnovers and 6 fouls.
Jared Sullinger: 10 minutes, 10 points on 2/6 FG, 6/7 from the free throw line and 3 rebounds.
Courtney Lee: 13 points on 6/11 FG.
The 0-2 Boston Celtics will continue to look for their first win of the season at Detroit against the new look Pistons at 6:00pm EST.