The Boston Celtics faced the Milwaukee Bucks for the third time this season and finally handled business, 108-100. All five of the Celtics’ starters were in double scoring figures (although Avery Bradley should have 100 points for his circus shot alone). The Bucks did not go quietly into that good night but were put to bed on a Sullinger step back jumper with under a minute to go in the 4th quarter. The Celtics are now 8-12 and first (!!!) in the Atlantic division so take your tank and do things with it that I can’t write on here about. Now, the recap!
-Celtics rushed out on the Bucks out of the locker room to a 22-9 lead in large thanks to the 3 point shot, as they hit four 3 pointers in the opening minutes of the game!
-Avery Bradley sank an INCREDIBLE behind the backboard shot off of an offensive rebound on the same jump to beat the shot clock.
-Although the Celtics came out of the gates hitting 7 of their first 8 shots, they shot 2 for their next 12 field goal attempts.
-The Bucks answered back with Mayo and Middleton combining for 13 of the Bucks’ 23 point in the first quarter.
-The first half was very streaky as each team took turns going runs but ultimately the Celtics had more runs in them than the Bucks did in the first half.
-The Celtics led by 15 near the 2 minute mark before halftime but allowed Milwaukee to trim the deficit down to 7 going into halftime.
-Bucks stormed out to a 5-5 start and that quickly set the tone for the Bucks.
-The Celtics traded baskets with the Bucks for a few possessions but it was clear which team was scoring off of plays and which team was lucking into shots going in.
-The Celtics throw sand in their own machine as Tommy Heinsohn has said a few times this year and I couldn’t agree more.
-About the sand in their own machine topic, I think it’s because teams pressure Jordan Crawford full court that stagnates the entire offense. It’s not so much of the Celtics settling for jumpers, they start their offense with 14 seconds instead of 18 because of the pressure applied to Crawford. This should improve DRASTICALLY when Rajon Rondo returns.
-Much to my delight, Jeff Green bailed out the Celtics of two possessions with two 3 pointers, both of which the play began with less than 15 seconds on the shot clock (see above).
-Courtney Lee who previously would have been a side note in this recap, began the 4th quarter and ignited a 7-0 run fueled by the Celtics defense.
-Is it me or does Jordan Crawford make every 3 pointer that he sways back on after he releases the ball???
-The Celtics started out 6-6 in the first 5 minutes of the 4th quarter and when you shoot that well, you almost always set the tone of how the quarter will be played.
-Brandon Knight, who was having a forgettable game, got hot from 3 point land and got the Bucks within 3 at one point late in the 4th quarter.
-The Celtics desperately needed a bucket and after the Bucks pressured Crawford into initiating the offense with barely 11 seconds on the shot clock, the ball found it’s way to Sullinger who was doubled and escaped to where that Pierce fellow used to hit clutch shots and buried the shot to catapult the Celtics towards a victory.
Jordan Crawford: 25 points on 8/14 FG & 5 assists.
Avery Bradley: 15 points on 6/12 FG & ONE OMFGHOWDIDHEMAKETHATSHOT!
Jeff Green: 18 points on 6/9 FG, 5 rebounds & 3 assists.
Jared Sullinger: 12 points on 5/15 FG & 8 rebounds.
Courtney Lee: 11 pointers on 5/7 FG.
-Sullinger had an off night but I think it was more of Henson & Co’s length that caused him to shoot a low percentage. But man, THAT STEPBACK!
-Green had an efficient night but he needs more shot attempts than 9, good game from him though.
-Brad Stevens can coach, I have no idea how this team is where it’s at but I can tell the players BELIEVE in what he’s saying and it’s really nice to see him have success early. (Even if he won’t admit it, he has to be happy with where he has this team, not record wise but in the way they play).
-The tone of games is VERY important in my opinion with this team, if opposing teams can enforce their style of play on the Celtics, more often than not, the Celtics will lose. However if the Celtics set their tone early in quarters, that gives them a much, MUCH bigger chance to win because of how new (young?) this team is. Once their confident in themselves, this team is not a bad team..
-The Celtics are 4-0 when all five of their starters are in double scoring figures, which really caught my eye for some reason.
-Forget about Andrew Wiggins, forget about Jabari Parker in a Celtics uniform and enjoy this team. The ups, the downs, everything. If Tommy’s speech about tanking doesn’t get your screaming curse words before and after saying tank, then I don’t know what will. (Joel Embiid though, just saying, just saying.)
The Celtics will look to defend their home court against the surging Denver Nuggets this Friday at 7:30PM EST.