At its core, basketball is a simple game. Whichever team manages to put more shots through the basket, wins. Regardless of whether you achieve this by stifling the opponent’s game or by running an uptempo game to endless basket opportunities, this simple axiom still stands.
I had heard about this game being an absolute dump and was really tempted to skip it altogether. Discipline prevailed. While I steeled myself to endure the game in agony, the game did not seem that bad. Granted, they should have had this game in the bag, no questions asked. The Bucks weren’t exactly playing at a championship contender level, but it was enough to kill the C’s in this one, who seemed to be a little unfocused on defense, over-gambling for steals, giving open shots at times and letting the Bucks have their way on second chance points. They were in contrast, overly focused on the two man game to swing the ball effectively around the court on offense, which in turn led to guys standing around the court waiting for the kick out instead of active off ball movement.
Key to the game? The Celtics could not score consistently, even after getting stops. That basically doomed the entire game for them.
Milwaukee had 40 of 86 field goals, C’s had 33 of 74. The Bucks not only made more, they attempted more shots in the process. Hello, offensive rebounds (and lack of defensive rebounding). Not forgetting: turnovers, our much-loved Celtics stat. 18 TOs matched by the Bucks, this pointed to equally sloppy plays on both ends.
A few other comments on the game:
- Terry looked uncomfortable running the point today. Dumping the ball off to the big in the paint when driving, not the best idea in crowded space.
- Darko did not seem to handle the ball with ease today, injury still hampering him perhaps?
- Courtney Lee was missing the boundless energy he exhibited in preseason.
- Green needs to stop being so hesitant and drive more. He had mostly good results when driving in, and those eggs he laid at the baseline 3 (1 of 4) should have hinted that he needed to stop shooting. Add the obvious advantage he had over Mike Dunleavy, which was not exploited sufficiently, I would say Green had the potential to contribute more but did not accomplish enough.
- Leandro needs to play off the ball and focus on scoring, it’s a waste of his offensive skills.
- Rondo had another ho-hum double double, but did not seem to be doing enough, despite the improved aggression. Less setup, more attacking perhaps?
- Bright spots: KG, Bass and Sully were playing up to their usual form – minor consolation.
A disappointing home loss, let’s hope the next game against Washington tomorrow fares better.