The Celtics showed no rust this afternoon for a team that had not played in over a week. It had been seven days to the day since they swept the Indiana Pacers, and they picked up right where they left off. Kyrie Irving continued his great playoff play scoring 26 points and dishing out 11 assists. He showed some incredible shot making in throughout the game. Al Horford had a strong game on both ends of the floor adding 20 points and 11 rebounds. Jaylen Brown added 19 points and Gordon Hayward finished with 13 points.
Coming into the series if the Celtics wanted to upset the number one seeded Bucks they were going to need consistent offense from everyone not named Kyrie Irving. Jayson Tatum was not particularly sharp, but the contributions of Brown, Morris Sr., and Rozier more than made up for Tatum’s off night. The Celtics depth is the reason why coming into the season they were favored to come out the East. Terry Rozier outplayed Eric Belsode again to the tune of 11-6 and a plus/ minus of 13 to -12.
Coming into the series Al Horford's defense on Giannis was a major key. The Celtics need Horford to slow Giannis down and make him work on the offensive end. Horford along with the help defense of the Celtics was able to crowd Giannis every time he went to the basket. He was forced to take toughly contested shots all afternoon. The Celtics held Giannis to 22 points on 7-21 shooting from the field for 33 percent. Giannis struggled all game and had a team-high plus/minus of -24, and was 5/10 from the free throw line.
The Celtics now have home court in the series, and will be looking to take a 2-0 lead back to Boston. Milwaukee needs better play from its supporting cast. Giannis did not play great himself, but Bledsoe, Ilyasova, and Lopez were a combined 1-13 from 3 point range. What made Milwaukee one of the best offenses all season was their ability to spread the floor with their 3 point shooting. This allowed Giannis unlimited amount of space to drive an attack the basket.
Look for the Bucks to shoot better and play better in game two. They need to create space for Giannis to operate so he can get in the paint and create opportunities for his teammates. If they do not it will be a long, but short series for the Milwaukee Bucks.