Boston opponent for the Finals: exhibition before the Bucks and 1-0

Stevens gave a master class to Budenholzer, Irving left and Horford dried Antetokounmpo; The Celtics recover the court factor and advance in the tie.


The Celtics are here. If someone thought that after a regular season full of doubts those of Stevens would not surrender in the playoffs, one can already forget. The green team gave a master class on how to play basketball against the Bucks. They went over, went ahead in the tie getting the court factor, and played a dynamic basketball and collective attack and, spectacular defense, where they were intractable throughout the shock.

Ya said that one of the keys to the tie would be the duel in the benches. Stevens has always been a playoff coach, little given to squeezing his pupils during the regular season to get to the post season in the best possible way and take out in that part of the year the best of theirs. Budenholzer, meanwhile, already demonstrated in his time at the Hawks that he was good at regular seasons, but that one plan that his teams usually have does not usually work in the final phase. And seen the seen, it will not work against its current rival. Or take an alternative plan, or will have very difficult to take this tie.

The Celtics beat the Bucks in rebounds (51 for 44), assists (25 for 19), plugs (11 for 2), field goal percentage (54% for 34.8 of their rivals), and triple (almost 42 for just 33). That is, in practically everything. Stevens managed to compose a defense that left a team that averaged 118 points per game during the year (more than anyone in the league), in just 90. Masterful lesson in the coach's bench, which went over Budenholzer in the approach of the duel, and gave the key when defending the rival star, Antetokounmpo

The beginning of the duel was even, until the Celtics stepped on the accelerator and went up 15 points (25-40), with Hayward (13 points at the end of the clash) and Jaylen Brown very participatory. However, the locals reacted and managed to go only two down to the break (50-52). But they did it without their Greek star. The European, hit by a heroic Al Horford throughout the match (20 + 11, with 4 blocks), was not fine at any time , and was forced to throw a lot of 3 (not his best weapon) being unable to do damage in the area (he has averaged 17.5 points in the painting in the regular season, more than anyone, and today he has stayed in the middle).

With Giannis disconnected (his face at the end of the game, hidden behind the towel, he said it all), the Celtics returned to tighten in the third quarter to go with more than 15 points of advantage, difference that increased in the last period to get the definitive 90-112. A brutal result for a tie in which the favorites, even if it was only a little, were the Bucks, but that has changed radically to the first ones of change. Before we said that it was very difficult to draw conclusions in the first round, but now things are clearer. And the Celtics are starting to scare.

He will have to see how the rest of the tie develops, but it is clear that the Bucks are now in a very uncomfortable situation. You have to improve a lot after a duel in which the worst have been sensations, recover Anteto in record time (22 + 8 today with 7 of 21 shots for the 27 + 12 of the regular season) and find solutions to stop a Irving that is unleashed: 26 points, 7 rebounds and 11 assists for the base, who seems more connected than ever to his teammates.

Budenholzer must also rethink things and take the bench: Mirotic finished with 13 + 4 in just 21 minutes, and also took a long time to leave in the second half. George Hill started well but then broke up, and DJ Wilson, who made good performances during the year, played only 3 minutes. Little prominence taking into account also that Brook Lopez, and Sterling Brown remained in 3 points and Bledsoe in 6. Middleton, with 16 points, of the little salvageable of the Bucks. The withdrawal of Brogdon is not valid as an excuse given the bulky result and that the Celtics can not count on Smart, also injured.

The Celtics are currently unbeaten in the playoffs and competing for some Finals that have been resisting them since 2010. They leave reinforced this game knowing that now all the pressure is for the Bucks (you can not go 0-2 to the Garden). They like each other, they are playing very well and, once again, clearing the doubts of the regular season they become the team they promised when Irving joined the group. 1-0 for the Celtics. And field advantage. Eye with that.



Photos from as.com

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