Celtics dominate top seeded Bucks with 22 point Game 1 win
The Boston Celtics started their Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Bucks with a bang. Boston beat the Bucks 112-90, taking a 1-0 lead into Game 2. The 22-point win was the biggest of Celtics undefeated playoff run so far, and has kick-started this high stakes matchup.
Kyrie Irving had a huge game for the Celtics. The juggernaut point guard led the game in scoring and assists, dropping 26 points to go with his 11 rebounds. Irving played a huge part in Boston’s gameplan in Game 1. Kyrie was able to control the pace of the game on offense, turning Game 1 into a battle of half court offense.
With the Celtics successfully implementing their gameplan of slowing down the pace, it was up to the offensive efficiency of Boston. The road team shot the ball well on Sunday, hitting 54% of their field goal attempts, and 41% from three-point range. This shooting separated the Celtics from the Bucks, who shot the ball at an underwhelming 34% on the night. Only three of the five starters for the Bucks were able to hit more than one shot attempt from the run of play. Milwaukee will need to improve their point production if they are going to avoid falling into a 0-2 hole this early in the playoffs.
Boston will be ecstatic after their huge road win. Coach Brad Stevens seemed to have the perfect game plan for the Bucks : win the battle in the paint. Boston was able to limit the Bucks to just 26 points in the paint, the lowest points in the paint total for Milwaukee in this year’s playoffs. Cutting this source of points is a huge blow for the Bucks. For comparison, the Bucks scored 60+ points in the paint in three of their four games against the Pistons in round one. Giannis Antetokounmpo was unable to establish himself as a presence in the paint in Game 1, scoring just four two-point shots all game. If Milwaukee is to be successful in this series, look for the number of points scored in the paint to increase drastically from their Game 1 numbers.
Game 2 of this series will be played in Milwaukee on Tuesday.