at Boston Celtics (1-0) at Milwaukee Bucks (0-1)
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
8:00 PM ET
Round 2 Game #2 Road Game #2
Radio: 98.5 Sports Hub, 103.3 FM WTMJ
Referees: Marc Davis, Tony Brothers, Tom Washington
Fiserv Forum Probable Starting Matchups Point Guard
Kyrie Irving vs Eric BledsoeShooting Guard
Jaylen Brown vs Sterling Brown
Jayson Tatum vs Khris MiddletonPower Forward
Marcus Morris vs Giannis Antetokounmpo
Al Horford vs Brook LopezCeltics Reserves
Robert Williams III
Marcus Smart (oblique) out
Aron Baynes (ankle) questionable Two Way Players
P. J. DozierHead Coach
Brad StevensBucks Reserves
Sterling Brown (back) probable
Malcolm Brogdon (plantar fascia) out
Donte DiVicenzo (heel) out
Pau Gasol (ankle) out
Two Way Players
Bonzie ColsonHead Coach
Mike BudenholzerGame Notes
The Celtics dominated the Bucks in Game 1 and return to the Fiserv Forum for Game 2 of this second round series. After struggling on the road in the regular season, the Celtics have won 3 straight games on the road. In last year's playoffs on the way to the Eastern Conference Finals, the Celtics were just 1-7 on the road.
The team that wins Game 1 of a best of 7 series wins the series 77% of the time and so the Celtics have put themselves into a good position with the win in Game 1. However, that won't do them much good if they don't come out and play hard and win 3 more games. They can't afford to rest on their laurels.
I expect both teams to start the same lineups as they did in Game 1. It obviously worked out for the Celtics who started Marcus Morris in place of Aron Baynes. I have seen some writers suggest that the Bucks should start George Hill but Mike Budenholzer didn't seem as though he planned to make any changes.
In the Journal Sentinel, Budenholzer was quoted saying this: "“I think when we’re us that’s when we’re at our best. I think sometimes adjustments and all those things are actually somewhat overrated." I don't think wee will see any big adjustments in lineups or rotations, but I do believe we will see an adjustment in their effort and aggressiveness.
Although he has been seen running and doing some shooting, Marcus Smart is expected to miss this game. Even though Marcus isn't playing, it seems as though the Celtics are taking a page out of his book with their defense and aggressiveness and effort. Aron Baynes left Game 1 after rolling his ankle. He is listed as questionable and will be a game time decision for this game.
Malcolm Brogdon (plantar fascia) went through a strenuous practice Monday but remains out for this game. Donte DiVicenzo (heel) and Pau Gasol (ankle) are expected to be out once again this game. Sterling Brown left Sunday's game with back spasms, but is expected to be okay to play in this game. Key Matchups
Al Horford vs Giannis Antetokounmpo
This matchup is key for both teams. Although on paper, Morris is matched up against Antetokounmpo, it was Al Horford who spent most of the time guarding him and limited him to 22 points on 33% shooting. But, it was a team effort that held the probable MVP to a very un-MVP-like game. The Celtics will need Al to continue to do all the things that he does to help the Celtics win on both ends of the court.
Kyrie Irving vs Eric Bledsoe
Kyrie had a great Game 1 with 26 points, 11 assists and 7 rebounds. He also held Bledsoe to 6 points on 1-5 shooting with 2 rebounds, and 4 assists. Kyrie will need to keep the aggressive mindset that he had in the first game, especially on the defensive end. Honorable Mention
Jayson Tatum vs Khris Middleton
Middleton had big games last season for the Bucks. He was held to 16 point on 5-12 shooting to go with 10 rebounds and 6 assists. The Celtics need to run him off of the 3 point line especially. Tatum struggled on the offensive end in Game 1 with just 4 points on 2-7 shooting. However, he played very well on the defensive end. That has been a key for the Celtics in these playoffs. If they struggle in one area, it doesn't affect the rest of their game. Keys to the Game Defense
- Defense wins championships and defense will decide this series. In Game 1, defense definitely was the deciding factor. The Celtics held the Bucks to 34.8% shooting from the field and 33.3% shooting from beyond the arc. The Bucks allowed the Celtics to shoot 54% from the field and 41.9% from beyond the arc. The Celtics will need to play tough team defense once again if they hope to get a win in this game. Rebound
- Next to defense, rebounding is a key to winning. Although the Bucks were averaging 55.3 rebounds per game (1st) while the Celtics were averaging 47.8 rebounds per game (3rd) in the first round, the Celtics out-rebounded the Bucks 51-44 in Game 1. The Celtics must continue to crash the glass as a team and give even more effort on the boards in this game.
- The Celtics were definitely the more aggressive team in Game 1 but I expect the Bucks to come out looking to be the more aggressive team. The Celtics must match their aggressiveness and play even harder than they did in the first game. They have to be the first to loose balls and rebounds and they have to be aggressive getting to the basket and to be the more aggressive team on defense. They simply must play harder than the Bucks. Move the Ball Carefully
- When the Celtics move the ball and find the open man, they are tough to beat. They have to play team ball and trust each other and make the extra pass to find the open man. But, in moving the ball, they have to be careful. The Celtics had just 11 turnovers in Game 1 but the Bucks had just 10. The Celtics must take care of the ball and limit their turnovers. They also have to keep moving the ball and play team ball.
No Let Up
- The Celtics need to come out strong and play hard from start to finish. They can't let the officiating, or a Bucks run, or a hostile crowd slow them down. So far in the playoffs, the Celtics have proved to be resilient and have handled whatever their opponents have thrown at them. They have to continue to play hard with no let up.
- Brad made the first move and completely took the Bucks by surprise by limiting Antetokounmpo. Now it's the Bucks turn to make adjustments and try to counter the Celtics' game plan. However, as I stated in the Game Notes, Budenholzer said that he doesn't think that he needs to make any adjustments. Antetokounmpo echoed his thoughts and said that they aren't going to adjust anything and will just come out and play their hardest. The Playoffs are a chess match and we will have to see which coach can make the winning moves. X-Factors On the Road
- The Bucks were 33-8 at home this season while the Celtics were just 21-20 on the road during the regular season. However, the Celtics have won 3 straight games on the road in the playoffs. The Celtics must continue to block out the distractions of playing on the road and focus on playing Celtics basketball. The Celtics have stolen home court advantage from the Bucks, but they can't let that be good enough. They have to try to win Game 2 on the road to put them in an even bigger hole. Revenge
- The Bucks will still be looking for revenge against the Celtics. Now, it won't just be for last year's defeat in the first round, but also for their loss in Game 1 in a game they felt they should have won. The Celtics need to be ready for the Bucks to come out playing hard and looking to avenge Sunday's loss and they have to be ready to punch back and play even harder.
- The Celtics need to take a lesson from the Raptors-76ers series. The Raptors easily beat the Sixers in Game 1 but the Sixers came back and were able to outplay the Raptors in Game 2 and tied the series at one game each. If the Celtics get over confident in the slightest and let up any at all, they may see the same result as the Raptors did. Officiating
-Officiating is always an X-Factor. Although I don't think the officiating was particularly bad in Game 1, the Bucks did take 24 free throws to just 8 for the Celtics, even though the Celtics scored 38 points in the paint to 26 for the Bucks. The Celtics will hopefully drive into the paint and draw some fouls in Game 2. The refs have mostly let both teams play and haven't over-officiated and hopefully they continue to do that in this game.
Official Report Bad Ref Alert
- Mark Davis is the lead referee in this game and in an LA Times survey in 2016, players and coaches voted him one of the worst referees in the league so he may very well be an X-factor. Celtics fans may remember him as the ref that Rajon Rondo threw the ball at to get ejected. Here are a couple of quotes from the article about Davis:
“He’s cool as they come, but he’s so arrogant,” one player said. “He instigates things sometimes. Marc will go back at a player. He forgets that he’s talking to another man. Don’t challenge a man’s manhood. Now you are going too far.”“Marc Davis is hands down the worst,” a player said. “He acts likes he’s your friend, but he’ll just screw you. He’ll screw you and he’ll get the biggest attitude about it.”
Davis' home W/L record this season is 35-32 so he isn't influenced by the home crowd. The Celtics are 7-3 in their last 10 games with Davis while the Bucks are 3-7 in their last 10 with Davis.
Double Bad Ref Alert:
And, Marc Davis isn't the only bad ref calling this game. Tony Brothers, who is widely known as one of the worst refs in the league. Pretty much every team cringes when they see him calling a game. He was voted the worst ref in the league by 24.5 of the players in their recent survey. With Brothers, you never know what you will get. Sometimes he calls everything on both teams. Sometimes he lets both teams play. And, sometimes he calls a game one sided for one of the teams. Hopefully we get the Tony Brothers that lets them play both ways in this game.
Brothers home W/L record is 42-23. The Celtics are 7-3 in their last 10 games with Brothers while the Bucks are 4-6 in their last 10.
The third ref, Tom Washington, can be good or bad depending on the game but mostly he lets them play and there isn't a lot of controversy around him either. His home W/L record this season is 35-28. The Celtics are 7-3 in their last 10 games with him while the Bucks are 8-2 in their last 10.