Wow. What a game. Marcus Smart came back, (I know that's the 9 millionth time in the past 5 hours you've heard that), Semi Ojeleye held Giannis to his worst game of the series, (yes, you read the right), Al played like the All-Star that he is, and the Bucks shooting came crashing back down to Earth. But you didn't come here for a 7 sentence recap so without further ado, let's get to it!
In this installment of Morning Cup of Green, I am going to dive into the Kawhi Leonard drama, and the topic of whether or not the Boston Celtics should trade either Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown to secure the NBA superstar.
The Celtics offense wasn't exactly a strength during the regular season. The backbone of their team all season was their 1st ranked defensive rating, but their offense was never a strong suit. The Celtics ranked 20th in points per game, 21st in field goal percentage, 20th in assists per game, and 14th in fewest turnovers per game. With an offense that wasn't lighting the league up to begin with, the question was clear going into the playoffs: take away the best scorer from a mediocre offensive team and what are you left with?
In this Celtics-Bucks series, there are two major storylines: The overperfomance of the injury-afflicted Boston Celtics and the underachievement that will inevitably be the Milwaukee Bucks short-lived playoff run, after Game 4. That would be a sweep, for those of you who aren't great with math.
By now, you have probably seen the clip of Eric Bledsoe claiming he does not know whoTerry Rozier is. After watching that, I am almost positive that there is not a single Celtics fan that actually likes Eric Bledsoe (as if there ever was..).
I would love to sit here and tell you I just watched a close, competitive game. However, I can't do that. The Celtics truly just took hold of the Bucks and ran away with Game 2 of this series in a never-in-question 120-106 victory.
The Boston Celtics have taken game one of their first-round NBA Playoff series vs. the Milwaukee Bucks. It was an entertaining game, to say the least. But when it was all said and done, the Celtics topped the Bucks 113-107 in OT.
What is Kawhi reading you ask? Probably the hate he's receiving on Twitter after the Warriors drubbing of the Spurs yesterday... Or maybe it's every reason why Danny Ainge SHOULDN'T take a flier on him this offseason. There, I said it; Kawhi should NOT be a member of the Boston Celtics come late October when the season tips off.
Aron Baynes for MVP? Probably not, but we can dream. Baynes, aka all of Australia according to legendary Celtics announcer Tommy Heinsohn, ended the regular season with a career high 26 points to go along with 14 rebounds in (get this) 20 minutes! He didn't even play in the 4th quarter! If Brad Stevens had let him, Baynes may have put up a 50 piece, but the Celtics didn't want Baynes to get to big of a head. It's really a testament to Brad Stevens that when Irving, Hayward, Horford, Brown, Tatum, Rozier, and Morris are all out, he can still run the offense through Aron Baynes pick and rolls. It was one thing to turn Morris and Rozier into scoring leaders, but Aron Baynes is an entirely new and special feat.
Despite being locked into the #2 seed in the Eastern Conference standings and having just 2 games left, a back to back no less, the Celtics opted not to rest Jayson Tatum, Al Horford, Jaylen Brown, or Terry Rozier against the Washington Wizards. Despite playing all their healthy players, it didn't help much as the Celtics still fell to the Washington Wizards 113-101. While the game may not have meant much for the Celtics seeding, it did mean a lot in deciding who their possible first round matchup will be. Even with only one day left in the NBA regular season, the Wizards, Heat, and Bucks are all still in play for the 7 seed in the East and a first round series against the Celtics, each likely eyeing a chance at playing an Irving-less Celtics team as a better option than playing the fully loaded Toronto Raptors in round one. With the win, Washington avoiding locking themselves into the 8 seed and, with a bit of help from the 76ers and/or Raptors, could jump up in the standings with a win tomorrow.