Even with the Big Three reduced to the Big Two, the Bucks couldn't hang with the Celtics for more than a half, as the best team in the East sunk the Bucks 104-82 (recap / video).
- On the surface, Paul Pierce was the only guy who really stood out for either team, scoring 32 including 5/11 from distance. Four of those threes came in the third quarter when the Celtics put the game away before he cooled off and started chucking a bit in the fourth with the game out of hand. Garnett had a quiet 15/7, but didn't force anything and spearheaded the Celtics excellent defense.
- Rajon Rondo's numbers aren't jaw dropping (17 points, 8 assists), but he set the tone for the night by consistently beating Mo Williams into the lane and hitting some open mid-range jumpers as well. He even hit 5/5 fts after coming into the game just 16/33 on the season.
- How many games are the Bucks going to win when Bogut and Redd combine for 11 points (4/12 fg) and four rebounds? How about...uh, none? In retrospect it was rather amazing the Bucks hung around as long as they did--even without Ray Allen you'd expect any decent team to run the Bucks out of the building in less than two quarter with Bogut and Redd so out of sync. Redd (28 min) was invisible for the first quarter and only briefly imposed his will offensively before going to the bench with five minutes left in the third , LK no doubt looking to save Redd's energy for tomorrow's game. Bogut meanwhile played only 23 minutes and got next to no touches in the post, which was somewhat curious given the Bucks had been going to great lengths to keep him involved of late. His defense on Garnett was OK, with KG hitting a number of outside shots early. But Bogut has also blocked just one shot in the last four games, though in fairness his teammates often provided little resistance to Celtics' penetration.
- The Bucks hung around pretty well for two quarters, never letting the Celtics get on any sort of roll and contesting enough shots to avoid a knockout blow before halftime. Mo and Yi were the most active early on, but the Celtics defense wasn't giving the Bucks many options, relegating Redd and Bogut to non-factors offensively. Tony Allen's spot start actually worked out just fine since he played good defense on Redd, certainly much better than you would think Ray Allen would provide. And oh yeah, he also managed to outscore Redd 11-7 while also chipping in four steals.
- After a Mo Williams three gave the Bucks a 49-48 lead the Celtics flipped the switch and reeled off a 12-0 run, Pierce knocking down a couple threes. That eventually became a 30-8 run, and by the end of the third there wasn't much doubt where the game was headed. Yi struggled mightily in the third, turning the ball over carelessly a number of times en route to six turnovers for the night.
- Special thanks to the good people of Goldman Sachs for letting me watch the game from their suite tonight. Tough to top free chicken fingers and pizza.
- Celtics Dancers > Energee. Sorry, it had to be said.
- Remember when the Bucks had the "Bark Board" back in the day? I was always amazed how fans could pay a lot of money to watch the best basketball players in the world and cheer only politely, but then when the Jumbotron demands they cheer, they go absolutely nuts. The Celtics have a similar thing, with the noise meter maxing out at "Garden level." It's unbelievable how loud it got whenever they threw that graphic up there.
- Bobby Simmons seemed to get into it a bit with Pierce and the Celtics in the third, and Simmons kept gunning but without much effect. He led the Bucks in shots but finished just 5/15 and 1/6 from deep. We're going to need to see something closer to the old Simmons if the Bucks are going to make a playoff charge.