The Milwaukee Bucks officially concluded their season tonight, losing a stinker to the Boston Celtics on the road, 112-96. The Bucks kept pace with the Celtics for a time in the first, but Boston ended the period on a 20-2 run to lead 30-17. Milwaukee managed to corral the Celtics a bit more offensively in the second, trailing just 50-42 at halftime. The Bucks gave up a flurry of 3-pointers to Boston as the third ended to send them to an 81-67 deficit. Khris Middleton and the other Bucks did their best to prevent a full-scale blowout, but Boston maintained control till the end to advance to Round Two against Philadelphia.
The Bucks came into tonight’s game with the opportunity to shed 17 years of putrid playoff performances against a shorthanded team that lost yet another key contributor for much of the night. The fact they couldn’t get over the hill falls primarily on the coach’s shoulders. Milwaukee’s clear talent advantage wasn’t utilized in any meaningful way for much of this series. The only saving grace is that now Bucks fans can finally turn a corner and hopefully enjoy a more forward-thinking coaching staff next season.
Giannis, in his first career Game Seven, looked hesitant and showed trepidation asserting himself. Early foul trouble may have contributed, but he couldn’t get himself going all night long and wound up with a weak, by his standards, 22 points, nine rebounds and five assists for the game.
Eric Bledsoe played by far his best game of this series, showing up to the tune of 23 points. Khris Middleton started slow, but came to life in the second quarters and beyond, putting forth a herculean effort in the forth to finish at 32 points. Jabari Parker provided some first half scoring punch, but wound up with a quiet nine points. Everyone else no-showed, besides Thon, who was solid with five points, six boards and four assists in just 25 minutes.
Al Horford dominated for the Celtics all evening, finding plenty of space in the paint to finish with 26 points. Jaylen Brown left the game with an injury, but Jayson Tatum and Terry Rozier combined to score 46 including several huge shots that helped Boston close this one out.
Stat that Stood Out
0 Fast break points - Look at that embarrassing goose egg. The Bucks haven’t been shut out in this category since 2009. Somehow, one game after the Bucks won this statistical battle 25-4, they were entirely skunked in their transition game. Boston snuffed out Giannis any time he tried to travel to the tin and the Bucks were forced to rely on their halfcourt sets to generate any offense. Without easy points, it was far more difficult for the Bucks to go on rapid runs that could’ve neutered Boston’s momentum on their home court.