Boston, MA– Well, there goes the hope for the Boston slam. After championships by the Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots and the entrance into the conference finals by the Boston Bruins, the Boston Celtics were the ones left in the dust, officially exiting the conference semifinals.
After a commanding victory in Game One against the Milwaukee Bucks, the Celtics were systematically dispatched by an overwhelmingly talented Bucks team. The plan to shut out Giannis Antetokounmpo never worked again, and Kyrie Irving's shot-making ability plummeted as the Celtics lost four straight games to the Bucks. They now find themselves entering the NBA off-season a little bit earlier than they anticipated, and definitely earlier than last season.
After a game seven conference finals loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers last season, many expected the Celtics to dominate the East because they would see the return of talents like Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. Instead, what we got in 2018-19 was a season in which the Celtics never found their footing and had terrible energy and chemistry as a team. The series against the Bucks was merely a microcosm of that. Once the Celtics fell behind, they lost their motivation, and with poor defensive efforts, attempts at hero ball by Irving, and the disappearance of Hayward, the Celtics never stood a chance against the Bucks.
The final loss of the season saw Milwaukee win 116-91, even with just 20 points scored by Giannis. Embarrassingly, Irving was the leading scorer for Boston with just 15 points off of an abysmal six for 21 shooting from the field. The Bucks will now await the winner of the series between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Toronto Raptors, while the Celtics will enter an off-season of uncertainty. At this point, many are speculating that Irving seems a likely candidate to abandon ship.
The Celtics were simply outmatched last night and over the past four games. It was the same story we heard all season, but when it came to Kyrie versus Giannis, it ended up being no contest.