Boston, MA– After a systematic dismantling of the Milwaukee Bucks and their star Giannis Antetokounmpo in game one, the Boston Celtics were practically guaranteed to regress to the mean in game two in Milwaukee. However, with just under eight minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Celtics trailed by only three points, and it seemed like the teams were destined for a close game.
Then, the game really fell apart for Boston as this three point deficit turned into a 25 point hole by the end of the third quarter due to a series of six turnovers and ten missed shots on the following possessions. The quarter was an absolute disaster for the Celtics and it resulted in an insurmountable lead for the Bucks that eventually snowballed into a 123-102 victory which tied up the round two series.
Boston's game plan against Milwaukee was much less effective in this game. Giannis was able to do whatever he wanted against the Celtics defense, recording a double-double with 29 points and ten rebounds. Milwaukee's best shooter, Khris Middleton, was also on fire during the game as he sank seven three-pointers in the game, en route to 28 total points.
Boston's offense was equally abysmal, with Marcus Morris leading the way with just 17 points. The team's entire performance was concerning, but none more so than Kyrie Irving who scored just nine points after only making four of his 18 shots. It was one of his worst playoff performances ever, but he reassured the Boston faithful with an unwavering confidence. "This is what Boston traded for me for," he said after the game. The Celtics need Kyrie to perform if they want to win post-season games, and Irving says he knows he has to do better. We'll see if that manifests into a return to form.
The Celtics and Bucks will now get a bit of a longer break than they have been used to during these playoffs so far with the series is now tied at one game apiece. Game three will be on Friday, May 3, giving both teams an extra day of rest, which will definitely be needed as they travel back to Boston for an eight o'clock tip-off. The Celtics have been waiting to play the Bucks at home, so we shall see if they capitalize on the opportunity!