Round 1: Bucks versus Celtics

For the first time since the ‘02-‘03 and ‘03-‘04 seasons, the Bucks are in the playoffs in consecutive seasons. As negative as this season has been- a coaching change, frustrating ups and downs, inconsistencies, and yet more injuries- the arrow is still pointed up. They’re in the playoffs, have one of the league’s 10 best players, and a roster that has tangible talent. 

And they actually have a chance to win this series. Boston struggles to score, lost their second best player in the first half of the first game, then lost their second best player a few weeks ago for the season. It’s tailor made for an upset, right? 

But if you have watched this team this season, you know better. They somehow don’t show up for starts of halves, they are the worst rebounding team in the NBA (team all length???) and they still cannot defend the 3. Tatum will hurt them, but not alone. Horford seems to light this team up, but if he’s their top scorer they should lose. Marcus Smart and Jalen Brown could play for the Bucks as inconsistent as they are. 

But the Celtics play defense- and if the Bucks start more heroball sh*t where Middleton and Bledsoe decide to take the first look they see 5 possessions in a row they’ll get run right out of the gym.

Flip a coin- everything points to an upset and the Bucks moving on to play the winner of the Philly/Miami series, but that all depends on which Bucks team shows up. The one who beat San Antonio twice, or the one that got beat by the Brooklyn Nets last week... 

 

Original Post

When they are focused and motivated they can beat just about anyone.  The problem is consistency.  This team doesn’t handle success very well and it seems to me that a few of their guys (namely Bledsoe and Middleton) are more concerned about their stats than doing what they need to do to win.  

I desperately want to see them advance but I’ll admit part of me is wondering if they would be better off not advancing which would certainly force the front office to make changes that I think will benefit them more in the long run.  Tough to say at this point. 

All I know is I realize the Celts are depleted but if the Bucks don’t play well they will not beat those guys. 

If the Bucks play like they did last night, they'd struggle to beat Villanova. You let NBA-level guys shoot wide open 3s and that's what happens. There were numerous situations where Philly had two guys wide open for threes on the same side of the floor.

Giannis is 6'11", Middleton is 6'8", Parker is 6'8", Brogdon is 6'5", Bledsoe is 6'1" but has a 7'0" wingspan. That's the crunch time 5 guys. 

Giannis should be an NBA All-defensive team candidate. Middleton, Brogdon, and Bledsoe are all good individual defenders. Parker is a defensive optional guy (as in like an D-/F level grade), but with those other 4 guys they should be able to hide him and he's a good enough athlete to at least be a D+ defender. 

The sum is much worse than the parts. That's either effort or scheme. In either case, it's coaching. 

 

MichiganPacker2 posted:

 

The sum is much worse than the parts. That's either effort or scheme. In either case, it's coaching. 

I think you mean the whole is less than the sum of its parts.

No Neck picked the Bucks. Tracy McGrady picked the Celtics. Who the f knows with this team. 

I remain hopeful that they will play the way they’re capable. 

Brainwashed Boris posted:

If they play the way they're capable....they'll win in 4 or 5

If they play the way they did in Philly, the Celtics will be resting their starters at halftime. Maybe they can turn it on like the Warriors. 

I'd like to see Giannis decide he wants to dominate this series and put it on his shoulders. 

Well, an overall sloppy first half but they have a lead. They’re getting little from anyone except Middleton, as Giannis, Bledsoe, Brogdon, and Parker are all struggling offensively. But the D picked up big time once Brogdon was on the floor. Henson also a good first half, disruptive and getting interior baskets. 

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