Protest: Celtics 102 – Bucks 86

This probably resulted in something good for the Celtics. (AP Photo/Tom Lynn)
This probably resulted in something good for the Celtics. (AP Photo/Tom Lynn)

The last five rows of the section next to the media section I sit in every game were empty for the entirety of this game. The city of Milwaukee cared even less about this game than the Milwaukee Bucks did. This game was not fun for Bucks fans.

So let’s just focus on the Boston Celtics.

Boston Celtics 102 Final
Recap | Box Score
86 Milwaukee Bucks
Brandon Bass, PF 27 MIN | 5-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | +3

All 12 of his points came in the first quarter. He was physical and imposing from the opening tip and Larry Drew specifically pointed out his early energy as having set the tone for the Celtics, who would keep their energy level up all game long.

Gerald Wallace, SF 28 MIN | 3-3 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | -3

When Boston came to Milwaukee in late November, he looked as if he couldn’t have cared any less about that game or the Celtics season in general. Against the Bucks here in February, there seemed to be a renewed vigor to his game. Kudos to him for sticking with the season and competing. He is clearly not on the Milwaukee Bucks.

Jeff Green, SF 44 MIN | 11-22 FG | 6-7 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 29 PTS | +10

He operated as Boston’s focal point on offense throughout the night and made jumpers over the out-stretched arms of Giannis Antetokounmpo and slashed through various Bucks defenders en route to a few layups.

Jared Sullinger, C 33 MIN | 6-13 FG | 1-2 FT | 10 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 4 BLK | 2 TO | 13 PTS | +5

His mean physical streak was too much for the Bucks to handle, especially whenever Zaza Pachulia was out of the game. John Henson lacks the necessary spirit and physical make up to battle with a bruiser like Sullinger.

Phil Pressey, PG 24 MIN | 5-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 13 PTS | +2

His dad used to play for the Bucks. Quite well, actually. He isn’t as good, but he did make a number of threes when Milwaukee opted to play zone, which is surprising, because he isn’t a very good 3-point shooter (31% heading into play).

Chris Johnson, SF 24 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | +25

He spells his first name Christapher and was able to be productive against Milwaukee.

Kelly Olynyk, C 21 MIN | 6-11 FG | 1-1 FT | 11 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 14 PTS | +13

He carved up the Bucks for 10 fourth quarter points and five fourth quarter rebounds. Multiple times he caught the ball at the elbow and galloped through Milwaukee’s defense and got to the rim. He doesn’t knife or slice through players, he gallops. He’s heavy footed and purposeful in his movements. Yet still, the Bucks defense had no answer for him late. This was his first career double-double. It was bad.

Brad Stevens

Good enough. His team competed all game and didn’t have the fourth quarter letdown Milwaukee did.

Four Things We Saw

  1. John Henson sprained his right ankle with about five minutes to play. He did not return. His status going forward is uncertain. He’s on the Bucks and in Milwaukee, so he’ll probably slip and fall walking to his car, because the ground is more ice than ground at this point. When does this month end? WHEN WILL IT BE A REASONABLE TEMPERATURE OUTSIDE!?
  2. Gary Neal looked moderately relevant. He shot a bunch of jump shots, because that’s what he does, but he made more of them than usual. Nights in which he’s one of Milwaukee’s best players haven’t been the best of nights this season. This is no exception.
  3. Brandon Knight led Milwaukee’s parade of turnovers with five. The Bucks couldn’t have given the ball away with any more speed or frequency in the first half, as they had 12 turnovers that led to 19 points. Many of the turnovers were passes intercepted near the top of the key that led to easy opportunities the other way.
  4. Giannis once fouled Jeff Green on one of the aforementioned breakaways off a turnover. It was an iffy call, but probably the right one. The more interesting part of the play came before the foul, when Green hesitated and looked back either to see if Giannis was coming or because he felt Giannis coming. That’s the sort of chase down reputation Giannis appears to be developing already. Fun.

Categories: Recaps

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  1. Nothing rash, but I hope the Bucks are looking around for a point guard — at least to try someone who might help the rest of our guys do better on offense.
    I don’t know who the next Kyle Lowry is, but it would be nice to find him before he breaks through. Maybe the Bucks can take a chance on a guy in a similar stage in his career as Lowry who might be going relatively unnoticed right now.
    We could trade a veteran like Gary Neal or Ers, or a couple of such guys, while leaving our young core intact. If we were really enthused about a particular player at point guard, we could trade a draft pick in 2015 or later.
    I really don’t know who is available, and who we would want — just someone who is at least a little more inclined to pass than to shoot.
    Again, no panic trades, but we could really use a leader and a facilitator for the sake of Giannis, Khris, John, even Brandon, and all the rest.

    P.S. Other alternatives would be to get a younger guy who seems more natural and talented and polished at the point than Brandon or Nate, such as Shane Larkin or Phil Pressey or a D-Leaguer; or to get a vet like Steve Blake or Devin Harris who could lend their experience in the short term, and perhaps stay around as a steadying influence during our rebuilding.
    Again, I don’t know the particular players, but would want somone who is pass-first. We could still possibly play Brandon and/or Nate at the point, too, just not exclusively them.

    • I like where your head’s at, but if you want a player like Kyle Lowry, with the potential of Kyle Lowry, at a similar spot in his career to where Lowry first blew up…that guy is probably Brandon Knight. So we’re good on that front.

      The second-tier guy you’re looking for is Dominique Jones, and he should have a contract on his agent’s desk the SECOND he’s available . Considering he’s already got a relationship with the team, and how well he’s playing in China, there’s no reason not to bring him in and give him some run, given the current state of things.

      • Dominique Jones is a bunch of things, but one thing he is definitely not, is a point guard. Dude just gets to the bucket, head down, every time.

      • I’m a big fan of Brandon Knight, who I think might even have star potential, but probably not at the point position. If we want to keep trying Brandon at point, maybe that’s okay, but I’d really like to have another guy who is further along at that position, whether young, old, or in between.
        Anyway, it’s good to get suggestions as to who might work for us at the point, now or next season. I don’t know that much about Kyle Lowry, but it seems like his price might be in the process of going way up; and so I’m interested in who might be currently undervalued and thus more attainable to help us as a point guard.
        We’re likely going to have to address the point position sometime soon. What I’m saying is that if there’s someone prolific, or at least promising, for the long-term, who we could get right now, let’s do it; if not, let’s consider bringing in a lesser possibility with good character and/or good potential, in the next week or two. Just my thoughts, given our miseries on offense.

    • What players on the Celtics would you want going forward? Sullinger? I’ll give you him……..Green? Pressey? Are they in better shape than the Bucks? I’m not sure

      No NBA team has EVER won a championship after winning the NBA Draft lottery. Ever. These teams are in the lottery to begin with because their front office sucks. You know who wins championships? Great executives… Danny Ainge

      Do you see a contradiction above?

  2. Pingback: Daybreak Doppler: Picking Seeds Early for In-State Hoops |

  3. I have a poem. An ode, if you will, inspired by tonight’s game.


    Hickory, dickory, dock.

    When will Larry Drew get fired?

  4. Perfect post… Debating the intricacies of the Bucks lineup has become irrelevant, because it doesn’t matter… the only difference it makes is losing by 25 vs. losing by 10. So we may as well look at the Celtics… a team that seems to know where it wants to go, and how it’s gonna get there (something the Bucks still haven’t figured out). So how about we as commenters agree to stop debating the pieces of the Bucks lineup for the remainder of this season, OK? They’re all bench players on any other team in the NBA and all interchangeable at this point. There are only 3 things worth debating now…. The development of Giannis, the next GM and his plan for this team, and who’s going to step up and keep this team in Milw?

    Oh… and for all the Tanking / Fix-It-With The Lottery proponents out there… how’s that working out for Cleveland? The same as it always works… it doesn’t work. No NBA team has EVER won a championship after winning the NBA Draft lottery. Ever. These teams are in the lottery to begin with because their front office sucks. You know who wins championships? Great executives… Danny Ainge, Pat Riley, RC Buford. Forget Wiggins… we need one of these guy’s understudies.

    • Spurs? Thunder didn’t win the draft but got the second pick in the form of Durant who few years later took them to the finals. Unless youre a big market, how do you get the superstars needed to win a championship?

      • Buford and the Spurs are a perfect example of what can be done in a small market with a great front office that brings in committed players, and a great coach to lead them. You brought up the Thunder, and I like that example too… but again, it wasn’t just a lottery pick that propelled them to the Finals. It was a NEW front office that followed up that pick by surrounding him with the right pieces, and a great coach in Scotty Brooks who could lead them effectively. They all BECAME superstars as a result… they didn’t start that way. It starts with a vision and a front office mind who knows exactly how to make that vision a reality.

      • Ainge/Celtics got their championships, and now they are retooling around a young core and hand picked coach in Stevens. Since saw it was over with the previous group and new what he had to do to rebuild, and pulled the trigger. I’d say they’re in MUCH better shape than the Bucks, because Since is executing his formula. Hammond has no formula.

  5. With the way injuries have gone this year what can possibly happen next? My money is on Larry Drew collapsing shortly before halftime with the Bucks down their usual 12-15 points. Hey, it happened in the NFL (Houston coach) why not with the Bucks???

    Is it just me …. or is Nate Wolters developing by leaps and bounds? He looks fast, poised and a natural point guard to me. I like his D too. Remember gang, this is his ROOKIE year. This kid is going to surprise in a big way. He already has.

    • In all honesty, Wolters has been the better rookie in the first half of the season. Sure he’s not the most exciting, but he’s had twice as many productive games compared to Giannis. Talent wise I’ll take Giannis, but right now Nate has a far higher basketball IQ and helps the team more than the loveable Greek. 4 years of college experience has paid off so far.

  6. Slogan of the week: “Milwaukee Bucks – At Least We’re Not the US Mens/Womens Olympic Curling Team.

  7. I’m not sure Knight is the answer at point and he’s a bit undersized as a 2. He has talent and has probably been the best player on the team this year so you have to start him.

    I’m not sure why people think there’s a promising young prospect or a respectable veteran just hanging out or that can be had for the type of players who are back ups on the worst team in the league. I love the Bucks, but they’re not good, and anyone that another team would want are the players they shouldn’t give up (Giannis, Larry, Henson and probably Knight). Depending on how the lottery plays out and they’re lucky enough to get a shot at Embiid then maybe move Henson and a future pick for a later lottery pick this year. Maybe Exum or Smart falls to the 8-12 range. Then you could move Sanders to the 4 where his lack of bulk might not hurt him.

    1: Smart/Exum
    2: Knight
    3: Giannis
    4: Sanders
    5: Embiid

    And then leave it alone for a few years to build continuity/ chemistry. I know it would be difficult to pull off ( 25% for Embiid and maybe less for the trade) but it would be nice.