Published: Sun, April 22, 2018
Sci-tech | By Bennie Mills

Brad Stevens on Celtics' loss to Bucks: 'Offensively we were horrendous'

Brad Stevens on Celtics' loss to Bucks: 'Offensively we were horrendous'

The Celtics own a 108-102 edge in the all-time regular season series: the teams split four meetings this season with Milwaukee prevailing 106-102 at home in the last matchup on April 3. The win closes the gap in the series to 2-1 in favor of Boston.

Dellavedova had only played four minutes in the the two losses and Maker just one minute, but Bucks' interim coach Joe Prunty unleashed the Australians in the first quarter and the result was stunning.

The Bucks as a team played a terrific defensive game, but youngster Thon Maker provided an especially huge lift after barely playing to start the series. The Bucks will host tonight's playoff action hoping they can keep their postseason alive with a win.

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The Celtics have had their offensive struggles in the series, shooting 45.1 percent from the floor as a team, despite hitting a good 39.5 percent from beyond the arc.

If they're not getting more stops defensively, their offense has to be more efficient, more impactful than what we saw in Game 3 if the Celtics are to continue to remain in control.

Al Horford's 16 points led a malnourished group, with players like Morris (seven points, 2-for-8) low on the efficiency scale.

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Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier had much quieter games after their Boston explosions, with Rozier managing just nine points and committing five turnovers after coughing it up zero times in the first two games.

The challenge to the Bucks now is even greater. They continued to press on defense despite racking up the fouls and took a 15 point lead heading into the second. The Bucks never saw their lead drop below double digits for the final 39 plus minutes of the contest as they overwhelmed the Celtics. The fiery Bucks set the tone and maintained their palpably high-level of intensity throughout the game. I think the Bucks level the series right here. "We made a couple of mistakes and they made shots". The Celtics were 32 of 80 for 40.0 percent from the floor. Defense was a strong suit of the team, as the Bucks blocked 13 Celtics shots.

Especially with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton combining for 23 points in the opening half, as the Bucks took a, 58-35, lead into halftime. The third member of the Big 3, Eric Bledsoe, came back after a shaky Game 2 to score 17 points. John Henson was ruled out with back soreness. I'm expecting it. They knew what they wanted before the game started. Perhaps the Celtics will play more zone in Game 4.

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Perhaps the presence of new minority owner Aaron Rodgers brought the Bucks some luck, but whatever the case, they played with the necessary desperation while trying to dig out of a hole.

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