Grades from Milwaukee Bucks’ Game 1 victory over Boston Celtics

May 1, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
May 1, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Jrue Holiday, Boston Celtics: Marcus Smart
May 1, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /

Grading Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics Game 1: Starters

Jrue Holiday: A

Jrue Holiday aside from his field goal percentage played about as close to a perfect game as you could ask for from the Milwaukee Bucks’ starting point guard. He gave the offensive scoring performance many were hoping for in the absence of Khris Middleton. Jrue scored 25 points, made all six of his free throws and made 3-of-5 shots behind the arc. Jrue scored or assisted on the Bucks first eight points of the game, hitting two early threes. Holiday added nine rebounds and five assists with only two turnovers.

The other half of Jrue Holiday’s performance that contributes to his A grade is his effort on the defensive end. Jrue Holiday guarded Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart and similarly to his efforts on Demar DeRozan and Zach Lavine in the previous series kept forcing them to their left and forcing them to shoot highly contested jump shots. In addition to his on ball defense Jrue spent a lot of time roaming the passing lanes and showing extra hands and bodies to the Celtics stars.

Wesley Matthews: B

Wesley Matthews only scored five points in this contest on 2-for-7 shooting. However, Matthews’ contributions for the Milwaukee Bucks lie mainly on defense. Wesley Matthews drew the toughest defensive assignment in the game, starting on Jayson Tatum fresh off a series where he outdueled Kevin Durant. Wesley Matthews made it hard on Tatum every chance he got, and with a player like that there is usually no stopping them, just trying to contain their output and that’s what Matthews did. Tatum made some really tough shots but it was anything but easy for him to find points. Matthews also added a pair of rebounds and assists and snagged one steal.

Giannis Antetokounmpo: A

Giannis Antetokounmpo is playing like a man on a mission, this man wants to repeat and you can see the effort in every single play and possession he plays for the Milwaukee Bucks. Giannis didn’t have the most efficient scoring game, shooting just 9-for-25 and only making 6-of-11 free throws, but everything else he did was fantastic.

Giannis controlled the game at both ends of the floor, scoring when it was needed, hitting some tough jump shots, getting to the bucket and at times, improvising like he did on the play of the game, an absurd lob to himself off the backboard:

Giannis took a facilitator’s mindset early in the game and helped spread the ball, finishing with a team-high 12 assists to go with his 24 points and 13 rebounds. There is no doubt Giannis will be the focal point of the Bucks’ offense and Celtics’ defense throughout this series.

Flipping to the defensive side of the ball, Giannis was everywhere, starting the game guarding Jaylen Brown and throughout the game guarding just about everyone on the Celtics roster at some point or another. Giannis finished this game with two blocked shots and finishing with a defensive rating of 79.0, meaning the Celtics would score just 79 points per 100 possessions with Giannis on the floor.

Bobby Portis: A-

The only thing that kept me from giving Bobby a straight-A was his 2-for-7 mark behind the 3-point line. If Bobby can hit threes with any regularity during this series the Celtics are in real trouble. Bobby used his size to his advantage when being guarded by smaller players like Jaylen Brown, hitting jump shots over them and backing into the paint, and getting his jump hook in the lane. Bobby Portis made 6-of-12 shots and finished with 15 points, he also grabbed 11 rebounds. Bobby Portis has given the Milwaukee Bucks a double-double in every game this postseason except the one he left early.

Brook Lopez: B+

Brook Lopez did leave a little to be desired on the offensive end, Lopez made 3-of-7 shots and was 0-for-2 behind the 3-point line. His size on the offensive glass was crucial in the win, Lopez used his size to corral four offensive rebounds. Brook Lopez grabbed ten rebounds in total.

The offensive glass isn’t the only place Brook used his size to his advantage, Brook Lopez’s size in the paint defensively made things very difficult for the Celtics inside, the case could certainly be made that the Milwaukee Bucks’ size with Lopez, Portis, and Antetokounmpo is one of the main reasons the Celtics took 50 3-point shots in this game. Lopez finished Game 1 with three blocks and a steal on the defensive end.