3 takeaways from Milwaukee Bucks’ thrilling Game 1 win vs. 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: Bobby Portis, Wesley Matthews, Boston Celtics: Al Horford, Jayson Tatum
May 1, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /

After several long days of anticipation, the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics finally tipped off their second round series Sunday afternoon.

Boston appeared to be in control early on their home floor as they led over most of the first period. However, after trailing briefly in the second, the Bucks found their footing and took the lead, which they never surrendered throughout the remainder of the game. Despite a good fight by the Celtics, the Bucks managed to sustain that lead and walk out of TD Garden with a solid 101-89 victory in a Game 1 that was thrilling from start to finish. With all of that being said, let us take a closer look at three takeaways from Milwaukee’s opening win of the second round.

The Milwaukee Bucks played outstanding defense in their Game 1 win as they held the Boston Celtics to 89 points

No team in the NBA had a better defensive rating than the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round, and they needed to carry that intensity over into the next round. With an abundance of highly-talented scorers, including one of the best in the business in Jayson Tatum, slowing down Boston’s offense would be a tall task for Milwaukee, but they did a solid job in their Game 1 victory on the road with the entire group playing relentless defense throughout.

In total, the Celtics shot just 28-of-44 from the floor (33.3 percent), as the Bucks turned up their tenacity throughout the contest. Milwaukee emphasized slowing down Boston’s stars, which was on display as Jayson Tatum scored 21 points on 6-of-18 shooting, while Jaylen Brown added 12 on 4-of-13 shooting, including 3-of-9 from 3-point land. Jrue Holiday and Wesley Matthews outright hounded these two throughout, having met them with physicality and tough defense whenever they touched the basketball.

With Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez protecting the hoop down low, Boston managed to score just 20 paint points for the game. This lethal defensive duo combined for five blocked shots as they were denying Boston’s shots all afternoon. Due to the reputable defense inside, Boston was forced to take an eye-popping 50 3-pointers in this game, 18 of which they made. The bulk of that damage was done by Jayson Tatum and Al Horford, who combined to go 8-of-18, but the rest of the Celtics struggled to find a groove, which was a huge factor in this game.

The Celtics were one of the best offensive teams in the opening round of the playoffs, and to see the Bucks hold them to 89 points in this opening matchup is a welcoming sight. Milwaukee must continue to play this outstanding brand of basketball defensively throughout this series after one heck of a start in Game 1.