Though the Bucks had an opportunity to go up 2-0 on the road, the team that came to play in that opening matchup was nowhere to be found last night. Milwaukee came out lifeless from the jump, and Boston took advantage as they secured an 18-3 lead early on in the first quarter. Although the Bucks attempted to put up a fight from that point on and even made their deficit manageable at a few different points, brutal shot selection, lazy defense, and an overall lack of effort prevented the road team from making any sort of genuine comeback attempt. After an outright abysmal game of basketball, the Celtics took down the Bucks with a final score of 109-86 to even up the series 1-1 heading to Milwaukee. With all that being said, let us look at three takeaways from the contest.
The 3-point discrepancy between the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics in Game 2 was outright brutal
Among the reasons why the Bucks took down the Celtics in Game 1 was their 3-point strategy on the defensive end. With Milwaukee packing the paint, they forced Boston to take an abundance of 3-pointers, which resulted in them shooting 18-of-50 (36 percent) for the game. Looking to keep the Celtics out on the perimeter and force them to take jumpers, the Bucks aimed to replicate this strategy once again in Game 2, but things did not go according to plan.
Boston came prepared for Milwaukee’s defensive approach this time around as they immediately caught the hot hand from 3-point range. Shooting a scorching hot 6-of-8 from 3-point land in the first quarter alone, the Celtics established a double-digit lead early on. They kept this going during the rest of the game and finished 20-of-43 (46.5 percent) from downtown in Game 2, which killed the Bucks time and time again.
Jaylen Brown, who could not buy a bucket in Game 1, came out aggressive in Game 2 and found a groove, having shot 6-of-10 from the perimeter. Grant Williams was also a significant factor in the game as he knocked down six triples in nine attempts, having provided some sweet shooting as a member of the second unit. Jayson Tatum also got into a nice rhythm as he shot 5-of-10 from the perimeter, including a pair of makes in the fourth quarter that buried the Bucks’ comeback hopes. These three exploited Milwaukee’s defense from start to finish by consistently hitting their open triples, having flipped the switch from Game 1.
Of course, in addition to Boston’s onslaught from three, it did not help that Milwaukee could not throw a rock in the ocean for most of the night. The Milwaukee Bucks shot a gruesome 3-of-18 (16.7 percent) from 3-point territory during their Game 2 loss, with one of those makes coming from Giannis Antetokounmpo. It will always be difficult to win a game when the opponent makes 17 more 3-pointers, and although the Bucks had their chances, they came up short in the end. Given the amount of talented shooters on this roster, two 3-point makes by players not named Giannis Antetokounmpo is unacceptable, and the Bucks must look to bounce back. Also, they will have to take a look back at the film defensively, given how badly the Boston Celtics torched them.