3 takeaways from Milwaukee Bucks’ brutal Game 7 loss to Boston Celtics

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 15 (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 15 (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Wesley Matthews, Boston Celtics: Jayson Tatum
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – MAY 15 (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

Following a nauseating Game 6 loss on their home floor, the Milwaukee Bucks were handed one more chance to beat the Boston Celtics in Game 7 on the road.

Though the Bucks came out with some fire and even claimed a 10-point lead at one point early in the first half of action, the sunshine went away quickly. Boston stormed back and not only erased Milwaukee’s double-digit lead, but they built up one of their own as they outplayed the Bucks over the final three quarters in every single facet of the game. After a grueling and embarrassing game, the Bucks exited the court with a 109-81 loss and their title hopes eradicated. With all that said, here are three takeaways from this ugly Game 7 gut-punch loss on the road.

The Milwaukee Bucks’ defensive approach predictably did not work as they were exploited by the Boston Celtics in Game 7

The Milwaukee Bucks’ defensive gameplan of packing the paint while leaving the perimeter open has been a mixed bag in this series, but they rolled with it in Game 7. While the Bucks had seen a smidge of success with this at times, it backfired immensely in this do-or-die match as the Celtics fired away from 3-point land all afternoon. In total, Boston shot a blistering 22-of-55 (40 percent) in Game 7, having torched the Bucks from the outside just like they did throughout the series.

Boston was led by Grant Williams, who sunk seven 3-pointers in an eye-popping 18 tries as there were multiple occasions where Milwaukee failed to even contest him. As the Budenholzer scheme calls for, Grant was given wide-open looks throughout the game, and he made Milwaukee pay as he buried one after the other to tally a game-high 27 points. The same went for Payton Pritchard, who shot 4-of-6 from behind the arc and capitalized in his brief playing time. There will be more on Milwaukee’s offense in a moment, but it is worth noting that Pritchard knocked down just as many 3-pointers as the Bucks did as a team. That is outright pathetic by all accounts.

This approach defensively has been criticized for years, and it came back to bite the Bucks in this crucial Game 7.