NBA playoffs: In series openers, Celtics threw Game 1 away and Warriors beat Grizzlies at their own game

For days leading up to Sunday’s video game versus the Milwaukee Bucks, the Boston Celtics gotten ready for a various difficulty than the one they’d simply finished. Unlike the Brooklyn Nets, the Bucks are a huge, physical, defense-first group. While injuries pushed Brooklyn into typically playing 3 guards no taller than 6-foot-3, Milwaukee reacted to Khris Middleton’s injury by beginning 3 bigs, none much shorter than 6-10. 

The Celtics had factor to be positive in their offense. Before dispatching of the small, overmatched Nets by scoring 119.2 points per 100 belongings in 4 video games, they had actually scored 118.5 per 100, the second-best mark in the league, over the last 43 video games of the routine season, a period in which they went 33-10. Milwaukee has a number of top-level protectors, “but we feel we have favorable matchups as well on some of their guys,” coach Ime Udoka stated quickly in the past Game 1 tipped off. 

And then Boston had its worst offending video game in more than 6 months, opening the series by scoring an awful 89 points per 100 belongings. The Celtics’ just efficiency more rank this season was on Oct. 22 versus the Toronto Raptors, a video game in which they lost by 32 points and their house fans booed them. 

It is something to comprehend intellectually that you remain in for a harder test whenever you bring the ball up. It is another thing to get on the court and feel it.

“I think their physicality more so than anything caught us off guard,” Udoka stated after the 101-89 loss.

Udoka stated that, in a manner, it is “good to get this dud out of the way offensively — to lose a 12-point game when we played that poorly offensively I think bodes well for us.”

The Celtics’ halfcourt defense was on point. They secured the paint, required Milwaukee into midrange shots and held Giannis Antetokounmpo to 24 points on 9-for-25 shooting. They might not, nevertheless, discover any rhythm when they had the ball, a minimum of till a fourth-quarter stretch in which they developed a lot of open threes on successive belongings, by which point it was far far too late. 

Sometimes, they merely missed out on excellent appearances. Other times, they required bad ones, both in the paint (where they shot 10-for-31) and from 3-point variety (where they shot 18-for-50). What doomed Boston, however, was the stream of turnovers, much of which resulted in pails for the Bucks.

In the very first quarter, a bad pass from Jaylen Brown led to a pull-up 3 for Jrue Holiday, and 2 from Derrick White led to a layup for Bobby Portis and catch-and-shoot 3 for Jevon Carter: 

In the 2nd quarter, Wesley Matthews and Grayson Allen swished wide-open threes off 2 turnovers by Brown. The initially was a misdirected drive in shift, the 2nd an inadequately put pocket pass: 

In the 2nd half, Holiday required Smart into a turnover near halfcourt, resulting in a Portis jumper; Holiday struck a pull-up 2 after Al Horford bobbled an entry pass; and Holiday struck another pull-up 3 after selecting off a pass from Horford meant for Jayson Tatum:

These clips represent 8 of Boston’s 18 turnovers and 21 of Milwaukee’s 27 points off turnovers. The Bucks, on the other hand, dedicated 14 turnovers, and the Celtics transformed them into just 6 points. Related: Milwaukee had a 28-8 benefit in quick break points.

“That’s on us,” Brown stated. “We’ve gotta be ready for their physicality. And they hit us in the mouth early and set the tone.”

Udoka, Brown and Tatum all stated that the Bucks “sped up” the Celtics, making it challenging to enter their sets and pushing them towards bad choices. Brown stated that Boston needs to “be the smarter team” moving forward, while Tatum stated the group was “too careless” and required to be more definitive. 

“I don’t feel we played with the best poise and composure overall,” Udoka stated. 

After getting rid of home-court benefit, the Celtics sounded positive that they will play more like themselves when they go back to TD Garden on Tuesday. Milwaukee’s size, length and dedication to securing the rim make it challenging to score on the within, however they understand they can collapse the defense and develop high-percentage appearances as long as their spacing is sound and they make the best checks out. Under duress, that is a lot more challenging than it sounds.   

“It’s not easy playing in the playoffs, and it takes focus, it takes execution,” Horford stated, including that Boston had actually been doing simply great in these locations till Sunday. “It’s just us having to tighten up and be better.”


A couple of minutes into the 3rd quarter of the Golden State Warriors’ series opener versus the Memphis Grizzlies, ESPN’s broadcast offered audiences a peek into coach Steve Kerr’s huddle. 

“All five on the glass, every time,” Kerr informed the gamers. “We keep the possession game even, you can see it — we’re getting wide-open looks down here.” 

Draymond Green had actually been ejected near completion of the very first half, however Golden State had actually taken a lead with a mini-run. To keep it, the Warriors would require to continue to strike the glass and prevent providing Memphis a lot of additional chances. 

The Grizzlies had the NBA’s second-best record in the routine season regardless of ranking 22nd in half-court offense, per Cleaning The Glass. They didn’t do this simply by grinding out filthy wins; it constructed an elite offense out of second-chance points and the shift video game. In Game 1 versus Golden State, nevertheless, they did not get their typical edges. Memphis tried 2 more basket than the Warriors, Golden State scored 2 more second-chance points and both groups scored the exact same quantity of points off turnovers. All of this amounted to a 117-116 win for the Warriors.

During his post-game interview on NBC Sports Bay Area, Kerr stated, “One of the keys to this series is the possession game. We’ve gotta rebound, and we did that tonight. We outrebounded ’em 50-47. And we’ve gotta stay close on turnovers and hopefully win the turnover battle. In the regular season, they hammered us in the possession game.” He kept in mind that, in among their regular-season conferences — the Grizzlies’ 116-108 win on Jan. 11 — the Golden State tried 18 less basket than its challenger. “It’s tough to beat a really good team that way.” 

The Warriors have actually constantly been fatal in shift, and this season they required turnovers at an above-average rate. They were directly typical on the offending glass, however, and even that is a considerable accomplishment compared to how they fared because classification previously in the Kerr age. In this specific match, however, they will crash the boards more strongly, in order to decrease Memphis’ benefits on the margins. 

On Sunday, Andrew Wiggins, Kevon Looney, Otto Porter Jr., Jonathan Kuminga, Gary Payton II and Jordan Poole all contributed tip-ins and putbacks: 

Stephen Curry and Poole both made threes after Golden State recuperated missed out on jumpers: 

And the Warriors even got an offending board on a missed out on totally free toss, an additional ownership that ended with Wiggins scoring 2 of their 56 points in the paint. 

Grizzlies star Ja Morant started interview by regreting all the second-chance points they’d gave up: Jaren Jackson Jr. stated they merely needed to “find a way to get to the ball,” even when Golden State shoots deep threes. 

“Playing these guys, we understand that we gotta run more to the elbows to get the rebounds,” Memphis’ De’Anthony Melton stated. “And box out first and hit them first because they do have guys that love to rebound and are trying to make those 50-50 plays every time down.”

Kerr moved Looney to the bench in Game 5 of Golden State’s first-round series versus the Denver Nuggets, changing the smart center with the ascendant Poole. Payton took Poole’s location in the beginning lineup versus the Grizzlies, and Looney played just 6 minutes prior to Green’s ejection. Even when the Warriors are playing little, the training personnel anticipates them to fight for the boards. 

“It requires all of our guards to lock in and make sure they’re boxing out and chasing after the rebound,” Kerr stated. 

Golden State required every additional opportunity it might get with among its stars restricted to 17 minutes, and Payton created 4 offending boards, Poole and Wiggins 3 each. If the essentially equivalent ownership video game is an accomplishment for a Warriors group attempting to follow Kerr’s tactical plan, then so is the narrow win. Now Memphis is delegated come to grips with the manner in which it missed out on a huge chance. 

“Can’t allow them second chances or any open looks,” Morant stated. “And they pretty much made us pay for it.”



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