Bucks vs Celtics coverage
Milwaukee Bucks (14-20) at Boston Celtics (16-17)
Wednesday, February 29
7:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #34, Home Game #20
TV: CSN-NE, FSN-WI, LP 754/755 (DTV)
Radio: WEEI, WTMJ
Last night's nailbiter isn't going to make it any easier for the Celtics tonight. In what should have been a cake walk in Cleveland against the Varejao-less Cavs, was a grinder where every starter played 32+ minutes. Thankfully, the Bucks are also coming off a wire-to-wire track meet against the Wizards yesterday. Maybe the Celtics needed this kick in the pants to kick off the start of the second half of the season. The way we're playing, teams can't be overlooked, especially teams we're battling with for post-season position. The win last night puts us 2.5 games ahead of the Cavs for the final spot and gives us the tie breaker. The Milwaukee Bucks are another cellar dweller that we need to beat to stay in playoff contention.
Tonight is a homecoming and it couldn't come at a better time. After going a dismal 1-4 away from the Garden, the Celtics get to sleep in their own beds for five out of the next six before heading out before heading out on a two week trek to the west coast. Tonight's game is a chance to get back to .500 and hopefully, the rest of the homestand gives Boston time to get healthy and find some consistency.
THINGS I WANT TO SEE: In Cleveland, Doc established KG in the paint early. Garnett had historically torched Jamison in the post and last night wasn't any different. With the Bucks, look for the Celtics to do the same. Oft-injured Aussie Andrew Bogut will be sitting on the bench in a suit so look for Garnett to attack the basket in the first five minutes.
We shot 14 free throws to Cleveland's 25. That has to change. The home cooking should help, but we need to be more aggressive. Rondo was more facilitator rather than instigator against Kyrie Irving. There were times last night where I thought he felt like he was still playing in the All Star Game; behind the back passes and tricky no-looks were turning into turnovers and busted plays. The Celtics need him to pinball into to the lane and light up the scoreboard with team fouls.
THINGS I EXPECT TO SEE: Whenever a marquee match-up against an opposing point guard comes up on the calendar, Rajon Rondo circles the date. Brandon Jennings may not be an All-Star yet, but I'm sure Rondo will want to put him in his place. It's a collision of opposing styles. Jennings is a southpaw that relies on his scoring to carry his team. Rondo is second in the league in assists and the purer point guard of the two, but after going 0-for-11 in Cleveland, I predict Rondo to go off. In his last two games on the parquet floor, he put together back-to-back 30+ point games, including that triple double against the Bulls.
THINGS I DON'T WANT TO SEE: It's not so much what I don't want to SEE. It's what I don't want to HEAR. Yes, the scheduling has been tough because of the lockout and any thoughts that a shortened season might have better for an older group are now disproved, but I'd rather not listen to another person utter the words "second game of a backt to back." If KG's tired of listening to excuses, let's take his lead. We're in a dog fight right now to even make the playoffs and the Bucks are a team nipping at our tail.
THINGS I'LL BE THINKING ABOUT: It's funny how things turn out sometimes. Today is Leap Day, a day we throw into the calendar every four years because the earth doesn't orbit the sun exactly 365 days a year. It's corrective. In some weird cosmic way, it makes sense that the Celtics play tonight on the eve of the first realistic day of the trade market; tomorrow marks the first day that players signed in the off-season can be traded. For all intents and purposes, tonight could conceivably be the last time we see this roster play together. Could this be the last game for the Big Three? Is there an actual fire to the smoke of the Gasol-for-Rondo trade rumors? Could we be looking for yet another center to replace
Kendrick Perkins Shaquille O'Neal Jermaine O'Neal if his wrist injury proves to be season-ending? Danny could be using Leap Day as one last look at his team before a series of corrections are made.