The Boston Celtics played an elimination game like a regular season game, and because of it, like a terminally ill pet, they’ve finally been put out of their misery. The role players for the Milwaukee Bucks continued to lift the team even in an “off” night for Giannis Antetokounmpo (20-8-8, +33), and no one stepped up offensively for the Celtics. That’s it.
The game changed instantly when Marcus Smart and Marcus Morris (15 points) checked in during a dry spell in the first quarter. The defensive intensity rose and fell with the substitution patterns; when they were on the floor, the team was competing and locked in on that side of the floor. Immediately upon their exit, effort and fight fell off a cliff.
Kyrie Irving scored a lot. He shot a lot, and he also missed a lot. 15 points on 6/21 shooting from the field.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was himself, of course, but Nikola Mirotic was a big help for Milwaukee. He chipped in with timely 3-pointers at every turn, putting in 10 points in the first half to lead all Milwaukee players. Other Bucks reserves such as Ersan Ilyasova (10 points) and George Hill (16 points) also contributed in a major way. Pat Connaughton notched 10 rebounds.
This game was ugly. Stevens started with Irving-Jaylen Brown-Jayson Tatum-Al Horford-Aron Baynes, and that wasn’t much help except for the fact that Antetokounmpo was contained decently. Things looked pretty decent right before the half, but then the Bucks went on a quick run that included a moment when both Al Horford and Brad Stevens received technical fouls.
The second half wasn’t much better. Marcus Smart did his best to show a pulse, but it wasn’t contagious. The Bucks went on a run in the third toward the end, and then the fourth quarter started poorly enough to get Guerschon Yabusele in the game at almost the 10-minute mark. The rest of the fourth quarter was garbage
The Boston Celtics have been eliminated from the 2019 NBA Playoffs. They’ll let the taste of defeat marinate as they tumble headfirst into a summer of uncertainty with the free agencies of Kyrie Irving, Terry Rozier, Marcus Morris and potentially Al Horford, a potential Anthony Davis trade looming and an important Draft Lottery next week.
No matter what, keep it locked here at CelticsBlog to see where this crazy team will take us next. Thanks for supporting us throughout the season, folks.