The best thing you can say about Friday night's overtime victory over the Bucks is, "It's a win."
The Bucks were playing without Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez and Donte DiVencenzo. The Celtics should win despite not having Jaylen Brown - particularly if they continued to play like they had against the Heat and Raptors. But they struggled and had to pull it out in overtime.
First I'm going to compliment the Bucks who did play. They looked very well coached. That's no dig against Udoka, it just goes to show the Bucks' system works for them and keeps them in games when their stars aren't available. This Celtics team will get there but it's not there yet. It will take more than a few weeks. It will probably take all season and maybe longer than that.
Next I'm going to compliment the Celtics' effort. I thought they played hard all game and made it tough for Milwaukee. Next, I'm going to compliment Dennis Schroder. He made plays with the ball, scoring 37 points. He had some really ugly turnovers, but overall he was the reason the Celtics won.
Now I'm going to raise one question. What's behind Tatum's shooting slump?
(A) It could be that it's just one of those things that some shooters go through and he work his way out of it. Shoot to get hot, shoot to stay hot. But maybe it goes deeper.
(B) Is it just my imagination or has Tatum found it more difficult this year to get separation from the defender on his shots? His step-back and side-step shots seem more contested than ever.
(C) Has Tatum figured out how best to use an offense that moves the ball and moves players away from the ball. He has a tendency to go to the wing and wait for the ball to come to him, but that's not always happening. Last night was a case in point. Schroder did not defer to Tatum often leaving Tatum as a spectator. That rarely happened in the past.
(D) Tatum is thinking too much. He wants to be the play maker that people say he should be and so he's not thinking scoring in the same way. His eyes aren't locked on the rim. In the long run, this could be a very good thing, but right now it's affecting his own shooting.
On to Cleveland and a measuring stick game for Rob Williams against Jarrett Allen.