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The Boston Celtics' steam engine, which was moving at full speed during Games 1 and 2, surely lost some of it's momentum in the series's last two games with the Milwaukee Bucks.


The Cs were affected by Milwaukee's personnel change in Games 3 and 4, when they gave Matthew Dellavedova and Thon Maker extensive promotions. In the series's first two games, Maker and Della played a combined 6 total minutes, and both received DNPs in Game 1. In Game's 3 and 4, the duo totaled 88 minutes, and created a spark for the Bucks on both the defensive and offensive ends of the floor.

Maker aided the Bucks with his scoring in Game 3, particularly from behind the arc. He dropped 14 points on the night, and hit 3 of his 4 attempted three-pointers. At 7'1", his ability to spread the floor is lethal. The Celtics found slight relief in Game 4 against Maker's unique skillset by putting Semi Ojeleye on the floor whenever the Bucks' big-man hit the court, but he still finished with 8 points in the game. 

Maker helped the Bucks leaps and bounds defensively, too. He had 5 blocks in back-to-back games.

Dellavedova also made a dent in the series's last two games with his defense. The stats don't show how impactful he's been. He's a major reason why Terry Rozier wasn't as prevalent in Games 3 and 4, and even when he was switched onto bigger men, he played like a hound. Watch him here as he disrupts the mismatch versus Al Horford in the post.
With Della's and Thon's increase in playing time, the Celtics turned the ball over 4 more times in Games 3 and 4 than in games 1 and 2, and were outscored by 26 points.

The good news is that Celtics last quarter and a half of play in the series was superb, and that Brad Stevens found some adjustments to stop the Bucks' unconventional lineup changes. So, it's time to use the Bucks' strengths against them in tonight's Game 5. The Celtics have done exceedingly well in the past after 4 games of combat against the enemy.

Let's pray to Father Time that history will repeat itself tonight. If it does, then the Cs have a good chance of taking the series.

You know what else could really help the Celtics grab victory? Someone to shut down Khris Middleton. If only the Celtics had a balls to the wall, tenacious, premier defender to contest him....

Marcus Smart may play tonight! Let's go Celtics!!!

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Photo: Sporting News

Sean Waukewan 4/24/2018 03:17:00 PM Edit
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