Bad road habits result in Celtics loss to Bucks and a Game 7 in Boston

NBA TV's Sam Mitchell said it best. The Boston Celtics have exhibited bad habits on the road against the Milwaukee Bucks. How many times has coach Brad Stevens told his troops to move the ball. They do at times, but not so at other points in the game, resulting in another bad habit - namely taking bad shots.

In his broadcast this morning, Mitchell stressed that the Celtics are also not setting screens and not playing maximum defense. The bad habits resulted in a Bucks 97-86 victory last night.

Boston has generally been outrebounding Milwaukee in the series, but not in this one. The Celtics managed only 39 boards to Milwaukee's 48. How about the bad shots? Boston was 37.0% on field goals compared to the Bucks' 50.7%.

One statistic that is glaring would be the percentage of fast-break points by each team. Only 4.7% of Boston's points came from fast breaks compared to Milwaukee's 25.8%. That is a major difference. TNT analyst Kevin McHale mentioned during play the need for Boston to get some easy buckets to develop some rhythm. They had few easy ones.

But part of that was the stifling defense by the Bucks. Percentage of points off turnovers? Milwaukee had double the percentage of Boston - 14.4%-to-7.0%. When the Bucks force a turnover and run, they are close to unstoppable.

So what what is the remedy? TD Garden is the cure. Most of the bad habits get squelched in Boston. Sam Mitchell stated that he feels Al Horford needs to get aggressive in Game Seven and set the tone for the younger guys. He also stressed that Marcus Smart needs to come out with maximum energy (doesn't he always?) and ignite his teammates. If Al provides the stability and aggressiveness to lessen the bad habits seen on the road, and Smart ignites his teammates (and starts hitting his shots), the Garden crowd should provide enough energy to generate a Celtics win.

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Photo via Stuart Cahill/Boston Herald