The Algebra of a Professional Playoff Victory: C’s act like they ‘been there,’ go up 2 – 0!
If it wasn’t the play of the Game, it was certainly the Play of the First Quarter.
The Dancing Bear two-steppin’ along the baseline in pursuit of an errant Al Horford jumper, hurtling into the air, and from his hip delivering – right on the money, I might add – a no-look pass to set up a Terry Rozier three-pointer.
Guerschon Yabusele had checked into the game just 69 seconds earlier (at the 7:52 mark) for Aron Baynes, who’d been called for but one personal foul and had just tallied his second follow-up score in the team’s first eight possessions.
Well, that’s why that Stevens guy is the coach and we ain’t!
By the way, that Rozier trey gave our boys a lead the Bucks would never recapture.
The C’s established – actually, re-established from Game 1 – the tone of play within four possessions. The first and last resulted in FG’s following an Offensive Rebound while the third produced an easy bucket following a Milwaukee Turnover.
While Joe Prunty’s group was in the midst of hitting their first five shots to take an early but short-lived four-point lead, the die had been cast.
The Bucks, who’ve had some “hot” stretches thus far in the series, bottomed out six straight early to draw even (for 16 seconds) … but the last six of Boston’s 18 first-half “Follow-Up” points restored order.
On one of the F-U’s, Jaylen Brown’s pretty left-handed finger-roll follow of his own blocked miss had my old-school mind thinking Gervin.
Rule question: It looked like Coach Stevens did a “Never Mind!” at the very end of the half with a substitution. When Prunty countered the move with his own sub, Coach took somebody (Baynes?) right back out. Am I mistaken, or is a sub not required to remain in the lineup until SOMETHING happens? (I must be wrong, Boy Scout Brad wouldn’t pull a fast one, would he?)
Occasionally this season, the Celtics have found themselves in crucial late-game situations with no more time-outs. It makes one wonder about (maybe even question) the times Coach Stevens “burns” a TO like he did at the close of Q3.
There was no doubt in his mind. TNT’s camera angle clearly shows Coach say something to the official closest to him as Milwaukee was getting into its final possession … and that official appeared to whistle the TO immediately at the change of possession.
Of course, Shane Larkin scored some “brownie points” by draining the three.
And did you see the pass Shane threw Greg Monroe for an old-fashioned three-point-play about three minutes prior. Larkin was moving right-to-left at the foul line and shoveled a little “pocket” pass inside. Credit to Moose for the catch and finish.
I found it interesting that Coach Stevens pulled Marcus Morris from the game right away following a minor skirmish under the Bucks’ goal. Marcus seemed to know it was coming but looked every bit like a guy who wanted to stay on the court. (He was back in the game a minute and a half later.)
And finally, who says there’s no place for a big man with old-school skills in today’s game? Did you see the little baseline baby-hook Monroe pulled out of his bag of tricks early in Q4? (And who ever figured Monroe would be a featured playoff performer sooner than his old teammate Andre Drummond?)
FG: C’s – 48 - 90, .533 / Mil – 46 - 77, .597
3FG: C’s – 13 - 31, .419 / Mil – 7 - 17, .412
FT: C’s – 11 - 18, .611  / Mil – 7 - 17, .412 
TO: C’s – 7 / Mil – 15
OR: C’s – 9 + 5 (team) / Mil – 7 + 0 (team)
Poss: C’s – 91 / Mil – 92
CV%: C’s – 56 / 91, .615 / Mil – 53 / 92, .576
Note re. Calculations:
The number of “possessions” is an accurate count, not a formula-based estimated value.
For purposes of clarity, the bracketed digit following the FT% is the exact count of “conversions” represented by those FTA’s.
“Possessions” calculation: FGA’s + FT conversions + TO’s – OR’s (including Team OR’s)
“Conversions” calculation: FG’s + FT conversions
Abacus Revelation for the Road
Through two games, Boston has outperformed Milwaukee in “Points on Possessions after Turnovers” 48 – 28 and 42 – 13 in F-U points.