BOSTON (CBS) — The Celtics could do no wrong in their Game 1 win over the Bucks. Game 2 was a much different story, with a disastrous third quarter that saw the Bucks out-score the Celtics by 21 points.
The difference in the two contests? Boston’s ball movement. The Celtics had 25 assists on 47 made baskets in Game 1, and always seemed to make the extra pass to get someone an open look. That stopped in the second half of Game 2. As the Celtics fell behind on the scoreboard, guys started firing from everywhere on the floor. The Bucks took advantage of Boston’s “hero ball” strategy in a big way.
Now the series comes to Boston tied 1-1, with Game 3 set for Friday night at TD Garden. WBZ-TV sports director Steve Burton and sports producer Scott Sullivan looked ahead to Friday’s matchup on the newest edition of “A Slice Of Sully,”
“The ball movement is a big thing. In Game 1, the ball was popping and moving all game long. In Game 2, the first half it was moving, but as soon as they started falling behind they all wanted to play hero ball. They started chucking up threes,” said Sully. “Brad [Stevens] always says you want to hit singles; forget about home runs, hit singles and get back in the game. They just kept firing up threes and hoisting away, and Milwaukee just kept going.
“It was just an awful third quarter. They need to keep the ball popping and moving all four quarters, and if they do, they win these games and win this series,” added Sully.
As bad as Boston looked in the second half of Game 2, Sully expects them to bounce back Friday night and take control of the series again. Giannis Antetokounmpo returned to his superstar form for the Bucks with 29 points and 10 rebounds, but Sully says the key is stopping his sidekick Khris Middleton, who nailed seven of his 10 three-point attempts and finished Game 2 with 28 points.
“He’s an absolute killer, and he was wide open time and time again,” said Sully. “It’s one thing if he’s making shots and they’re contesting, but wide open corner threes cannot happen.”
Burton and Sully also touched on the greatness of Al Horford. Watch the full segment in the clip above and click here for previous episodes of “A Slice Of Sully.”