MILWAUKEE — This is a game the Celtics may look back and regret losing because they outplayed the Bucks in the second half, save a four-minute stretch that determined the game. Boston had a plethora of chances to put the game away or at least make the Bucks uncomfortable but never could make consistent plays.
Paul Pierce missed a potential game-tying shot at the buzzer and the Celtics lost 86-84 but it is a game they led 77-72 before a 14-2 run. The Bucks did not the score the final 2:42 but managed to win because the Celtics couldn’t produce consecutive baskets and allowed the Bucks to get two offensive rebounds in the final two minutes to waste precious clock.
The Celtics were disjointed offensively. Pierce was 0-for-4 from the field in the fourth quarter and didn’t score, yet he dominated the ball. He needed to pass more and Rajon Rondo needed to score more because Brandon Jennings couldn’t stop him from getting into the paint. This might be a first-round playoff series, but the Celtics can definitely walk away knowing they took the Bucks best shot and nearly beat them anyway.
Paul Pierce — Was trying to force matters in the fourth quarter and had nothing to show for it. If he is missing shots, he needs to pass the ball to teammates and the offense will flow better and the Celtics will be more successful offensively.
Kevin Garnett — Showed his athleticism in the first half with a breakaway dunk and alley-oop and continues to show improvement. But he needed the ball more.
Kendrick Perkins — He just doesn’t match up well with Andrew Bogut and his frustration shows. He gave a good effort but an illegal pick late in the game was the game’s most pivotal play.
Ray Allen — He didn’t get enough shots and didn’t have the guile to be more selfish so he remained silent. He has to take more control when he wants shots.
Rajon Rondo — Delightful for most of the game but he should have ran the offense better down the stretch because the ball movement stopped.
Rasheed Wallace — Seven points, four rebounds and two steals in 18 minutes. Wallace stayed away from bad shots and just played defense. A solid outing.
Marquis Daniels — Seven points in 18 minutes and played some strong defense in the third quarter.
Glen Davis — One rebound and three fouls in 17 minutes. The Celtics needed more from him with Andrew Bogut controlling the paint.
Nate Robinson — After hitting two 3-pointers Nate turned into bad Nate with turnovers and some forced shots. This is the part of the game that needs to mature.
Michael Finley — Came off the bench for five points in eight minutes. A good start and he will be a positive influence in the locker room.