Bucks 117, Celtics 113
Props to Boston for a hell of a fight with Dennis Schroeder, Al Horford, Josh Richardson, and Grant Williams. Most likely, the Celtics will lose 13 points with 5:28 left.
It was a truly classic performance by the Bucks, who are now working at full capacity (with an apology to Brook Lopez). Giannis Antetokounmpo played only 30 minutes but still scored 36-12-5. Boston threw 45 triples while Milwaukee laid out a brick, perhaps best illustrated by Yannis himself in the game’s final seconds as he pivoted on the lane to prevent Jason Tatum’s downtime and then blocked Rob Williams’ dunk after Tatum dropped the ball. Bucks is a well-oiled machine, and Greek Freak threatens to win its third MVP. Pirate Offensive Coordinator Byron Leftwich.
And don’t sleep on Wes Matthews! Mid-season pickup finished the game and greenlighted the top three with 30 seconds left.
Matthews is not exactly P.J. Tucker, but if you squint, he can help Milwaukee help Tucker make some contributions in the summer finals. In the playoffs, the Bucks need at least one of Matthews, Grayson Allen, Donte Di Vincenzo, or Pat Connaughton to make one or two goals and compete on the defensive outside.
Saturday reminded me how scary the Bucks could be when they collapse. And now they seem to have more options than ever in the range.
As for Boston, the Celtics should be encouraged. When Tatum and Jaylen Brown are healthy, this team can compete with anyone, and Williams continues to show his place on the court in a strong draft. Any footage of the separation of Tatum and Brown is stupid. Boston should surpass them and Williams.
If Boston is indeed looking for commercial candidates, the intensity of Marcus Smart’s defense may not be as valuable as bringing in a more natural point guard to help bring order in close combat.
It was a Christmas heavyweight bout between two of the best teams in the NBA. Golden State is currently leading 2-1 in the streak of the season, and any win will count between the two teams if they finish the playoffs and the line goes into Game 7.
The Suns can watch this game and still think they are in good shape. Jae Crowder missed a couple of big threes during the game, and Devin Booker didn’t play many games with 13 points on a 5/19 shot. Phoenix is still very legal.
However, the Warriors’ depth was the story of this game. Golden State beat the Phoenix team at full strength without Jordan Poole, Andre Iguodala, Clay Thompson, and James Wiseman.
Gary Payton II’s defense was as fierce as ever, and to top it all off, he scored a couple of threes. Meanwhile, Otto Porter was also a fantastic player with 19 points, including fourth. Rookie Jonathan Cummings also played 21 minutes and looked indifferent in the playoff atmosphere, scoring 12 points and physical defense.
They are already winning at a high rate, Clay is waiting in the wings, and a group of players comes forward every time someone falls. The experience gained by guys like GPII, Cummings, and Juan Toscano-Anderson can now pay huge dividends during the playoffs, mainly when they compete against the best opponents. For all the talk of warriors trying to shape the future and win simultaneously, they seem to be embarrassed that rewarding RPGs fit with one of the greatest trios of all time, Steph, Clay, and Draymond. Green.
I don’t know how many cigarettes the Lakers smoked this season because this team is so crazy. The Lakers’ season was almost a brief moment full of sadness, perfectly captured in Saturday’s loss to the Nets. There. She played severely for most of the day, won an excellent second place, won a fantastic fourth place, and then was unable to complete the comeback due to some defensive errors and offensive difficulties. The Lakers have been struck by their health and safety agreements — yes, Darren Collison played an NBA game for the first time in two years when S fell off his shirt — but when their star, At least two of them are healthy.
Russell Westbrook was ineffective offensively and was losing players on defense. Dwight Howard played six minutes longer to play in the traditional center. Talen Horton-Tucker limits the team’s distance.
And LeBron, while impressive, played a large part in the imperfect construction of this list. To score against the Lakers so far is a broken record. Many people were skeptical about this team’s depth, primarily compromised by the Westbrook trade.
The Lakers opposed this narrative ahead of the season, but right now, they need more from players like Russ, THT, or even Wayne Ellington, especially when they face another sold-out team. The Lakers cannot continue to seek excuses. They need to start looking for solutions.