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Avery Bradley's Tough Foul With 0.6 Seconds Left Spoils The Celtics 19 Point Comeback

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To put it simply, that’s just not a foul you can make. Period. Given everything that happened leading up to this critical moment, it’s hard to be that mad. Yeah, it was the play that led to the eventual loss, but it wasn’t why we lost. With how well the Celtics have been playing, the law of averages says they were due for a dud, and this my friends, was that dud. As I sit here writing this though, I think I feel great about this team despite the loss. Here’s why. It takes a LOT to beat this Celtics team. I fully understand that the Bucks have been struggling and are not very good. But a 19 point lead is a 19 point lead. Are we living in a world where the Celtics are still in a ballgame even down by that much? Well I guess it depends on the opponent, but last time I checked this team beat the Warriors soooo.

But honestly, if you are ripping Avery or calling for his head right after he single handedly beat Lebron, I think you need to relax a little. Things are now even steven (great show). He tried to make a play and it didn’t work out, that shit happens in basketball. Though to swallow for sure, but not the end of the world.

The Good

– The comeback. 93-74 entering the fourth quarter, momentum was with the Bucks as Monroe had just hit a buzzer beating hook shot. On the first Celtics possession, Avery hits the three to get things started. He’d hit another a few minutes later to make it 101-86. A 15 point deficit with 7:57 remaining. Crazy. From this point, the Celtics got four consecutive defensive stops and after an Olynyk three, the lead was single digits 104-95. With four minutes left the Celts continued to flash a hard double on Monroe, and it seemed to work, especially when they showed with Crowder.

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With the Bucks basically begging the Celts to take this game, they found themselves trailing 109-106 with 23 seconds left. Do they go for the tie? A quick two? When they came out of the timeout you knew it was going to be a great play, and it was. Jae for three, tie game. From 19 points down to even, all in one quarter. With one second left there was no chance the Bucks score right? Wrong. Fucking Greg Monroe and his damn hook shot. Celts trailed 111-109 with 1 second left. OK now game over right? Good effort, tough loss right? Wrong again. Foul on Bayless. Now Olynyk is at the line down two with two huge FTs to make. If anything, I expected him to miss one, I can be honest. FTs are this teams achilles. He makes them. Holy shit what a feeling. Another comeback within the comeback. This team is impossible to kill and I fucking love it.

– Overall, they didn’t play that poorly on the offensive end. Shooting 46% for a game is a number I will never complain about. They took a few too many threes, but it got them back in the game so to me that’s not really an issue. Scoring 111 points on this team usually translates into a win, and is still a really high number for them.

It was good to see that last night was a pretty balanced effort. The bench (50 points) made an impact, and it took everyone that played to be able to crawl back into this game. Solid team effort. They even did things like this

 

– If Jae Crowder truly has a high ankle sprain, he needs to be studied by world renowned doctors. You should not be able to move this well. His jump shot showed good elevation from the first to the fourth quarter. He had good lateral movement. The guy is simply a monster. Nothing but respect for what he is doing right now. His line: 18 points (7-12 shooting 3-6 from three) and 5 rebounds 2 steals is par for the course. I just hope he doesn’t overdo it, and this becomes something that lingers as we head into the postseason.

– Avery did his Mr. First Quarter things and it continued to be beautiful to watch. Has there ever been a player this good in the open of a game and then really not do too much after? So weird. A team high +22, he basically shot them back into the game and was maybe the Celts best player last night.

– Here’s a weird stat, the Celtics actually won the rebounding battle 44-38. Sure didn’t feel like it

The Bad

– It was early, but technically the Celts blew a 10 point lead in this game. They had their chance early when Monroe couldn’t make a shot to really pull away, and instead they got sloppy towards the end of the first and the lead was gone.

– That is how I would describe this game. Sloppy. A total of 18 turnovers doesn’t seem high on the surface, but they were brutal and they came in waves. I’m talking multiple straight possessions with turnovers on one end and a basket on the other. Just lazy passing from guys like Turner (4 turnovers) but more importantly Avery (4 turnovers). Avery’s passing was just downright bad.

– Also bad, was the defensive effort for the second straight game. I think it was a bit overlooked how the Celtics played defensively against SAC since they scored at will, but here was another example of a big man just destroying you. They can’t be giving up 112 points to the Milwaukee Bucks, who average just 98 a game. The Bucks shot 51% for christ sake. The damage came mostly from Monroe and his ability to score in the paint and really just bully the Celtics bigs. A 64-44 advantage in the paint, there’s your ballgame.

– Both Isaiah and Smart had some serious trouble with MCW. He was able to get to his spot at will and his size was an issue. He’s a matchup problem for sure if he could ever figure it out.

– Where the hell does Jerryd Bayless get the nerve to all the sudden be able to make a three? A 39% shooter when he was in Boston, now he’s going to shoot 44% and make 4 of 6 last night? What an asshole.

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The Ugly

– This game was lost in that third quarter. The Celtics came out flat offensively and shot 29%, and they also decided to leave their defense in the locker room. Giving up 40 points in a quarter, and then not score yourself, was a bold strategy. The third quarter has been a thorn in the Celtics side at times this season, so if you are looking for a legit reason of why things didn’t work out, move on from that foul and focus on the real problem.

– Even still, horrible foul, can’t do it.

 

Fortunately, there is no time to sit and sulk about this game, because the Celts return home to face Doc/Pierce and the Clippers. Win tonight, and I completely forget about what happened last night. Now the Clippers are rested, and the Celts are playing on a back to back, but I think they’ll be ready. They more often than not play up to their competition, and I have a feeling the Garden is going to help give them that extra boost.

So yeah, tough loss, but the Celts were due. Just be happy it took what it did to finally beat them.

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