Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks: Terry Rozier, Jayson Tatum and 23 random takeaways prior to Game 2

After an incredible finish to Game 1, a 113-107 victory for the Boston Celtics, the Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks have (presumably) regrouped and will face off once again in Game 2 at the TD Garden. The Celtics will look to defend home court and take a 2-0 series lead on the road to Milwaukee.

Here are 23 random thoughts, notes and bits of analysis after rewatching Game 1.

1. Even on a team with barely any floor spacing, Giannis Antetokounmpo collapses defenses like a Jenga tower. The Celtics walled off the paint against the Bucks star, but he still found ways to make them pay. Watch here as Aron Baynes helps a little too far off of John Henson, who wisely scoots to the basket behind him.

Even if the Bucks don’t have effective shooters spacing the floor, having intelligent divers surrounding your star is important.

2. Jayson Tatum is not afraid of Antetokounmpo at all. Rather than passing out of matchups against the Bucks star, Tatum went right at him every time, scoring multiple times in the early going and snaking a difficult layup over his fingertips in the overtime period.

3. Jaylen Brown didn’t get credit for it, but he made a heads-up play going for the steal, recognizing where the pass was going and that Henson didn’t have particularly strong hands. 

High-IQ defensive plays like this one would take Brown from a very good defender to a great one.

Also worth noting: The Celtics reached and swiped a lot in Game 1, and they weren’t really punished by the officials. We will see if that continues in Game 2.

4. The Celtics shortened their rotation significantly: Four players were on the court for more than 40 minutes, and Marcus Morris logged 36. Nobody else logged 20. If the Celtics were healthy, it would be fascinating to see how deep Stevens would go. You can’t really not play a player as talented as Terry Rozier, even if Kyrie Irving and Marcus Smart are available.

5. The Bucks need so much more defensively from Jabari Parker than this.

Brown scoots around Parker relatively unhindered and continues to the hoop. At no time does Parker do anything to cut Brown off or keep him from going where he wants to go. 

Parker has suffered more than his share of devastating leg injuries, but if it’s this easy to score, the Celtics will target him.

6. Late in the first quarter, the Celtics put Shane Larkin and Greg Monroe into a pick-and-roll against Jason Terry and Tyler Zeller, and Larkin dribbled to the basket and scored with ease.

At the start of the second quarter, the Celtics tried to attack Terry and Zeller with Larkin and Monroe in pick-and-roll action and turned it over three times in about five possessions. Terry might not be a good defender, but he’s a veteran who has learned to sniff things out, and he punished Larkin for his brief lack of creativity in the PnR.

7. Antetokounmpo gets superstar calls and noncalls, which is appropriate because he’s a superstar. But some of his travels are pretty hilariously egregious — considerably more egregious than the LeBron James moves that so often incite the internet. Do officials just lose Antetokounmpo’s pivot foot thanks to his long limbs?

8. Antetokounmpo scores on this play, but this is part of the reason Horford guards him so well — the Bucks star needs to work hard to create the space.

Of course, the ability to create that space and the length with which he rises up over Horford are two reasons he’s a brutal matchup.

9. The 26-4 run in the second quarter was the result of missed jumpers and turnovers, and it’s the type of stretch that will haunt this team. The Celtics’ 2018 playoffs will be defined by how well they can overcome their cold streaks. If the Celtics drop a game because they can’t rally from a 31-7 run at some point in the near future, just remember: Next year, Boston will have Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Brown and Tatum to stagger through the lineup.

10. The loudest the crowd got on Sunday was probably after Terry Rozier’s should-have-been-a game winner. The second loudest? Probably in the second quarter when Marcus Morris pointedly ripped a dead ball away from Jabari Parker. Boston likes beef, and Boston is really starting to like Marcus Morris.

11. As noted by Danny Leroux on the Dunc’d On Podcast, one of Stevens’ better adjustments was leaving Larkin in the game to spell Rozier even after Larkins’ three-turnover stretch in the second quarter, only taking him off the ball and using Tatum or Horford to initiate the offense. The Celtics are fortunate to have versatile forwards.

12. Much is made of Brad Stevens’ motion-heavy offense, but perhaps not enough is made of how frequently he gets his best players isolated against mismatches and then gives them the keys to a play.

On this play, the Bucks switch the dribble hand-off. Facing Rozier, Henson never had a chance.

Worth noting: Rozier is shooting a career-high 49 percent at the rim, which is poor compared to league average, but still a steady progression upward.

13. Malcolm Brogdon can do a lot of things, but he can’t guard Tatum. The second-year guard found himself isolated against Tatum along the baseline midway through the third quarter, and he stepped back into a confident fadeaway directly over him. On the next play, Tatum bodied Brogdon to the rim for a layup. On the next play, the Bucks were forced to send a second defender to help contain a rookie (who admittedly threw the pass away).

Being able to score against aggressive, smaller defenders isn’t always easy, especially for young forwards, but the Bucks are going to need to try something else against Tatum.

14. Remember last year, when the Celtics couldn’t get an offensive rebound against the Chicago Bulls? That’s not going to be a problem against the Bucks. Milwaukee is abysmal at boxing out. But as Stevens noted in a conference call with reporters on Monday, the Celtics need to be careful crashing the boards — if they are too enthusiastic, they could jump-start a break for the Bucks.

15. You just can’t get caught this far out when an opposing team is walking the dog to preserve time.

That’s a bad mistake by Rozier, and it allowed the Bucks to put up two points while just four seconds came off the clock.

16. Speaking of bad defensive mistakes by Rozier, I’ve been trying to come up with justifications for helping off Brogdon on the last play of the fourth quarter. As best I can tell, Rozier shouldn’t have done it, but Antetokounmpo was technically his responsbility at the top of the zone.

Still, you can’t leave a shooter to guard a non-shooter in that situation.

17. With 58 seconds left in the overtime, Antetokounmpo barreled over Tatum going for a rebound and tied him up. The duo engaged in a brief wrestling match, but Tatum ended up coming out with the ball, if you place any stock in that.

18. Antetokounmpo almost certainly fouled Tatum on the play and probably should have had to sit down at that point, but he almost certainly didn’t foul Terry Rozier with seconds left after missing a free throw — a play that probably should have resulted in a jump ball.

Ball don’t lie, I guess?

19. The Celtics’ shot making late in the fourth quarter and in the overtime period was absurd and perhaps unsustainable, if you’re looking for reasons to be concerned.

20. The Bucks shot 77.8 percent at the rim and 35 percent as a team behind the arc, if you’re wondering what Boston would like to see them do more in Game 2.

21. Milwaukee got out in transition on 16.8 percent of its possessions. That’s an above-average clip, but the Celtics might be able to cope with it.

22. Winning the first game is hard. 

“The first one is always the toughest, especially if a team feels confident coming in,” Jaylen Brown told reporters after Game 1. “So it was good that we got this one. We’ve got to fight to get the next one, too.”

23. Of course, winning the second one might be just as hard, and winning the fifth one is even harder (etc. etc.). It turns out the playoffs are exhausting!

Game 2 in Boston tips off at 8 p.m. on TNT.

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