If Game 1 was any indication, the first-round playoff series between the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics should be a good one. If the last 15 seconds of regulation were any indication, however, then brace yourself for some hallucinogenic-grade basketball.
The Bucks had been trailing throughout the fourth quarter, but a Boston defensive breakdown allowed for a wide-open attempt from Milwaukee guard Malcolm Brogdon to tie the game with 10.3 seconds remaining.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens is known for calling clever plays out of time outs, but he didn’t draw up any back-door cuts or dribble handoffs for Boston’s final possession. He just let Terry Rozier do his thing, and that turned out to be a very wise decision. The third-year point guard’s crossover left Eric Bledsoe somewhere in Martha’s Vineyard, and Rozier had miles of space to drain the go-ahead 3-pointer. Bledsoe is still waiting for the ferry back.
Under normal circumstances, that would have been game, set, and match. With 0.5 seconds remaining, all the Bucks could hope for was a desperation heave. But the Bucks’ Khris Middleton is blessed with an electron-quick release, and he was able to send the game to overtime with a shot taken a full 36 feet away from the basket.
The insanity died down somewhat in overtime, and the Celtics peeled away to win 113-107. Game 2 is on Tuesday. Let’s hope everyone is able to catch their breath before then.
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