The Milwaukee Bucks pretty much dug their own hole on Wednesday night against the Boston Celtics. Not to take away from Jayson Tatum and Co., but the fact that the Bucks had another slow start to the game was what ultiately led to their 119-116 defeat at the TD Garden.
To their credit, the Celtics capitalized on Milwaukee’s early struggles — and they never looked back.
Milwaukee Bucks Head Coach Reacts to Loss
Naturally, Adrian Griffin wasn’t delighted with his team’s performance on the evening. After all, they did allow Boston to build a 10-0 lead to start the game, which pretty much set the tone the rest of the way.
Griffin knows that the Bucks can’t afford to let their opponents get a head start, especially a team like Boston. The Celtics’ efficiency from beyond the arc was another factor that added to Milwaukee’s misery — an aspect that Griffin could not overlook after the game:
“You know that they’re an elite three-point shooting team and whatever you do, when you play the Celtics or a team like that, you gotta multiply it by two – you gotta close out harder, you gotta run back harder, you gotta jump higher, you gotta be more physical and I thought we did that in the second half,” Griffin said, via Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“It was the tale of two games there. The first half you have to execute at a high level and we missed a lot of shots around the rim that we normally make. But you gotta play through those, you gotta keep playing and I thought we did in the second half. I thought it was Bucks basketball in the second half.”
As Coach Griff said, however, he was proud of his boys’ effort after the break. They went into halftime down big, and Griffin demanded more from his team in the final half. They responded with a much better effort, which led to the Bucks cutting down Boston’s lead to just three points towards the end.
Ultimately, though, the Celtics were able to hold on. This team is sitting atop the Eastern Conference for a reason, and the Bucks experienced first-hand how tough of a defensive coverage Boston truly is.
“You gotta press up. You gotta close out with urgency. They have a lot of really good shooters on their entire roster,” Griffin said, via Eric Nehm of The Athletic. “So it’s not just one guy. They put a lot of pressure on your defense because they have several guys that can put heat on the rim. But you gotta do a lot of good things well. You gotta guard the ball, you gotta help and rotate and close out to 3-point shooters and then you gotta limit them to one shot.
“But I thought the second half, we really started to fly around, intensity increased, physicality increased and we were able to get back in the game.”
The Bucks have to take some positive out of this tough loss. While they comeback may have fallen short, the silver lining is that they showed their resiliency and their unwillingness to fold.
It would be good to come how with a W then next time out, though.
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