Posted November 01, 2012 on
AP on Fox
Golden State Warriors
Defense certainly is a focal point for the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks. It's a matter of execution that's been a problem at times.
After Boston's debut didn't go as well as it hoped, visiting Milwaukee looks to get its season off to a better start while avoiding a seventh straight loss in the series Friday night.
The Celtics were the NBA's second-best defensive team last season, giving up an average of 89.3 points, before coming within one victory of winning the Eastern Conference title.
They failed to carry over that defensive success into this season's opener Tuesday, falling 120-107 to reigning NBA champion Miami in a rematch of their seven-game conference finals series.
The points Boston gave up tied its most allowed in a regular-season game since a 127-121 loss to Chicago on March 17, 2009.
"That's not who we are," said Paul Pierce, who scored a team-high 23 points. "The way we defended (Tuesday), we're not going to be a team that's going to give up 120 points. We've got to establish our identity and who we are."
That's exactly what Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles is attempting to do with a squad that ranked 22nd in the league last season allowing 98.7 points per game.
Skiles said the Bucks didn't have the personnel to fully execute his approach last season, and Milwaukee finished four games out of a playoff spot in the East at 31-35.
With the additions of Samuel Dalembert and Joel Przybilla, the Bucks have six players at least 6-foot-10 to clog the paint.
"The real challenge is we've had a couple of years in a row where we didn't buy into our defensive system," Skiles said. "That's the real challenge, getting guys to buy in on that on the floor, give the effort, focus and concentrate as necessary to be a good defensive team."
Milwaukee has held Boston below 90 points in three of the past five meetings but has scored an average of just 80.0 in that span. The Bucks' losing streak in the series reached six games April 26, when Rajon Rondo went scoreless but had 15 assists as the Celtics won 87-74 in a defensive struggle.
Each team, though, has the potential to put plenty of points on the board Friday.
Rondo scored 20 and added 13 assists - his 25th straight regular-season game with at least 10 - and Leandro Barbosa finished with 16 points in 16 minutes off the bench Tuesday.
Coach Doc Rivers said the offseason addition of Barbosa will help in situations when quick points are needed.
"If you get in a scoring contest and Barbosa's on the floor, you're going to feel pretty good about it," Rivers said of the former Sixth Man of the Year.
The backcourt of Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis provides the Bucks' most prominent scorers. Jennings averaged a career-high 19.1 points in 2011-12 while Ellis scored 20.4 per game, though his average dipped to 17.6 in 21 games with Milwaukee after being acquired from Golden State for Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson on March 13.
"Having a (full training) camp together and getting to know each other a little better should be very helpful," Skiles said.
Ellis knows Milwaukee, which has dropped five straight season openers, has much to improve in order to be considered a serious contender in the East like the Celtics.
"We're not like the Miamis, the Bostons and all those great teams," Ellis said. "We got to prepare differently."
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
This may or may not be real, but it's funny regardless. From thebiglead.com who got it from lobshots.com. My money is on real. I've already seen Rajon autograph a baby this week, and I know you can buy that shirt outside the Garden after games. Follow Mark on twitter @LucidSportsFan
Happy Halloween from the power puff girls the professor and Merida twitter.com/paulpierce34/s…
— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) October 31, 2012
Paul Pierce tweeted a photo of his family ready for some Halloween fun. Pierce has always gotten into the Halloween spirit. Remember this costume from 2010?
[Discuss on CG Forums!]
ST. FRANCIS, Wis. -- When searching for a place to live after being acquired by the Milwaukee Bucks on draft night in 2011, Tobias Harris knew exactly what his top criterion was.He wouldn't be looking for a downtown Milwaukee condo as most people his age might his new digs had to be closer to work.
He ended up settling in right by the Bucks' practice facility and training...
The below is a pretty perfect example of KG being KG. I waver on the big fella from time to time in terms of love, like and hate. Following this move, I think I am even more confused as what to thing of the Celtic. Garnett was coming back up the court and decided to send a little message to Mario Chalmers by pretending to throw an elbow at his head. Chalmers flinched enough that...
New Jason Terry video from the NOC:
ason Terry goes guerrilla headbanding on the streets of Boston, laying his signature "JET" sweatbands on the domes of unsuspecting Celtics fans.
The fifth episode of "Jason Terry is a Celtic."
Related: Jason Terry and Dionte Christmas lose to 5 women in a pick-up game
The Celtics trail the Bucks 46-3 at the half as Brandon Jennings leads the way with 15 points and four assists. It’s been a game marred by a high turnover rate and mediocre shooting, with the majority of the quality offense coming on the break. The lone bright spot for the Celtics has been Jared [...]
Like us on Facebook Celtics Daily Links for Friday, November 2 Boston.com For Celtics, time to turn talent into a team It is necessary for the C’s to establish identity in order for them to succeed this season. CBS Boston Gorman On Toucher & Rich: Celtics Defense Will Take Some Time C’s stingy defense was [...]
Take a deep breathe Celtic fans, and repeat after me: "it is only 1 of 82" and you will be okay. Remember there would have been a mini-coup in South Beach if LeBron and his special edition golden Nikes had lost on His championship night.
That is good, but this is about the Celtics and how they fared. So lets begin.
Jeff Green, well it was his first NBA game in over...
Looks like that Boston Celtics-Miami Heat tense rivalry just got taken up a notch.
Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo had an autograph signing in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, last week, and while he was there, he took a picture with a female fan who was wearing a “LeBron is a ******** T-shirt.
There were plenty of questions on the ‘net about the authenticity of the shirt, but a second...
Injuries contributed to the demise of the Boston Celtics last year, making it to the Eastern Conference Finals was quite the accomplishment for a team that was hobbled by injuries and aging. The Celtics have reloaded letting Ray Allen leave for Miami but getting Jason Terry to fill his place.
Along with signing Darko Milicic, Leandro Barbosa and Jeff Green they should have a solid...
Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Much of the talk about Tuesday night centered on Rajon Rondo’s flagrant foul on Dwyane Wade in the closing seconds of the game. Legler did not have an issue with the play.
Said Legler: “I look at it as a guy...
All this talk about Dwyane Wade whining about Rondo's hard foul had me thinking about how basketball used to be played. You know by now that I read a lot of books on Celtics history. I love reading the story about how the Celtics didn't back down from anyone. Those Celtics teams in the old days had some swagger. I know that part of that swagger came from winning, but...
Doc on Wade's "punk play" comment: "Don't forget about Rondo's elbow injury (in 2011 playoffs)…that was created by Dwyane Wade."— Boston Celtics (@celtics) November 1, 2012
Yeah, cause Dwyane Wade has never done a punk move in his life.
Seriously, I'm sick of Wade already. I never hated him before the Heat got LeBron and Bosh but since then...
If you have not yet heard the news of Kevin Garnett’s cold shoulder to former teammate Ray Allen, you must not be listening to radio reports or watching SportsCenter. Maybe you live in a hole. Gary Tanguay of CSNNE said, ‘It’s bush league what Garnett did to Allen’. What do you think? Here’s the video so you can play [...]
Celtics star Kevin Garnett said he lost Ray Allen’s number once he defected to the Heat. Garnett takes that team jumping thing seriously- at least from Ray Allen. Allen went over to the C’s bench before tip-off to give dap to the coaching staff and acknowledge KG. But the gesture wasn’t reciprocated. video via IFWT