On Friday night the Celtics opened up their 2012-2013 season at home against the Milwaukee Bucks. Coming off a loss to the Miami Heat the Celtics looked to crack down on the defensive end and continue to execute on offense. Unfortunately neither of these things happened for the Celtics as they lost to the Bucks 99-88.
The Celtics struggled from the start looking sloppy on offense and struggled on defense falling victim to Milwaukee's pick and roll. The Celtics opened up with a starting lineup of Rajon Rondo, Courtney Lee, Paul Pierce, Brandon Bass, and Kevin Garnett. Of the starters Rajon Rondo played a team high 41 minutes while scoring 14 points and adding 11 assists. The Celtics as a team shot very poor at 44.6% from the field. Paul Pierce shot a measly 3-11 on the night finishing with 11 points and 6 rebounds. The Celtics made it a point to go to Kevin Garnett early in the game and he answered the call. Garnett shot 6-14 finishing with 15 points and 4 rebounds.
The Bucks dominated the game leading by 22 points at one point in the game. Of their starters Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis, and Tobias Harris all played extremely well. Jennings set the tone with a double-double scoring a game high 21 points and adding 13 assists. His teammate in the back court, Monta Ellis, only shot 6-20 but managed to finish with 14 points. The biggest surprise of the game was Tobias Harris a second year player who shined going 8-11 for 18 points.
Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo drives to the basket against the Milwaukee Bucks in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Friday, Nov. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Doc knew it would take some time for this team to come together on the defensive end. Tonight proved the Celtics still have a long way to go in order to become the defensive team they want to be. The Celtics were able to trim the lead to 15 with 6:11 left to play in the game but never got over the hump. The team attempted to shoot their way back into the game and seemed to force up shots. They also looked out of sync on the break committing numerous turnovers and finished tied with the Bucks for 18.
On a positive note Jeff Green had a bounce back game going 5-9 with eleven points. Rookie Jared Sullinger also contributed positively in 18 minutes of play. He worked hard in the paint grabbing 7 boards, 3 on the offensive end fueling him to 6 points. Finally, Jason Terry played well going 4-6 for 10 points in 15 minutes.
The Celtics travel to Washington tomorrow to face the Wizards. The team looks to avoid it's first 0-3 start since the 06-07 season before the Big Three was formed. In order to do so the team needs to communicate better on defense. They were unable to defend the pick and roll offense tonight getting beat whether they went above or below the screen. Too many times the Bucks came away with an easy lay-up or open jumper and they certainly didn't miss their opportunities.
Tune in tomorrow night as the Celtics take on the Wizards at 7:00pm in the Verizon Center.
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