They’re in a world of trouble, and no amount of Irish magic could save them
Luck. It’s a concept that’s defined by success based on chance rather than skill. Fortunately for the Boston Celtics, their mascot is a leprechaun, perhaps the fairytale creature most synonymous with luck. So even though they’re struggling, their luck should help them out, right? Well, not if the Greek god in Milwaukee has anything to say about it.
The mere presence of Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokoumpo should be enough to make any opponent feel tenuous, but seeing him play strikes absolute fear into whoever plays against him. Truth be told, the aggressive way he plays reminds me of Ares, the Greek god of war. That spells doom for his opponents.
There really isn’t much hope for the Celtics in this series, since double-teaming Giannis seems to have little to no effect. His oversized limbs afford him the extra space he needs to elude double teams and either get a good shot off or find the open man. In truth, the only glimmer of hope that the Celtics have is to simply outplay the Bucks.
Since Game 1 of the series, when Boston overwhelmed Milwaukee to the tune of a 20-point win, the Bucks have adjusted their strategy to play to the Celtics’ weaknesses and overwhelm them with a combination of quickfire offense and hounding defense. However, the Celtics may have a weapon they can use in the form of the returning Marcus Smart.
After suffering an oblique injury at the end of the regular season, Smart will return in Game 4, and he could add to his already glowing reputation of being a premier defender with a stellar performance against Giannis. Smart’s return will help give the Celtics the aggressiveness they’ve been missing and will allow the other Celtics players to focus on the other Bucks players.
Will that be enough, though? Maybe if center Al Horford were on the other side of 30, I could say yes. But he’s 32, and while he’s still as talented as he was during his years with Atlanta, the fact is that Marcus Smart is too small to consistently shut down Giannis and Horford is too slow. I believe that Game 4 will be the death knell for the Celtics, and though they’ll try to stave off the challenge that Giannis brings, it will be all for naught, simply because the Greek Freak is too strong, too fast and too good.