ibusinesslines.com August 19, 2018

Khris Middleton hits insane shot to put Bucks, Celtics into OT

16 April 2018, 04:54 | Charlene Valdez

The Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Timberwolves will decide the final playoff spot on Wednesday

The Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Timberwolves will decide the final playoff spot on Wednesday

This team can shoot.

Milwaukee is playing one of the best defenses in the National Basketball Association. Bucks interim head coach Joe Prunty's frustration with the call was obvious when he described his reaction to the play.

Flip the court and those numbers reverse. Milwaukee is 3 in the league in field goal percentage as the team shoots 47.8 percent from the floor. They shoot well, and they score well. Boston is tied for 6 in three pointers per game with 11.7 per night while the team is 2 in three point percentage as they hit 37.7 percent from beyond the arc.

The game went to extra time following a wild finish in regulation that included back-to-back 3-pointers in the closing seconds.

The Celtics have always been a curious offensive team under Stevens. And they match up well with the Celtics having split the season series. This is the first season in Stevens' tenure that he's had a top-10 3-point shooting team (second behind the Warriors at 37.7 percent). Overcoming the loss of Gordon Hayward for the season and more recently Kyrie Irving has been made up for by fantastic coaching and other players stepping up. Boston broke a two game slide by beating the Nets 110-97 at home in their finale Wednesday. He won't often dominate a game statistically, but he's been the glue that holds the Celtics together since he arrived and is the reason why injuries haven't completely derailed them.

After the Bucks again cut it to two, 89-87, it was Marcus Morris who knocked down a jump shot with the shot clock winding down to push the Celtics lead back to 91-87 with 1:47 to play. Notably, the Bucks turned the ball over 20 times and were out-rebounded by the Celtics 45-42.

"I don't think that was a foul", Antetokounmpo said. The Celtics are good at defense and not all that good at offense, and the Bucks are the opposite, although their offense is not as dominant as the Celtics' defense is.

It has been eight years since a seventh seed took down a second seed in a playoff series; however, with an injury ridden Celtics squad, the possibility to renew that upset is do-able one for the young Bucks. Milwaukee had a two game win streak snapped with a 130-95 demolition on the road at Philadelphia in their finale Wednesday. We tried to contain him as best we could.

"Physically, he's much stronger (than last season)".

Smart has been one of Boston's more versatile players this season, showing the ability to defend multiple positions in addition to coming up with big plays in the clutch.

Antetokounmpo, who finished with 35 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists and three steals, found himself in a similar situation moments earlier, when he was the beneficiary of a different kind of call. Dellavedova can be a useful piece, as he proved in the NBA Finals three years ago, but he's not scaring anyone. Belinelli and Ilyasova combined to hit four 3-pointers in the third quarter that helped shift the tone from physical and foul-filled to a long-distance game that allowed the Sixers to put away this one.

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