Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
With Terry Rozier sitting out with a sprained left ankle and rookie Kadeem Allen getting his first NBA start after 39 previous NBA minutes, Celtics coach Brad Stevens wasn’t too broken up about the loss, especially with the team making the decision to sit Rozier despite his feeling “85 percent.”
The Celtics were just a step slow defensively, had trouble gathering rebounds that led to second-chance Bucks points, and then Antetokounmpo made a sparkling chase-down block of a Brown layup that would have cut the deficit to 3 with 53.4 seconds left.
Morris, who had hit his share of big shots over the past few weeks, couldn’t sink the open ones Tuesday. He missed 5 of 6 3-point attempts, committed five turnovers, and had trouble finishing at the rim.
Stevens estimated those back-screen plays cost the Celtics about 10 points. I estimate missed shots at the rim (especially Greg Monroe) cost the Celtics another 10-to-say, 40 points. Just last week Zach Lowe highlighted Boston’s inability to get to and finish at the rim.
This game reminded me a bit of the 2OT loss to the Wizards last month. Extremely low expectations because of the injury situation (no Kyrie, Smart, Jaylen and Horford for that one), yet this team scrapped and clawed to the end.
The playoff seeding is a muddled mess. Miami (6), Washington (7) and Milwaukee (8) have identical 42-36 records.
My preference is to play the Heat, but it’s possible my fear of Washington is rooted in last season. The Wizards have lost to the Knicks, Pistons and Bulls in the past two weeks.
Boston can still catch Toronto (8pm tip, ESPN) who lost last night to the Cavaliers. They only have a shot tonight if Rozier’s ankle gets better.
On Page 2, Gordon Hayward is really happy with his shot.
It’s weird to say, but I’m really happy with where my shot is right now.
Since the injury, I’ve obviously done nothing but really set-shoot, and my shot feels really, really good. I couldn’t really use my legs for the longest time, so I wanted to try to work on my shot. No matter where I caught it, I shot it.
I can already tell that I have extended my range significantly. We’ve done dribble pull-ups, like off a screen, where I’m not jumping, but I’m kind of taking one dribble into a shot. From two, three or four feet beyond the arc, I can get it up to the rim no problem without even jumping.
So my shot has gotten quicker and more compact because I’ve been doing this for the last five, six months, and haven’t really been able to jump. That part is kind of exciting.
In addition to the shooting, Gordon goes into detail about his rehab routine – the running, the calf raises, etc. It’s great to read about the progress but I feel silly for thinking he had a chance to play this season.
He also has high praise for Terry Rozier and Jayson Tatum. It’s recommended reading for sure.