Bucks Buzz: Bench Mob Runs Out of Gas in Boston
Milwaukee Bucks did the traditional NBA thing and rested most of their players for the final game of the season. Milwaukee wanted them to gear up for the playoffs so the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Tony Snell and Matthew Dellavedova did not make the trip to Boston. I love the move personally. NBA season is a grind, and to give these players six days off before the first game of the playoffs is great. Bucks held tough with Celtics for the first three quarters, but C’s ended up taking advantage and never looking back.
Player of the Game (Bucks) – Michael Beasley: One of the few who excel on the final game of the season, Beasley had a good night with 15 points, five boards on 7-of-17 shooting. Beas did not have the explosive nights we’ve seen when given the green light to shoot, but still, he had a good day at the office. If anything, it’s nice to have him rolling into the playoffs after his injury.
(Not) Player of the Game (Bucks) – Gary Payton II: We could easily have rolled with Mirza again, but let’s take Gary Payton II. I don’t think he’s very good. Payton II played against a weak Isaiah Thomas and could do virtually nothing. In 32 minutes, GPII had 3 points. He needs to do more offense because he can grab rebounds and dish out passes. He finished with seven rebounds and five assists so not the worst day I’ve ever seen. He just needs more shots up.
Player of the Game (Celtics) – Amir Johnson: It was a balanced effort from C’s last night, but let’s go with Amir Johnson who had an efficient night for Boston. Johnson went for 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting with a few boards. He’s a guy that Boston would really like to have as a secondary scoring option.
Positive: True look at the bench – Boston didn’t really rest anyone so Jason Kidd got a look at his bench versus the best team in the Eastern Conference. I’ll be very curious to see if Kidd changes his rotations now that it’s playoff time and no worries about back-to-back games. We shall see on Saturday what Kidd decides to roll with.
Negative: Rashad Vaughn’s missed opportunity – While Thon Maker made the most of his chances this year, his buddy Rashad Vaughn did not. He played 40 minutes last night and shot 6-for-15 from the field with two made threes. Vaughn’s second year has not been any better than his first year. He’s still so young, but you wonder when are Bucks going to see something from him.
Next up: Bucks begin their first playoff series with Toronto Raptors at 4:30 pm on the mothership Saturday afternoon. It should be a good and drunk time in the city. Milwaukee will try to steal one early and flip the home court advantage. Last Bucks win in Toronto was 2015, and they hope to inflict the playoff demons on T Dot again.