The Celtics closed the door on a talented Bucks team at the Garden on Saturday night. With a quick turnaround looming to a second-round matchup with the Sixers, a few parting thoughts on the series with Milwaukee.
1. Al Horford silences his critics once more: The 31-year-old had his ups and downs during the second half of the regular season, but just as he was the most valuable player on the Celtics during last year’s Eastern Conference Finals run, he answered the call yet again against the Bucks. He finished with a team-high 18.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per game, shot 58 percent from the field and 43.8 percent from 3-point range, all while spending half of the series guarding one of the most dangerous offensive weapons in the league, Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Those numbers are worthy of a max contract by any metric and the fact that he did it with a shorthanded supporting cast just adds to his brilliance. In a town where stepping up your game in the postseason is what fans remember most, Horford is building a strong track record. The Bucks had no answer for him all series long and the C’s biggest problem on offense some nights was simply not getting him enough shots. That wasn’t an issue in Game 7 (13-of-17 from the field) and the C’s were able to win comfortably because of it.
2. Terry Rozier’s emergence as a 3-point specialist: