The Bloodhound vs. The Bledshow Pt. 2: 2019 Eastern Semifinals
Terry Rozier aka The Bloodhound vs. Eric “The Bledshow” Bledsoe Pt. 2. Listen, girls, we couldn’t ask for anything better, especially with the return of Kyrie Irving, who Boston beat Milwaukee without in the 2018 Eastern Conference First Round. Last year we got seven games, and if you know like I know, this year promises to build off the drama that took place in the previous battle.
Why Boston Wins: I’ll say this louder for the people in the back. THE PLAYOFFS COME DOWN TO WHO HAS THE BEST SHOTMAKERS. It’s not debatable here, Kyrie Irving is the best shotmaker in the Eastern Conference, and if these games are close, “Uncle Drew” Greek Freak -- love Giannis but that’s not him yet.
The biggest issue with the Celtics over the regular season was too much depth. That’s a luxury that not many organizations possess, but GM Danny Ainge can tell you, it comes with a fair share of inherent problems, one being not enough shots to go around. We saw it in last year’s playoffs when the C’s pushed the Cavs to 7 in the ECF, Boston has so many capable scorers that when they sacrifice a few bodies, guys who aren’t getting as many shots as they need -- Jayson Tatum, Terry Rozier, and Jaylen Brown -- are allowed to get in rhythm and flourish. Though Marcus Smart is a huge piece in what they do and one of the best defenders in the NBA, the C’s offense runs much smoother when he’s not chucking up shots he knows damn well he shouldn’t be taking.
Now the Celtics aren’t going to stop Giannis. That’s not possible. They do have enough length and strength to slow him down with Marcus Morris, Robert Williams (he needs minutes), Al Horford (he’s going to get abused), Jaylen Brown (not strong enough but hey) and Jayson Tatum taking turns and a lot of doubles on the block.
Why Milwakee Wins: Giannis has to go nuts, something he’s extremely capable of and everything has to go right. 50-40-90 club member Malcolm Brogdon missing the first two games of the series is enormous, but George Hill has filled in admirably, thriving in his role as the team’s backup and bringing championship experience to a team coached by Mike Budenholzer, who he won a title with as a part of the Spurs. A combination of Hill, Eric Bledsoe, and Pat Connaughton can be useful in slowing down Kyrie, but they can’t sacrifice a smidge on the other end -- have to knock down open 3s benefitted from Giannis drawing doubles.
Brook Lopez is a key here. His rim protection matters, and with “Half-Man Half-Wookie’s” ability to stretch the floor and allow Giannis to work, the Celtics are going to have a hard time not giving up open triples.
Who Wins: Celtics in 7. Call Drew Bledsoe, get out the Sammy Adams and let’s have a wicked good time, my Masshole.