By yesterday’s standard, our logic was completely illogical. Giannis had a good stroke from deep -- he finished 3-of-5 -- but couldn't operate inside to save his life.
For the season, the likely MVP with the wingspan of a pterodactyl shot 64.1 percent from 2-point range, mostly bulldozing his way to the rim and dropping the ball in the basket.
On Sunday afternoon, he was just 4-of-16 on 2-pointers, thwarted by a brigade of stretch-armed defenders. He finished with 22 inefficient points and the Celtics won, 112-90. Al Horford was the best all-around player on the court, acting as the most important brick in the stop-Giannis wall of defense.
The game’s best highlight, of course, was Horford's double-block, where Giannis took off in transition and was quickly met by multiple defenders.
On this play, four Celtics surrounded and collapsed on Giannis as a unit. The only other Buck not wide open was Khris Middleton, who Jaylen Brown picked up on the outskirts of the frame.
The Celtics seem fine taking their chances by double- and triple-teaming Giannis and living with a wide-open 3-point attempt by, say, Pat Connaughton, who shot seven times from deep and made only one of them.
In Game 1, at least, the strategy worked beautifully. The other four members of Milwaukee’s starting five shot just 8-of-29 while Boston got big games from Horford, Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward.
It didn’t even matter that Jayson Tatum, with six points, fell of the face of the earth.
Alas, it’s a long series, and both of these teams had a week off. Don’t listen to Paul Pierce. Giannis has a few 40-point games in him and Malcolm Brogdon, if he returns, could add another dimension for Milwaukee.
[READ: Mercifully, the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs is over]
Let's take this to your inbox. Sign up below.