The Boston Celtics looked mortal again on Sunday, allowing the Milwaukee Bucks to come into town and push them around in Game 1 of an Eastern Conference semifinals series. Conventional wisdom would tell you that there's no reason to panic after dropping a series opener. But what if it's not actually a 1-0 hole? What if it's a 3-0 deficit to overcome?
To be very clear, it is not a 3-0 series at this point anywhere outside the parameters of Nick Wright's mind. And if you're interested in hearing more about that alternate reality, he laid it all out on this morning's First Things First.
Got all that? Boston was down 2-0 before we even began because Giannis Antetokounmpo is good for 40-point masterpieces in two games and there's no chance of winning those. Which means the Celtics could only afford to lose one game where the reigning NBA Finals MVP doesn't play like a world-beater. If you chart it all out, the math checks out perfectly and it makes sense.
It's worth marveling, though, that a 24-point, 13-rebound, 12-assist effort with backbreaking brilliance in the fourth quarter does not qualify, under Giannis standards, as a "greatness win." He only shot 9-for-25 from the floor and missed five of his 11 free-throw attempts, meaning he can play a lot better. Which should be terrifying because his contributions, paired with a suffocating defense, have already proven enough to steal a game on the road.
Allow me to take things a step further than Wright. Boston had better win Game 2. Or they're getting swept.