Celtics-Bucks review: C's let one get away

954301.jpg

Celtics-Bucks review: C's let one get away

MILWAUKEE The Boston Celtics did pretty much all they wanted to against the Milwaukee Bucks except one thing - win the game.

They kept the Bucks from scoring a bunch of points, they held their own on the boards, kept the turnover differential relatively even and that still wasn't enough to withstand a late-game surge by the Bucks who rallied for a 91-88 win.

"We had a lot of chances," said Boston head coach Doc Rivers. "Overall, I thought our guys really played hard and we did everything we could do. We missed a lot of good shots down the stretch. It was just a tough loss."

Rivers' comments were echoed throughout the Celtics locker room following the loss, their second in three meetings against the Bucks this season.

"Both teams were going back and fourth," said Boston's Kevin Garnett. "They made some shots and we made some shots.

Garnett added, "we had a chance to win the game and that's all you can hope for, especially when you're doing back-to-backs on the road."

So the Celtics will have three days off before they return to the court with the goal being to do what they did against the Bucks with one difference - win the game.

Here are some keys identified prior to Saturday's loss, and how those factors played out.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Because of the blowout nature of Friday's win, the C's are in position to play their core players - Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, specifically - extended minutes tonight if necessary.

WHAT WE SAW: Garnett and Pierce played 31 and 37 minutes, respectively, which isn't all that out of the norm for them.

MATCHUP TO WATCH: Courtney LeeJason Terry vs Monta EllisBrandon Jennings: The Celtics backcourt of Lee and Terry will spend time alternating defensively against one of the most high-powered backcourts in the NBA. Holding their own against Ellis and Jennings will be critical to the C's hopes of winning.

WHAT WE SAW: This matchup, like the game, was a fairly close most of the game. Lee and Terry did a nice job of not only scoring, but facilitating the offense that churned out 26 assists on 34 made field goals. Lee had 13 points and two assists while Terry had his first double-double with the Celtics, scoring 15 points while registering a season-high 11 assists.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Jeff Green is coming off a season-high 19 points, delivering the kind of high impact performance that the Celtics have been longing for all season. What's next? Doing it again.

WHAT WE SAW: Jeff Green continues to play with a purpose for the Celtics, tallying 18 points on Saturday to go with six rebounds.

STAT TO TRACK: The magic number for the Boston Celtics is 95; as in 95 points allowed. This season, the C's are 7-1 when they hold opponents to 95 points or less. That'll be important against the Bucks who are 6-2 this season when scoring 95 or more points.

WHAT WE SAW: Boston kept the Bucks below 95 points scored, but a late-game offensive funk coupled with a couple of bad defensive rotations in the final minute, would prove to be too much for the Celtics to overcome.

Postcard from Camp Day 2: Last day before the pads come out

patriots_brady_garoppolo_072817.jpg

Postcard from Camp Day 2: Last day before the pads come out

FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick had some fun with reporters on Friday morning, explaining that there's not a whole heck of a lot that can be taken away from practices where there's no contact. 

With that in mind, here is what we saw from Day 2 of training camp practice -- knowing full well that this isn't really training camp because the pads have yet to come out. 

WHAT WE SAW

* Rob Ninkovich and Joe Cardona were absent from practice for the second consecutive day. Belichick said both are out due to "personal reasons."

* Danny Amendola and Malcolm Mitchell were not spotted on Friday. They seemed to finish Thursday's practice without any issues so the team could simply be trying to manage to important pieces to their passing game. Both have had significant injury histories and could benefit from the occasional down day. 

* Kony Ealy was back on the field after missing Thursday's work. He joins a defensive end group that includes Trey Flowers, Geneo Grissom, Derek Rivers and Deatrich Wise. 

* Cody Hollister appeared to suffer an upper-body injury early in practice after diving to catch a Jacoby Brissett pass. He did not return. 

* Patriots owner Robert Kraft showed up at practice early on in the session and was greeted by loud cheers from the crowd in attendance. 

* Kickoff work was part of the focus of Friday's special-teams periods. Emphasizing the point that special teams are considered a critical phase, the Patriots gave Stephon Gilmore and Chris Hogan -- both of whom are presumed to have big defensive and offensive roles -- reps on the kickoff team. That's not unusual in Foxboro, where Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon and Patrick Chung are among their most important special-teamers.

* Undrafted rookies David Jones and Will Likely both worked as kick returners. 

* Behind Nate Solder and Marcus Cannon at the tackle spots are Cameron Fleming (left) and LaAdrian Waddle (right). Rookies Tony Garcia (left) and Conor McDermott (right) have worked with the third team. 

 

NOTEWORTHY MOMENTS

* During a 4-on-3 drill down by the goal line, Jimmy Garoppolo completed a pass to Chris Hogan but Hogan was kept out of the end zone by Cyrus Jones. Hogan took exception to Jones' physicality and the two went facemask-to-facemask. Jones then tried to slap the ball out of Hogan's hands twice. Bill Belichick saw it all and said something softly to Jones before Jones headed back to where the defensive backs were congregating, high-fiving assistant Steve Belichick and others.

* For the second straight day, Garoppolo was picked off by Jordan Richards and Eric Rowe in quick succession. The first came on a pass deep down the field that was uncharacteristically end-over-end by the time Richards camped under it. The second -- two plays later -- came on a back-shoulder throw intended for Devin Lucien. It looked like Lucien had the chance to snag it, but somehow Rowe came up with it while falling to the ground. 

*  Tom Brady and Garoppolo were generally very accurate during 7-on-7 work, but corners had their hands wrapped in gloves with no fingers. The drills seemed competitive, but they weren't all-out. The second set of 11-on-11 plays were also done with defensive backs wearing gloves.

 

11-on-11

* Brady incomplete to Cooks down the sideline. Glimore there in tight coverage. 0-for-1

* Brady complete to Cooks but would've been sacked by Wise. Long rep. 0-for-2.

* Brady incomplete to Hogan. Gilmore in coverage. Gave a little bump. Flag? 0-for-3.

* Brady complete to Lewis with Harris in coverage. 1-for-4

* Brady complete to open Edelman. Miscommunication for J. Jones and Gilmore. 2-for-5. 

 

* Garoppolo intercepted by Richards. Hogan was the target. Coleman in coverage. 0-for-1.

* Garoppolo complete to Burkhead. 1-for-2. 

* Garoppolo intercepted by Eric Rowe. Rowe was all over Lucien. 1-for-3.  

* Garoppolo complete to Edelman with Coleman in coverage. 2-for-4. 

* Garoppolo complete to Edelman. Good coverage by Coleman, though. 3-for-5. 

 

* Brissett complete to Carr. 

* Brissett incomplete to Develin. Roberts in coverage. 

* Brissett complete to Cotton with Thompson in coverage. 

* Brissett complete to Hollister with King in coverage. 

 

11-on-11 (corners wearing restrictive mitts)

* Garoppolo complete to Burkhead. 

* Garoppolo complete to Bolden. 

* Garoppolo complete to Hogan with Coleman in coverage. 

* Garoppolo complete to Lewis. 

* Garoppolo complete to Lewis with Van Noy and McCourty converging in coverage. 5-for-5.

 

* Brady incomplete to Edelman. Broken up by Rowe. 

* Brady complete to Gronkowski with Harmon in coverage. 

* Brady incomplete to O'Shaughnessy. 

* Brady complete to Hogan. 2-for-4. 

 

* Brissett complete to Carr. 

* Brissett complete to G. Gronkowski. 

* Brissett complete to Carr. 

* Brissett incomplete to Hollister with Richards in coverage.  3-for-4. 

 

7-on-7 (corners wearing restrictive mitts)

* Brady complete to White. 

* Brady complete to White. 

* Brady complete to White. 

* Brady complete to Cooks with J. Jones in coverage. 

* Brady complete to Hogan. 

* Brady incomplete to White. Pass broken up by Chung. 5-for-6.

 

* Garoppolo complete to Carr deep down the sideline. Coleman in coverage. 

* Garoppolo complete to Allen down the seam. Would've been lit up. 

* Garoppolo complete to Carr with Coleman in coverage. 

* Garoppolo complete to Burkhead. 

* Garoppolo incomplete out of the back of the end zone. 

* Garoppolo incomplete. Broken up by the paddle. 4-for-6

 

4-on-3 at the goal line

* Brady to White with McClellin in coverage. 

* Brady to Edelman.

* Garoppolo incomplete to Lucien. Rowe breakup. 

* Garoppolo incomplete to Slater. Coleman breakup. 

* Brissett to Lewis. 

* Brissett out of the back of the end zone.

 

* Brady incomplete to Gillislee. Through his arms. 

* Brady to Lengel with Roberts in coverage. 

* Garoppolo complete to Burkhead. Noice route. 

* Garoppolo complete to Hogan but Hogan kept out of the end zone by C. Jones. Feisty.

* Brissett complete

* Brissett incomplete. Throwing it hard. 

Morning Skate: Kassian completes transition from villain to hero for Oilers

oilers_kassian_072817.jpg

Morning Skate: Kassian completes transition from villain to hero for Oilers

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while marveling that US democracy still works even there are extreme factors that our founding fathers couldn’t possibly have imagined. 

 

*Edmonton Oilers reclamation project Zack Kassian continues his journey from villain to hero in the eyes of the Oil Faithful. 

 

*Old warrior Chris Neil is weighing NHL offers right now along with a number of other older veterans still waiting for the right situation to present itself for next season. Many of these veterans are probably going to have to report to training camps on tryout agreements and beat out younger players for jobs, and that may be exactly what happens with a grizzled, tough old bird like Neil. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bruins bring in a veteran or two on PTO agreements in camp, and that could be the ultimate fate for guys like Neil, Jarome Iginla, Shane Doan and even Thomas Vanek. 

 

*The Vegas Golden Knights are still looking to inspire with a developing locker room message as their maiden voyage still awaits this season. 

 

*PHT writer James O’Brien has longtime Habs defenseman Andrei Markov leaving for the KHL after he couldn’t come to an agreement to stay in Montreal with the Canadiens. 

 

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Ryan Kennedy has a prospects mailbag at this quiet point in the summer, and he’s very, very high on Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex Debrincat. 

 

*The Hockey News details why somebody needs to step up and sign the legendary Jaromir Jagr as one of the aforementioned veteran forwards still looking for a job. 

 

*For something completely different: Solid Steve Lattimer reference in this Pro Football Talk story about performance enhancing drugs.