This season, there will be a new NBA champion. Following a hard-fought seven-game series, the Boston Celtics will move to the Eastern Conference finals following a 109-81 victory against the reigning champion Milwaukee Bucks in Game 7 on Sunday afternoon.
The Celtics trailed the series 3-2 after five games. But they could avert elimination in Game 6 and again in Game 7. They will now square off against the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010.
The Celtics were led by Grant Williams, who finished with 27 points and six rebounds. Jayson Tatum scored 23 points, eight assists, and six rebounds for Boston. While Jaylen Brown had 19 points and eight rebounds.
Giannis Antetokounmpo did all he could for Milwaukee throughout the series, finishing with 25 points, 20 rebounds, and nine assists. However, his efforts were insufficient to propel the Bucks back to the conference finals. It’s difficult to stress how much the Bucks missed Khris Middleton in this series, particularly in Game 7. When they struggled to score without Antetokounmpo. During the regular season, Middleton averaged 20.1 points per game.
The Boston Celtics have proven to be the superior team throughout the series.
They now face an exceedingly difficult challenge in the Heat. But, before we go on to the conference finals, here are three critical lessons from Boston’s Game 7 win over Milwaukee.
A three-point difference
The three-point difference between Boston and Milwaukee was most likely the deciding factor in Game 7. The Celtics made 22 3-pointers and converted 40 percent of their 55 tries throughout the game. On the other hand, the Bucks converted just four of their 33 long-range efforts. That works out to an abysmal 12 percent. Jayson Tatum (5-of-9 from long range) and Grant Williams (7-of-18) combined for more triples than the Bucks club.
According to ESPN, Boston’s 22 3-pointers were the most ever in an NBA Game 7 and a Celtics playoff game. That’s an outstanding statistic considering the Celtics’ long history. On Sunday, Boston outscored Milwaukee by a stunning 54 points from long range. That’s a startling total that would be almost impossible for practically any club, including the Bucks, on Sunday afternoon.
Grant Williams’ flood
Grant Williams was a vital contributor for the Celtics throughout the series. Thanks largely to the outstanding defense he was able to play on Giannis. Still, in Game 7, Williams erupted offensively. Williams took advantage of a Milwaukee defense paying extra attention to Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Effectively challenging him to score 27 points in 39 minutes.
He scored 27 points, which was more than he had in the previous four games of the series combined. According to ESPN, Williams became just the third player in history to shoot seven 3-pointers in a Game 7. Stephen Curry and Marcus Morris are the only other players who have done it. Williams led the Celtics in scoring for the first time in his career. It’s reasonable to say he chose a terrific moment for a career performance.
Giannis Antetokounmpo creates NBA postseason history
Despite Antetokounmpo’s domination, Boston won the series. He had three 40-point games in the series, and he gave the Celtics all they could handle throughout seven games. In addition to his prolific scoring, Antetokounmpo averaged over 14 rebounds and over seven assists each game in the series. He created history by being the first player in history to achieve 200 points, 100 rebounds, and 50 assists in the same playoff series.
Antetokounmpo put on an amazing individual performance, and he has no cause to be disappointed. Even if the Bucks eventually fell short in the series. Many believe Antetokounmpo to be the greatest player in the game right now. And it isn’t easy to disagree after seeing him perform against Boston.
If you want to read the previous game: The game key status: Celtics 108, Bucks 95