No Big Three in Loss to Bucks

Travis Girolamo

The Boston Celtics lost the final game of the 2009-2010 regular season 106-95 on Wednesday night against the Milwaukee Bucks at the TD Garden. This is not a big surprise considering Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Kendrick Perkins did not play at all in the game. Head coach Doc Rivers wanted to make sure his starters were rested and healthy when the playoffs begin on Saturday. On Tuesday night in the loss to the Chicago Bulls, the starters played relatively normal minutes. Before the game on Tuesday, Rivers mentioned that he would either play the starters limited minutes against both the Bulls and Bucks or they would play normal minutes on Tuesday and not play on Wednesday. Even though Pierce, Garnett, Allen wanted to play in the season finale, Coach Rivers went against their wishes as a precaution. The game did not really mean anything to the Celtics because they already locked up the number four seed in the NBA playoffs. It was easy to tell the Celtics were looking ahead and not very focused on the game against Milwaukee.

The 11-point loss was the seventh defeat Boston suffered in the last ten games. Boston’s normally shut down defense has been sloppy over the past few weeks. In their last nine games, the Celtics have given over 100 points in eight of those games. Rajon Rondo was the one bright spot in the game Wednesday night for the Celtics. Rondo finished with 21 points and 15 assists. Marquis Daniels made six out of nine shots and ended the game with 13 points and Nate Robinson contributed 12 points. For the Bucks, Jerry Stackhouse and Luke Ridnour led the team with 17 points each. Ridnour was a perfect 6-6 from the field. Wednesday night’s game was not as physical as the game five night’s earlier when these two teams squared off in Milwaukee.

Boston finishes the 2009-2010 regular season with a record of 50-32. This season’s record is 12 games worse than last season’s and 16 games worse than their championship team in 2008. The Celtics will now take on the Miami Heat for round one of the NBA playoffs starting on Saturday night at 8PM. Since the Heat won their final regular season game against the Nets, the Bucks end up in sixth place and will face the Atlanta Hawks. During the regular season, the Celtics won all three meetings with the Heat who finished with a 47-35 record. Miami and Boston are entering the playoffs in very different ways. Miami has been red hot down the stretch winning 12 out of their last 13 games of the season. Boston limps into the playoffs 3-7 in their last 10 games. It will be interesting to see if the Celtics can turn it on when the playoffs begin and play like they did earlier in the season.