Jaylen Brown Draws Criticism for Struggles in Celtics' Game 1 Loss to Giannis, Bucks

Adam WellsMay 1, 2022

BOSTON, MA - MAY 1: Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics looks on during Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Milwaukee Bucks on May 1, 2022 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE  (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The Milwaukee Bucks are making things look easy so far this postseason, earning their fourth straight victory overall with a 101-89 win over the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

After their sweep of the Brooklyn Nets in the first round, the Celtics were riding high on a wave of momentum. It came crashing to earth Sunday, as they were held to 33.3 percent shooting from the field and made just 10 two-point field goals.

Tim Bontemps @TimBontemps

With a couple late buckets, Boston avoided becoming the team with the fewest number of 2-point makes in a playoff game in NBA history. That record remains with the Rockets, who went 9-for-37 in Game 6 of the West semis against the Spurs in 2017. Boston finished the game 10-for-33

StatMuse @statmuse

The Bucks defense held the Celtics to 89 points and 34% shooting. <a href="https://t.co/dbgWq3OqbW">pic.twitter.com/dbgWq3OqbW</a>

Jaylen Brown had a day he will want to immediately forget. The All-Star forward had just 12 points with as many turnovers as defensive rebounds (seven) in 38 minutes.

DIEHARD CELTS FAN ☘️☘️ @PlayoffJays_

This is the worst game I’ve ever seen Jaylen Brown play in his career

Steve Perrault @Steve_Perrault

Jaylen Brown has games where he just straight up stinks and this is one of them.

Brown made four field goals in the game but was 1-of-4 on two-point attempts.

Lazarus Jackson @lazchance

Milwaukee has been very happy to let Jaylen Brown take 3s

If there is one silver lining for the Celtics looking ahead in the series, Brown has done a good job of bouncing back this season after rough performances. He shot worse than 32 percent from the field five times during the regular season but went a combined 49-of-93 in the next games he played.

Milwaukee's defense was the story of this game. Brown and Jayson Tatum, who combined to average 53.0 points on 46.2 percent shooting against the Nets, had a total of 33 points and went 10-of-31 from the field.

Cyrus Smith @CoolCyWrites

Only a game but the Celtics played a talented but small, disjointed Nets team. The leap in competition was apparent. Bucks actually have viable wings for Tatum/Brown, size in the paint, and they're champions. Not a great game from Giannis and he was the best player on the floor.

The Athletic @TheAthletic

The Celtics couldn't get anything to fall in its Game 1 loss to the Bucks.<br><br>◽️ 28/84 FG (33.3%)<br>◽️ 18/50 FG (36%)<br>◽️ 10/31 FG from Tatum and Brown (32.3%)<br><br>The league's No. 1 defense got a taste of its own medicine.<a href="https://t.co/wMZMXc2LNp">https://t.co/wMZMXc2LNp</a> <a href="https://t.co/Enb16JNi2S">pic.twitter.com/Enb16JNi2S</a>

Kirk Goldsberry @kirkgoldsberry

The Celtics shot just 3-for-20 from the field when Giannis Antetokounmpo or Brook Lopez contested the shot, including 1-for-15 on 2-pointers. <a href="https://twitter.com/ESPNStatsInfo?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ESPNStatsInfo</a>

Boston's offense didn't score more than 24 points in a single quarter, including just 19 in the fourth. It committed 18 turnovers in the loss, tied for its most in a game since Feb. 2.

The Celtics defense did hold up well against the Bucks. The reigning NBA champions went 37-of-90 from the field. Giannis Antetokounmpo didn't have his most efficient game with 24 points on 25 shots, but he did finish with a triple-double.

StatMuse @statmuse

Giannis struggled with his shot but still dominated the game.<br><br>24 PTS<br>13 REB<br>12 AST<br>2 BLK<br>+23<br><br>If you don’t think he’s the best player in the world, we’re not watching the same sport. <a href="https://t.co/MsynBZQ79c">pic.twitter.com/MsynBZQ79c</a>

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Despite having the 3rd-worst shooting night of his playoff career (min. 20 FGA), Giannis Antetokounmpo became the first Bucks player in franchise history with multiple playoff triple-doubles.<br><br>The Bucks take Game 1 in Boston, 101-89. <a href="https://t.co/knBj9rbY7t">pic.twitter.com/knBj9rbY7t</a>

There were still moments on the offensive end when Antetokounmpo was able to take advantage of Boston's defense.


Giannis goes off the backboard for the emphatic slam!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBAPlayoffs?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NBAPlayoffs</a> presented by Google Pixel on ABC <a href="https://t.co/vyn50aa2Au">pic.twitter.com/vyn50aa2Au</a>

Neither team played their best Sunday, yet the Bucks were still able to win fairly comfortably.

This is bad news for the Celtics because Milwaukee is still playing without Khris Middleton. They also got a scare when Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart briefly left the game in the first half with a shoulder stinger and quad contusion. He was able to return to the game before limping to the locker room in the fourth quarter.

Game 1 was proof that Boston is going to need Brown and Tatum to play at the level they did against the Nets to win this series. Brown, in particular, struggled to score and was turning the ball over.

If that trend continues, the Bucks could end this series much faster than anyone was anticipating.

The Celtics will look to salvage a split in Boston when they host the Bucks for Game 2 on Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET.