The Painted Area
In their second-round series against the Bucks, the Celtics got absolutely nothing going in the paint. Milwaukee’s size, length, and prioritization of the area surrounding the rim meant Boston could rarely even get to the basket, let alone score there.
The Celtics averaged just 33.4 points in the paint per game during the series, a figure that would have ranked last in the league during the regular season by more than 8 points. On the rare occasions when they did get there, they shot just 62.5 percent in the restricted area. That would have ranked 27th in the NBA during the regular season. They made up for it by connecting on 37.6 percent of their 41.7 three-point attempts per night. Were it not for those treys, the Celtics would not be in the Eastern Conference Finals.
In the first half against the Heat on Tuesday night, things were considerably different.