Since the beginning of Brad Stevens' tenure with the Celtics, 3-point shooting has always been a staple of his offensive approach.
His team initially broke the franchise record back in December of 2016 when it drained 17 3-pointers, a record that was tied only four days later in 2017 and was recently shattered Thursday night behind the Celtics' 24 treys against the Bucks. Milwaukee challenged the Celtics to beat them from the perimeter and when the opportunities presented itself, Stevens' team didn't hesitate.
Those opportunities rose as high as 55 attempted 3-pointers by the Celtics -- which begs the question, is there such a thing as shooting too many threes even if the opponent is giving you open looks?
"Never. Get them up," Irving replied. "They're wide open and they're going to play defense like that and I don't see why not. Al's [Horford] a capable shooter, I have the utmost confidence in him and if we don't have then we have secondary action as well that we can run. But I feel like if they're going to play that type of defense, we should just shoot it every time."Valid point from the All-Star point guard, the only problem with his logic is what happens when Milwaukee responses to the 31 shots that didn't find the bottom of the net -- those long misses turned into fast-break opportunities for the Bucks on Thursday. Giannis Antetokounmpo thrives in these moments and shined in a 14-point final frame that pulled his team to nearly tying the game.
The Celtics' 117-113 win over the Bucks could have gone a different way, still, Stevens pointed to the Bucks challenging his team to takes shots from the perimeter as a legitimate reason for his team to crank up 55 shots from deep.
"We played pretty good offensively," Stevens said. "We got good shots, we generated good ones. Tonight, we didn't settle as much, we still have some possessions we'd like to have back but I thought we took what the defense gave us, we got to the second side of the floor and found open shooters."Stevens also added that at the end of the day it comes down to team defense. Protecting the rim and limiting trips to the free-throw line is key to holding on a large lead, but it isn't always that simple.
"To me it was all about the driving, trying our best to keep them off the [free-throw] line" Stevens explained. "They put you in a tough spot. You want to take away layups and threes but it's easier said than done."
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