First Bucks game an entertaining one

SPORTSBEAT
Greg Ceilley • REVIEW SPORTS EDITOR

I finally attended my first Milwaukee Bucks basketball game Tuesday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. My daughter Bridget, who lives in Milwaukee, accompanied me and we had a wonderful time.

It was the first time Bridget had attended an NBA game and was my first in over 30 years. The Bucks hosted my beloved Boston Celtics in a match-up of young, athletic teams who have aspirations for making the playoffs.

Milwaukee blew out to a 20-8 lead in the first quarter but Boston, sparked by its reserves, rallied for a 46-42 halftime lead and then outscored the Bucks 30-17 in third quarter en route to a 99-83 win.

In addition to watching exciting, fast-paced basketball, Bridget and I enjoyed all of the entertainment before and during the game on a night in which the military was honored in conjunction with Veterans Day Wednesday. The Bucks Dancers performed well, there were various contests held and a terrific halftime show for a nice-size crowd of 11,822. At halftime, a group of acrobats executed a variety of moves off trampolines on their way to dunking the basketball.

Hopefully, the Bucks will also be entertaining this season. I think they have a good shot to make the playoffs. The keys for the Bucks will be offense and turnovers – two areas they struggled with Tuesday night. Turnovers were a problem last season for the Bucks who should have a good defense and strong rebounding this season.

Tuesday’s game featured two bright, young coaches in Jason Kidd for Milwaukee and Brad Stevens for Boston. Kidd was a standout NBA player for many years and knows what it takes to win at this level. Stevens coached Butler University to two runner-up finishes in the NCAA Division I men’s tournament and gained valuable experience in his debut NBA season with Boston last year.

A very deep Celtic team includes former Marquette star Jae Crowder who starts at a forward spot and contributed 12 points in the win over Milwaukee.

I know many people who don’t like the NBA because they think there is too much one-on-one basketball and not enough defense. I agreed with that perception for many years but I feel times have changed in the NBA. I see a lot of hard-nosed defense, and good ball movement and teamwork. All of the best teams play very good defense and share the ball efficiently.

I only wish the NBA regular season was shorter. The current 82- game schedule should be cut down to about 70 or 72. I believe there would be more interest in the NBA if the season was shorter. That’s kind of ridiculous to have a season start in late October and then by the time the playoffs are over it’s at least mid-June.

I’m already looking forward to watching another exciting NBA game.


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