Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Khris Middleton Sends Playoff Game To Overtime With Insane 3-Pointer

Khris Middleton Sends Playoff Game To Overtime With Insane 3-Pointer

The Celtics' title hopes have been rocked by season-ending injuries to All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, but the team has rallied. In many ways, that game foreshadowed a season full of injuries for the stars of the National Basketball Association.

Kyrie Irving, Marcus Smart and Daniel Theis where all lost due to injury. But this spring, the Celtics need to be Horford's team. In 92 career playoff games, his numbers almost mirror his regular season numbers - 13.4 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 3.4 apg, 50.2 FG%. Entering the playoffs, Horford has most of the experience, but Morris is the player who can create his own shot and also step up as a vocal leader. He has already proved that he is ready, willing, and able to take the big shots in the biggest moments. They've already given us an incredible final sequence.

The ability to move past mistakes is important, but so is the presence of a veteran like Horford to take control when mental mistakes strike. With AP Photos.Al Horford had 24 points and 12 rebounds and the Boston Celtics overcame Khris Middleton's long 3 that beat the fourth-quarter buzzer, topping the Milwaukee Bucks 113-107 in overtime in their playoff opener. Tatum is now averaging a whopping 13.9 points in his rookie season. On the flip side, the Celtics were 27-14 at home this season. Only Russell Westbrook and LeBron James had more fast-break points this season, but Antetokounmpo's 1.20 points per possession in transition was more efficient than both of them. For most of this year, it was Kyrie Irving's team. Terry Rozier is the third double-digit scorer and Jaylen Brown is dishing four assists. Facing the likes of Kyle Lowry, John Wall, and Ben Simmons would be a significant challenge for this group of Celtics guards. Perhaps head coach Brad Stevens was anxious about Middleton getting into the act of shooting too quickly to execute a foul before making a three-shot endeavor. The Celtics will win this one in six.

At least the Celtics thought it was. And a fully-stocked Bucks team is a scary one. It's in his nature to be the consummate team player, which is why he's so respected. The Celtics can not get complacent, but must push as if they were the underdog. However, they have not found a way past the Eastern Conference finals. Whether or not he can pull off the upset in the first round remains to be seen.

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Last year, it was Isaiah Thomas' team. Embiid is about as dominant as big men come and has been a huge player for the Sixers this season.

The team was hit again towards the end of the season losing three other players for the remainder of the season, two of which will miss the playoffs and one that could return somewhere around or during the second round if the Celtics can advance that far.

Tatum got off to a hot start, dropping a game-leading eight points on 4-for-4 shooting from the field.

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