They jumped out to 22-4, and though they have remained a great team throughout the year, they haven't been able to regain the level of play they showed in those first 26 games.
The wait is nearly over, as the Milwaukee Bucks will be back to playing playoff basketball when they visit the Boston Celtics on Sunday. Horford is averaging 12.9 points per game this season and 13.8 points over the last 10 games. But without Hayward and Irving - as well as Smart, who is known more for his defense but is big on the offensive end too - the Celtics are going to have trouble scoring points. Overcoming the loss of Gordon Hayward for the season and more recently Kyrie Irving has been made up for by fantastic coaching and other players stepping up. While there are concerns with the injuries, most of those relate to the offense.
Stevens said he plans to have a lot of different people on him, but the main man will be Al Horford, as he said: "We have to throw a lot of different bodies at him". They've already given us an incredible final sequence.
The two teams split the season series 2-2 this year, with their most recent game coming on April 3 in a Bucks 106-102 victory. Boston, as injury-ravaged as it is, has that luxury.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was one of three Bucks in double digits, posting a game-high 35 points. On the flip side, the Celtics were 27-14 at home this season. Jayson Tatum had an excellent display with a double-double of 19 points and ten rebounds, while Marcus Morris 21 points with seven boards off the bench.
The game went to extra time following a wild finish in regulation that included back-to-back 3-pointers in the closing seconds. For some players in some cities, stat lines like that would result in an onslaught of criticism, and it would be fair game. Horford nearly always makes the smart basketball play on both ends of the floor. The pep rallies will take place on the corner of Fourth and State Streets, and large viewing screens will be available for select games for fans to watch the game right outside the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Horford has never been that guy. When you have a chance to steal a road playoff game, you do it.
At the age of 31, there's plenty of time left for Horford to flip that statistical narrative.