Boston fell behind by 15 points in the first quarter but overcame that deficit to make it a tight contest in the second half. Ultimately though, Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo (36 points) proved to be too much for the Celtics to handle on Friday night.
Here are a few instant overreactions from the Celtics' loss, which brings their regular season record to 43-22.
1. Jayson Tatum's struggles are a cause for concern.
This was not the restart Jayson Tatum was hoping for. The Celtics star finished with a mere five points while shooting a putrid 2-for-18 from the field.
So naturally, it's time to panic, right?
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Let's not go too crazy after the first meaningful game in four-plus months. Tatum couldn't find his shot on Friday night, but it's foolish to worry about him going forward. If you believed he was a star back in February and early March, you should believe in him turning it around when the season restart is in full swing.
2. Kemba Walker's knee looks just fine.
Verdict: Not an overreaction
Celtics fans are wary about Kemba Walker's knee and they have every right to be. Even after a four-month hiatus, the C's guard is being eased back into action and he has admitted that the nagging injury has been frustrating for him.
But in limited action Friday night (19 minutes), Walker looked like himself. He went 5-for-9 from the field (3-for-6 from 3-point range) and totaled 16 points.
Boston undoubtedly needs Walker to be at full strength in the playoffs, so it doesn't make much sense for the C's to overwork him. Especially in the first game of the restart. They could have used Walker down the stretch in this game, but it isn't worth risking his health when there will be much more at stake later on in August.
Head coach Brad Stevens said Walker's knee is "the strongest it's been since September" and we should believe him until it's proven otherwise. If Walker re-aggravates the injury and is forced to miss some playoff time, it'll be time to worry. Right now though, C's fans should be encouraged by his performance in Friday's contest.
3. Marcus Smart is the C's X-factor for the season restart.
Verdict: Not an overreaction
Marcus Smart was the primary reason the Celtics were able to make things interesting in the second half. Boston's sparkplug had 23 points on 7-for-11 shooting and contributed his usual high energy off the bench.
Friday night's game was a perfect example of what the C's will need out of Smart when the rest of their scorers are off their game. If Boston is to make a run to and through the postseason, they'll need plenty of games like this from Smart off the bench.
Celtics-Bucks Overreactions: Are Jayson Tatum's struggles a cause for concern? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston