Ime Udoka credits his team’s defensive adjustments on Giannis for helping secure Game 2 win vs. Bucks

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In Game 1 of the Boston Celtics’ East semis series with the Milwaukee Bucks, the Celtics were able to slow Milwaukee star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo on offense with double-teams, but the Greek Freak’s passing game got his teammates open for easy buckets often enough for the Bucks to steal a game on Boston’s home court.

But the Celtics adjusted in Game 2 and shifted to have one of a select few players on the team cover the former MVP by themselves with only occasional help, which Boston head coach Ime Udoka discussed with the media after the Celtics blew out Milwaukee 109-86 on Tuesday.

“We talked a little bit about guarding him more one on one,” explained Udoka of how Boston approached Game 2 in terms of planning.

“We feel like we have the defensive guys to do it,” he continued. “He came out extra aggressive in the second half, but to score 28 (points) on 27 shots, we were defending well initially, and Grant (Williams) is a big part of that.”

“His versatility, as I talked about, he’s like a mini Al (Horford) out there. We ask him to do the same things, and other guys are making plays, so his shot-making ability, he’s been doing that all year. But, his versatility to be able to switch on the guards and guard them one on one and in the post … (and) be physical and be frustrating to some extent is what we need from a player like that.”

“We’ve got four guys we can feel comfortable throwing at (Giannis); Jaylen (Brown), Jayson (Tatum), bigger wings as well.”

“So, we can throw a lot of bodies (at Giannis), and that’s one of Grant’s main strengths is guarding guys like him now,” offered the Celtics coach.

While we are sure to see more adjustments in this series from Milwaukee, so far the emergence of Williams as a two-way threat in the East semis has been a godsend for Boston.

One that, given the timing of Smart’s absence, might very well have been the difference in how this series ends.

This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook!

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