The Celtics are officially out of the playoffs after falling to the Milwaukee Bucks in five games in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, as banner #18 will have to wait at least another year.
Milwaukee won the final four games by a combined 65 points after dropping Game 1 at home by 22 points.
Here were the scores of each match:
Game 1: @ MIL, 112-90 Celtics (4/28)
Game 2: @ MIL, 123-102 Bucks (4/30)
Game 3: @ BOS, 123-116 Bucks (5/3)
Game 4: @ BOS, 113-101 Bucks (5/6)
Game 5:@ MIL, 116-91 Bucks (5/8)
Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, who were absent from last year's playoffs, under-performed in the series for Boston to say the least. For Irving, after a 33-point Game 1 on 12-for-21 shooting, he averaged 19 points in Games 2-5 on 25-for-83 shooting (30.1%). Just not enough from the star player, despite leading the team with 20.4 points in the series. It was the final four games that just weren't anywhere near close to what was expected from him.
As poor as Irving was, Hayward was even worse. Almost a non-factor. He averaged just 7.4 points in the five games on a combined 12-for-35 shooting (34.2%), despite averaging 28.6 minutes.
Al Horford and Jaylen Brown averaged 16.2 points each in the five games. (Here's a complete stat page for the series.)
An extremely disappointing way to end the season after a convincing sweep in the first round against the Indiana Pacers, though it was fitting. The 2018-19 Celtics season was frustrating from beginning to end, and the ending basically summarized it.
Now the question that's on everyone's mind, is if Kyrie Irving will return to the team next season. He tried to take on the leadership role of the team, and failed. I sensed a divide between him and the younger players on the team which grew as the season went on. I really do believe that he was the core of the team's problems on and off the court.
This Celtics group was pretty much the SAME as it was last year. They came one game away from the NBA Finals WITHOUT Irving and Hayward. Throw 'em in there this year, and what happens? One win in the second round. Four straight losses, and the team's packing their bags.
So where does the franchise go from here? Obviously, changes must be made. But what will those changes be? Does Irving walk? Does he stay, and does Danny Ainge try to trade for Anthony Davis? Will the younger players drafted by the team be dealt?
It's going to be a busy offseason.