Jaylen Brown: The Celtics’ wing man was soaring over the Bucks defense all game, getting anything he wanted offensively. For the game, Brown had 30 points on 12-for-22 shooting.
Giannis Antetokounmpo: The Greek Freak was once again a major problem for Boston to limit offensively. He would finish with 30 points on 13-for-17 shooting to go with nine rebounds and eight assists.
Terry Rozier: The more he plays, the clearer it becomes Terry Rozier is a starter in this league. He came up with big plays throughout Game 2, tallying 18 points to go with eight assists without a single turnover for the second straight game.
Khris Middleton: The guy doesn’t miss too many shots; at least it has been that way in the playoffs. In Game 2, he had 25 points on 10-for-17 shooting.
Celtics Bench: They have been a much better unit since the All-Star break, and that trend has continued into the playoffs. In Game 2, Boston’s four-man bench – Marcus Morris, Guerschon Yabusele, Greg Monroe and Shane Larkin – combined to score 41 points on 16-for-28 shooting.
Eric Bledsoe: Not sure which is the bigger failing of Eric Bledsoe, to be so thoroughly outplayed by Boston’s Terry Rozier or to pretend not to know who Rozier is. He had 12 points on 5-for-13 shooting. Rozier had more points, shot the ball better percentage-wise and had twice as many assists in Game 2.
Jabari Parker: Parker looks lost on the floor these days, seemingly struggling to find his niche. In Game 2, he was scoreless off the Bucks bench missing both of his shot attempts in just 10 minutes of court time.
It would take some salary-cap machinations for New York to lure Irving to play close to where he grew up in West Orange, N.J. They would likely have to risk losing Kristaps Porzingis in free agency next summer by not giving him a big-money extension this season.
There's also a potential pursuit of Kevin Durant in free agency next summer as the Knicks - playoff-less since 2013 and title-less for 45 years - make another attempt to spend their way back to relevance.
Irving has made it clear he's not going to cost himself millions by signing an extension with the C's this season ("Contractually, financially, it just doesn’t make any sense”) and is headed to free agency, so, with training camp more than a month away, get used to a season full of questions about his future. And expect the Knicks speculation to heat up before the four C's-Knicks games (Oct. 20 and Feb. 6 in New York and Nov. 21 and Dec. 6 in Boston).
A few minutes before his Rozier tweet, Ainge saw a video tweeted by Cal athletic director Jim Knowlton of Jaylen Brown showing his skills on the piano at the Berkeley campus' Sproul Plaza. Brown spent a year at Cal before being drafted by Boston in 2016.
Ainge couldn't resist a jab at Brown's ball-handling skills.