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Paul Pierce says Celtics-Bucks series is already over after Game 1

Paul Pierce, Celtics

Former Boston Celtics legend Paul Pierce has not been afraid to speak his mind since joining ESPN’s coverage of the NBA on shows like “The Jump” and “NBA Countdown.” And after the Celtics defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 112-90 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, Pierce was as bold and declarative as always:

As you can probably tell from Chauncey Billups’ reaction, the rest of the crew on the show were understandably questioning Pierce’s rationale, particularly because he had been so high on the Bucks entering the playoffs.

Pierce has repeatedly sought to remain in the public eye since joining ESPN. From saying he “invented” the step-back jumper to saying that he had a better career than Dwayne Wade, Pierce has had a slew of hot takes just like this one.

And while it is still way too early in the series to count the Bucks out, the Celtics dominated every facet of the game on Sunday afternoon. They held Giannis to 7-of-21 shooting and allowed just 22 points. Boston had five players in double figures (Kyrie Irving and Al Horford each had at least 20), while Milwaukee had just three.

The Bucks did not get an inspiring performance from any of their role players as Giannis and Khris Middleton struggled, and Eric Bledsoe was extremely disappointing, scoring just six points.

With shooting guard Malcolm Brogdon out with a heel injury, Pat Connaughton and Sterling Brown shot a combined 3-of-17 from the field and 2-of-10 from beyond the arc.

With Brogdon out for Game 2 as well and the Celtics playing the best defensive basketball of any team in the playoffs, Pierce may be right in saying Antetokounmpo must have a big game for the Bucks to win. In that sense, Game 2 feels like a must-win for Milwaukee.