Jaylen Brown leads Celtics with 25 points on opening night

Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics - 10/18/17 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

'Greek Freak' Giannis praised as 'MVP candidate' by Celtics coach Stevens

He returned and finished with 10 points in 17 minutes.

Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site. They almost came back to win the season opener against the Cavaliers, and now the Milwaukee Bucks will come to Boston for the Celtics home opener.

"Sometimes you have to take a step back from it: I thought last night we actually did a pretty good job, except for the turnover late, that we just missed opportunities", Stevens said. Prior to Wednesday's game, Hayward conveyed a video message on the TD Garden Jumbotron expressing his thankfulness for the overwhelming support from the fans, and assured them that "it's going to be alright". "I thought [the Bucks] missed some open shots". I want nothing more than to be with my teammates and walk out on that floor tonight.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, the 6-foot-11 forward/guard superstar of the Milwaukee Bucks visited Boston to drop 37 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals on 13/22 (59%) shooting on Wednesday, October 18 (Thursday Manila time). He knows it just as much as the fans do, and I think he wants to show it during the home opener.

Hayward's debut for Boston was over after just six minutes against the Cleveland Cavaliers, when he went down with a horrific dislocated ankle and broken tibia from an awkward fall colliding with Cavaliers star LeBron James. He suffered a ugly ankle injury that resulted in his leg bending unnaturally, which caused players and fans to look away in terror.

"It's gonna be that way", Celtics coach Brad Stevens, whose team is now 0-2 on the year, admitted after the game.

The Celtics trailed by seven heading into the third quarter before scoring 14 of the next 16 points, taking a 69-64 lead on Irving's 3-pointer from the top of the key.

So far, life has been hard.

A few miles away, Hayward was being wheeled into surgery to fix the ankle he mangled in the season opener.

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numberFire's models project Horford for 13.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 32.5 minutes per game this season. It's certainly understandable if the shock of losing their new all-star in such freaky fashion is consuming the minds of Celtics players and coaches. I'm hopeful that we can find the right combinations.

"He's down, obviously", said Stevens of Hayward.

Hayward underwent surgery and the team expects he will make a full recovery. It's been tough on him.

Honestly, I think the Celtics will struggle to begin this game. Perhaps it was a case of trying to do too much in the absence of Hayward.

The Celtics led by four entering the fourth quarter, but gave up that advantage quickly. For the second straight night, the Celtics seized a fourth-quarter lead but could not hold off an MVP candidate down the stretch. This time he went for 18 points and five rebounds.

Boston will be looking for their first W in this new era of basketball, and young players like Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Terry Rozier will have to play to the best of their abilities to earn it. Neither team shot or made many 3-pointers, but the Bucks were efficient early from inside and out.

The Celtics are a young team.

Marcus Smart had a awful start when he entered the game after Hayward's injury on Tuesday. "It hasn't changed anything, we're all here to play for each other". Nobody has ever questioned Smart's aggressiveness, tenacity or heart, but his shooting has always been a concern and it needs to improve - especially if he's going to take as many shots as he has been.

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