- The short-handed Celtics look to defend home court in Game 2 vs Bucks
- Milwaukee try to flip turnover-prone ways to even series
- Other Bucks need to step forward to help Antetokounmpo
After escaping with a narrow overtime win in a thrilling playoff opener, the Boston Celtics try to take a commanding 2-0 series lead over the visiting Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night.
With all-stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward out for the season for the Celtics, any postseason success would hinge on getting contributions from everyone.
Al Horford’s 24 points and 12 rebounds led a balanced attack, one of five Celtics scoring in double digits to slide past the Bucks, despite a monster outing from Giannis Antetokounmpo, and an absolute Hail Mary getting answered at the buzzer by Khris Middleton, to send the game into OT.
This was the Webster’s definition of pure loco:
But the Celtics showed great resilience, especially considering that three of their starters in this game – Jayson Tatum, Terry Rozier and Aron Baynes – shared but one playoff start between them before tip-off.
Tatum looked poised dropping 19 points and 10 boards, while Rozier would have had the play of the game, with this filthy step back triple over Eric Bledsoe, who needed GPS to find his man after he was crossed out of range.
Milwaukee Bucks vs Boston Celtics Team Stats
*Stats do not include the playoffs
|47.4||Points In The Paint||39.8|
*Stats do not include the playoffs
|April 15 – Playoff||BOS||113-107 (OT)||BOS|
|April 3 – Regular Season||MIL||106-102||MIL|
|Dec. 4 – Regular Season||BOS||111-100||BOS|
|Oct. 26 – Regular Season||MIL||96-89||BOS|
|Oct. 18 – Regular Season||BOS||108-100||MIL|
In what seems to be the recurring theme in every game, Boston actually can’t stop Giannis, who has averaged 33.8 points, 11.2 rebounds and 5.4 assists in five contests.
But the Celtics’ success stems from absorbing the onslaught, while keeping the rest of the team at bay. In Game 1, Middleton went off for 31, but only one other player scored in double digits. That was the difference.
Notable Injuries and Absences
|No injuries||Marcus Smart (thumb): OUT|
Straight Up Advice: Celtics (106-99)
Lost in all the hoopla from the wild finish is the fact that the Celtics had this game in the bag while holding the Bucks to under 100 points before overtime. Their elite level defense always gives them a chance.
Milwaukee was also its own worst enemy in Game 1, coughing the ball up 20 times, leading directly to 27 much needed Boston points – this is a Celtics team that 20th in the league in scoring.
The trio of Tony Snell, Eric Bledsoe and Jabari Parker were limited to 13 points on 6-of-21 shooting from the field. That’s not going to get it done.
Some help from Milwaukee’s other prominent players is needed. The trio of Tony Snell, Eric Bledsoe and Jabari Parker were limited to 13 points on 6-of-21 shooting from the field. That’s not going to get it done.
If the Bucks can control that turnover number, they did finish with strong shooting splits: they were over 48-percent shooting from the field and at 38-percent from beyond the arc. That should be enough to land you a win come playoff time.
But Milwaukee seems to be the right sort of tonic for Boston: they’re erratic, their supporting cast doesn’t compliment Giannis’ MVP-level talent, and that will make it hard for them to make enough winning plays down the stretch in this one.
|Milwaukee is 19-23 SU on the road||Boston is 28-14 SU at home|
|Milwaukee is 5-5 SU in its last ten games||Boston is 6-4 SU in its last ten games|
|Milwaukee is 12-23 SU as an underdog||Boston is 42-17 SU as a favorite|
|Milwaukee is 16-19-3 ATS after a loss||Boston is 21-36-1 ATS after a win|
|Milwaukee is 33-45-5 ATS this season (42.3%)||Boston is 51-30-2 ATS this season (63.0%)|
|Milwaukee is 16-25-1 ATS on the road||Boston is 23-17-2 ATS at home|
Additional SU Picks (April 17th)
A pair of other pivotal Game 2’s will also go on Tuesday, including the Portland Trail Blazers trying to salvage a split against Anthony Davis and the Pelicans.
|Wizards vs Raptors – Game 2||Wizards|
|Pelicans vs Trail Blazers – Game 2||Trail Blazers|