Boston Celtics vs Milwaukee Bucks (Game 2): Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

What: Boston Celtics at Milwaukee Bucks

Where: Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, WI

When: Tuesday, April 30th at 8:00 PM EST

How (TV): TNT

Series Standing: 1-0 BOS

Boston Celtics (Away)

Head Coach: Brad Stevens {All-Time 270-222 | BOS}

Season Record: 49-33, 4th in the East

Projected Starting Five: (G) Kyrie Irving – (G) Jaylen Brown – (F) Jayson Tatum – (F) Marcus Morris – (C) Al Horford

Top Performers:

  • G Kyrie Irving – 22.5 PPG | 7.8 APG | .423 3P%
  • F Jayson Tatum – 19.3 PPG | 5.5 RPG | .533 3P%
  • F Gordon Hayward – 12.3 PPG | 5.0 RPG | .444 3P%

The Boston Celtics came out of Game 1 with a win that shocked the NBA world. While a victory over the Bucks wasn’t unprecedented, the Celtics won in dominant fashion. The Celtics proved themselves more formidable than expected.

The Celtics were great across the board. They had big contributions from their starters and saw little drop-off when their bench entered the game. It was a classic Celtics performance.

The Celtics need to come out with the same defensive intensity as Game 1 when they face off with the Bucks again. They were able to control Antetokounmpo to a degree, but they can’t expect to keep a lid on his production again.

Milwaukee Bucks (Home)

Head Coach: Mike Budenholzer {All-Time 60-22 | MIL}

Season Record: 60-22, 1st in the East

Projected Starting Five: (G) Eric Bledsoe – (G) Sterling Brown – (F) Khris Middleton – (F) Giannis Antetokounmpo – (C) Brook Lopez

Top Performers:

  • F Giannis Antetokounmpo – 33.5 PPG | 15.3 RPG | 4.5 APG
  • G Eric Bledsoe – 25.0 PPG | 6.8 APG | 5.2 RPG
  • G-F Khris Middleton – 23.2 PPG | 6.7 RPG | 5.2 APG

The Milwaukee Bucks didn’t look themselves against the Boston Celtics. They shot poorly from range and had difficulty coping when Antetokounmpo was smothered. Just two of many things that resulted in their loss.

It was difficult to say the Bucks’ position after they defeated the Detroit Pistons. What is clear is that Milwaukee is facing a significant increase in competition. The Celtics are very much not the Pistons.

They will need to get their offense in order when they take on the Celtics in Game 2. The Bucks were able to get to their spots, but converting on opportunities was another story.

What’s At Stake?

The Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks have maintained a rather competitive series all-time. In 213 regular season games, the Celtics hold a slim 109-104 lead over the Bucks.

Since 2018 the Celtics and Bucks have met in six different playoff series. Boston holds a commanding lead in series won with a 5-1 lead over Milwaukee.

The Boston Celtics are looking to go up 2-0 before they head back to Boston for back-to-back home games.

The Milwaukee Bucks want to tie up the series after losing home court advantage via a Game 1 loss.

Boston Outplayed Milwaukee

The course of Game 1 was perfect for the Boston Celtics. Despite the second quarter, where the Bucks found some rhythm from three, the Celtics were in control of the game.

The matchup seemed to work in the favor of the Celtics. Where Milwaukee created the leagues best defense by defending the rim and corner threes, the Celtics were able to naturally exploit that.

The Celtics live where the Bucks are weak defensively. In the mid-range and above the line, the Celtics thrive. If the Bucks can’t cope, the Celtics may continue to run free.

Giannis Struggled

Game 1 for the Greek Freak was about as bad as it could’ve gotten for him and for the Bucks. While Antetokounmpo still posted 22 points and 8 rebounds on the match, he was crowded at every opportunity.

Antetokounmpo shot 7-21 from the field and 5-10 from the free throw line. Due to the Bucks’ inability to convert on shots from range – 33% on the game – he was able to accumulate only two assists on the game.

With more opportunities will come more chances for the Greek Freak. When he is out of the lineup, the Bucks look incredibly average as a team. If his teammates can’t support him, the Greek Freak may be in for a tougher series than he’s seen already.

Horford’s Defence Is Key

Al Horford has always been key for the Boston Celtics defense, but how he performed against the Milwaukee Bucks was masterful. Against the Greek Freak, Horford showed himself as a true game changer.

When Horford was on Antetokounmpo, he changed the way the Greek played. In what were thirty-one possessions, Horford held Antetokounmpo to 3-11 shooting from the field. Horford also collected two blocks and committed only one foul while guarding him.

It is unlikely that Horford will be able to contain the Greek Freak consistently, but his success in Game 1 is promising for the Celtics. Having another body to switch on to Antetokounmpo is crucial. Having one as talented as Horford could change the result of the series.

What Can the Bucks’ Bench Provide?

The spread offense of the Milwaukee Bucks allows for the opportunity for contribution from equal parties across the roster. Against the Celtics in Game 1, the bench was unable to make a significant contribution.

The Bucks saw significant minutes from George Hill, Nikola Mirotic, Ersan Ilyasova, and Pat Connaughton. In fact, they may have seen too many minutes from Connaughton – who was 2-10 from the field and 1-7 from three.

Milwaukee saw themselves shoot 34.8% from the field over the course of Game 1. The main bench contributors saw themselves shoot 38% collectively. The onus wasn’t all on the Bucks reserves, but when the starters struggle Milwaukee relies on their production.

Boston Celtics Roster Notes

G Marcus Smart – 10 Apr 2019 – Out (Oblique) – Smart suffered a torn oblique and could be sidelined for the first two rounds of playoffs, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

F Guerschon Yabusele – 21 Apr 2019 – Day To Day (Back) – Yabusele was ruled OUT for Sunday’s (Apr. 21) game.

Milwaukee Bucks Roster Notes

G Malcolm Brogdon – 25 Apr 2019 – Out (Heel) – Brogdon is listed as OUT for Games 1 & 2 against the Boston Celtics.

G Donte DiVincenzo – 26 Mar 2019 – Out For Season (Heel) – DiVincenzo is out for the rest of the season with bilateral heel bursitis in his right foot according to Malika Andrews of ESPN.

C Pau Gasol – 23 Mar 2019 – Out (Ankle) – Gasol is expected to miss approximately one month with a left ankle injury according to Malika Andrews of ESPN.

X-Factors: Terry Rozier (BOS) vs Nikola Mirotic (MIL)

Terry Rozier and Nikola Mirotic are likely to be two of the most capable players off the bench for the Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks. Their contributions are key to their teams’ success.

Terry Rozier

Point Guard | 6-1, 190lb (185cm, 86kg) | Louisville | Exp. 3 Years

9.0 PPG | 2.9 APG | 3.9 RPG | 0.9 SPG | 0.3 BPG | 0.9 TOV | .387 FG% | .353 3P%

Offensively, Scary Terry was passable from the field. He doesn’t have the free reign of last season, but he more than makes up for it with his defensive contributions.

In Game 1, Rozier posted a defensive rating of 89 in his 19 minutes played. He was able to capably initiate the offense while simultaneously acting as a leader on the defensive end.

Rozier is likely the best player off of the bench in this series. When both teams insert their reserve units, Rozier is able to make a clear impact. His consistency off of the bench will be a key factor going forward.

Nikola Mirotic

Power Forward | 6-10, 250lb (208cm, 113kg) | Montenegro | Exp. 4 Years

11.6 PPG | 1.4 APG | 5.4 RPG | 0.7 SPG | 0.6 BPG | 0.8 TOV | .415 FG% | .356 3P%

The acquisition of Nikola Mirotic by the Milwaukee Bucks was massive for the club at the trade deadline. Despite a late-season injury, he came through to be a valuable contributor in the playoffs.

In his most recent game against the Boston Celtics, Mirotic was one of the Bucks’ more reliable contributors. He shot over 50% from the field and contributed 13 points on the evening.

He fits perfectly into the Bucks offensive style, displaying both rebounding ability and three-point shooting. Should the likes of Sterling Brown or Brook Lopez continue to struggle, don’t be surprised to see Mirotic in the starting lineup.

Boston Celtics at Milwaukee Bucks Predictions and Odds

Game 2 will be telling for the Milwaukee Bucks. While they will certainly be aiming for a better performance this time out against the Celtics, they surely can’t lose home court advantage against a talented Boston side.

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