Milwaukee Bucks vs Boston Celtics (Game 3): Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

What: Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics

Where: TD Garden in Boston, MA

When: Friday, May 3rd at 8:00 PM EST

How (TV): ESPN

Series Standing: 1-1 Tie

Milwaukee Bucks (Away)

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

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

Projected Starting Five: (G) Eric Bledsoe – (F) Nikola Mirotic – (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 needed a wake-up call. A devastating Game 1 loss was what it took to energize the Bucks in Game 2, which resulted in a big win for the Eastern Conference leaders.

While they were ahead at halftime, the Bucks regrouped for what was a 39-18 third quarter that spurred their dominant victory over the Boston Celtics. They will look to do the same in Game 3 on the road.

The Bucks were able to dominate the Celtics in almost every way in Game 2. They can’t count on another inefficient offensive night from the Celtics, especially at home. Expect Milwaukee to notch up their defensive intensity.

Boston Celtics (Home)

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 were not able to execute their game plan against the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 2. Home court will be a relief for the Celtics, as their offence has struggled on the road.

Their key pieces Kyrie Irving and Jayson Tatum struggled in the match. They also found difficulty finding production off of the bench. That will need to be rectified in Game 3.

The Celtics could not limit the Bucks’ three-point attack in Game 2, as they did in Game 1. They may not be able to neutralize it entirely, but they cannot find victory if they allow another 43% three-point shooting night from the Bucks.

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 Milwaukee Bucks look to take a 2-1 series lead over the Boston Celtics with a win in hostile territory.

The Boston Celtics look to gain the rhythm to take the series with a win in the first of a two-game homestand.

The Bucks Are Back In Town

Game 1 was Milwaukee’s worst nightmare. They were outplayed, Brad Stevens taught Mike Budenholzer some lessons, and they couldn’t throw the ball into the ocean. Frustration was abounding after Game 1, but the Bucks came back to show their normal selves in Game 2.

Milwaukee received contributions across the board, as most players seemed to get the message after Game 1. Middleton shot the lights out, Antetokounmpo looked like the MVP he is, and Bledsoe showed his All-Star caliber.

If Milwaukee comes out with the same intensity in Game 3, there is little hope for the Boston Celtics. The Bucks didn’t play a perfect game, so there are still holes for the Celtics to exploit. But watch for the Bucks’ attack, it seems to be back on track.

The Celtics Need More From Jayson Tatum

Tatum was a force for the Celtics during the regular season but has failed to show up against the Bucks in this Eastern Conference Semi-Final series. More is expected of him, especially after his 2018 Eastern Conference Playoff performances.

In two performances against the Bucks, Tatum has scored a total of nine points while shooting an abysmal 23.5% from the field. He is 4-17 from the floor and is even yet to record a three-point field goal.

Tatum has been honest about his performance and his efforts going forward:

After a second season that failed to live up to expectations, Tatum once again proved his worth in his first round series against the Indiana Pacers. He’s got the faith of his coach and has supreme confidence in himself. Expect a bounce-back match from Tatum.

Pressure Is On Bledsoe

With Malcolm Brogdon out, the primary penetrators for the Bucks are Antetokounmpo and Bledsoe. Averaging eleven drives per game during the season, Bledsoe looked tentative in Game 1 against the Celtics.

He was back to his normal self in Game 2, driving to the hoop thirteen times in the match. He was aggressive, looking to attack the rim as he passed out to a shooter on only two of those thirteen drives.

The Bucks will need his productivity going forward. Without another natural playmaker on the roster, they’ll need him to take control when Antetokounmpo isn’t on the court.

Should the Celtics Expect Less of Rozier?

Boston fans can be critical of Rozier and what he is as a player. While many wish he were a playmaker capable of running the offense with Irving out, he is simply not that kind of contributor.

What Rozier is is a gritty, hard-nosed guard who contributes across the board with his intangibles. In his first two games against the Bucks, Rozier has accumulated 17 rebounds. Often via scrambles where each team’s bigs are battling each other.

With Irving struggling in Game 2, it is easy to say that the Celtics need more from Rozier. While he can provide some efficiency on the offensive end, they are getting exactly what they paid for from their backup playmaker.

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.

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: Nikola Mirotic (MIL) vs Gordon Hayward (BOS)

Nikola Mirotic was upgraded to a starting role at the beginning of Game 2 while Gordon Hayward continues to come off the bench. Both are key role players for their respective clubs and affect their teams both on the glass and from three.

Nikola Mirotic

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

15.2 PPG | 1.2 APG | 7.4 RPG | 0.7 SPG | 0.7 BPG | 1.0 TOV | .439 FG% | .365 3P%

With the Bucks struggling from range during Game 1, Mike Budenholzer moved one of his hottest guns from the bench to the starting five. Mirotic opens up the floor more than Sterling Brown, allowing for the Greek Freak to impose his game.

Unfortunately, it didn’t work great for Mirotic individually. He was only 3-10 from the field and 1-5 from three. He was a +22 on the night though, owing to his contributions on the glass and defensively.

To begin the game he was taken advantage of by Brown, which allowed the Celtic to get to the line five times in the first quarter. Despite that, the gravity Mirotic creates as a shooter is always in play and is likely to continue opening the floor for the Bucks.

Gordon Hayward

Small Forward | 6-8, 225lb (203cm, 102kg) | Butler | Exp. 8 Years

11.5 PPG | 3.4 APG | 4.5 RPG | 0.9 SPG | 0.3 BPG | 1.5 TOV | .466 FG% | .333 3P%

Gordon Hayward appeared for 30 minutes against the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 2 and it provided some disappointing results. While he’s never been quite the same since his awful injury, he’s had spurts of brilliance. Game 2 was not one of those spurts.

In Game 2 Hayward was a -30 with 5 points and 3 assists in slightly over 30 minutes of play. He was seemingly out of the game the minute he stepped on the court. The Celtics need Hayward if they want to succeed.

There’s not enough of the ball to indulge Hayward in order to find his rhythm. If the Celtics, and Hayward, want to find the success he’ll have to be efficient in the limited opportunities he’s provided.

Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics Predictions and Odds

With the series moving to Boston for two games, don’t be surprised to see the Celtics come out firing. Familiar site lines and their own beds can do wonders for a team in a playoff series. But don’t expect the Bucks to lay down, they know their strength and are as dangerous as anyone.

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