The Milwaukee Bucks welcome the Boston Celtics at Fiserv Forum for the first time in this series. With the series tied at 1-1, who will come away with the 2-1 lead after Monday’s showdown?
Catch this game live on Sunday, May 8, at 3:30 AM, Manila time
Away: Boston Celtics (1-1/0-0 Away)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Marcus Smart (questionable)
- SG: Jaylen Brown
- SF: Jayson Tatum
- PF: Al Horford
- C: Robert Williams III
Boston bounced back strong from its loss in the series opener and defeated the Bucks in Game 2 at home, 109-86. The Celtics missed Defensive Player of the Year guard Marcus Smart in that contest, but they got the job done nonetheless, holding the Bucks down to just 46.6 FG% and 16.7 3FG%. With a target on his back, Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 28 points but was 11/27 from the floor.
The Celtics will take that kind of shooting from Antetokounmpo any day and they could keep it that way with the help of a rowdy Boston crown on Monday morning. Jrue Holiday was also a huge victim of Boston’s stout defense in Game 2, as he shot just 7/20 for 19 points. It could get worse for the Bucks if Smart returns to action in Game 3. Offensively, the Celtics are getting more dangerous with their outside shooting.
Boston, which is 5-0 ATS in its last five games as an underdog, sank 18 threes in Game 1 and went 20/34 from deep in Game 2.
Home: Milwaukee Bucks (1-1/0-0 Home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Jrue Holiday
- SG: Wesley Matthews
- SF: Giannis Antetokounmpo
- PF: Bobby Portis
- C: Brook Lopez
Despite losing Game 2, the Bucks can take heart from the fact that they managed to steal a win in Beantown. Antetokounmpo was not in his top form in Game 2 due in large part to Boston’s defense, but he’s a special player who will always be a problem for the Celtics regardless of his part performance. Thus far in the playoffs, Antetokounmpo is averaging 27.9 points on 50 FG%.
The Greek Freak turned the ball over six times in Game 2, so ball security is something he’ll have to work on in the next outing. Getting good looks against Boston’s defense has been hard to come by, but once the likes of Holiday, Bobby Portis, and Brook Lopez start to hit a few shots, especially early in the game, the Bucks should be able to loosen up the Celtics’ D on Antetokounmpo. There is also the constant threat of Milwaukee’s defense which is the best among all teams that made the playoffs.
The Bucks, 4-1 ATS in their last five games, are allowing just 96.3 points per game in the postseason, while also letting opponents shoot just a dismal 40.3 FG%.
Spread: The Bucks cover (-2).
Over/Under: It’s about time the Over (212.5) hits in this series.