Boston Celtics will host the Milwaukee Bucks in the first match of the NBA Eastern Conference semi-finals on Sunday afternoon. The home side wants to pick up where it left off and continue the winning streak in the post-season. The visitors have also played well in the first round, and they will search for an upset in Game 1.
Boston has been very confident so far in the playoffs, and they will have the home-court advantage in this series as well. The hosts want to continue in the same fashion and prevent the opponent from opening the tie with a win. On the other hand, Milwaukee lost just once in its previous series, and they want to preserve the momentum. It will be a much tougher task, but the away side won’t surrender.
Boston Celtics – Will they continue winning?
Although everybody thought the Celtics’ series against the Nets would be super exciting, the hosts managed to sweep the opponents with a 4-0 victory. They were lucky to celebrate a buzzer-beater triumph in Game 1, but things went smoother after that one. It was Boston’s fifth straight victory, and they lost only once on the previous nine occasions. In the most recent match, the Celtics were better than the Nets in a 116-112 win. Despite having a slightly lower field goal percentage, Boston controlled the paint and had fewer turnovers in Game 4 of their previous series.
Jayson Tatum has contributed the most to the Celtics’ offense with 29.5 points, a team-high 7.3 assists, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.8 steals per match. Jaylen Brown has produced 22.5 pts, 5.3 rebs, 4.3 assists, and 2.5 steals, while Marcus Smart averages 16.5 points, seven assists, and four rebounds. Al Horford tops the rebounds charts for Boston with 7.5 per contest while contributing with 13 pts, and Grant Williams is another Boston player with a double-digit number of points. Jaylen Brown is the only doubtful player for the hosts, while others should be ready.
Expected Line-Up: Marcus Smart, Derrick White, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford, Robert Williams III
with best odds
Milwaukee Bucks – Can they stun the rivals?
Despite losing Game 2 on the home court against the Chicago Bulls, the Bucks controlled their first-round series for a 4-1 win. They managed to celebrate in the three following games and boost their confidence ahead of this tie. Milwaukee booked a comfortable 116-100 win in Game 5 to seal its ticket for the conference semi-finals. They were just below the 50%-mark in the field goal percentage (49.4) while dominating the paint with 14 rebounds more than their rivals.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has been the most productive player for Milwaukee in the playoffs as well, averaging 28.6 points, a team-high 13.4 rebounds, 6.2 assists, and 1.4 blocks per game. Jrue Holiday has produced 16.4 pts, 6.8 assists, and five rebs, while Khris Middleton tops the assists charts with seven per match, followed by 14.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.5 steals. Brook Lopez and Grayson Allen contribute with 13+ pts each, while Bobby Portis has 11.6 points and 11.4 rebounds. On the other hand, Khris Middleton’s absence will be a huge setback for the Bucks, while George Hill is also out.
Expected Line-Up: Jrue Holiday, Wesley Matthews, Grayson Allen, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez
Expert Pick #1 – Boston Celtics -4.5 @-110
The Celtics have been excellent in the first-round series, and they put on some impressive displays. On the other hand, the Bucks will have to cope without Khris Middleton, and I think the hosts will capitalize on his absence. Boston should win and cover in Game 1, and that’s going to be my first pick.
Expert Pick #2 – Over 217.5 @-110
The margin in the totals market is not set too high, and we should see a more efficient match than the bookies expect. Twelve of Boston’s last 16 games went over the margin, and this one shouldn’t be much different. Give me the Over as the second bet.
Expert Pick #3 – Boston Celtics Over 110.5 @-120
Consequently, I anticipate another excellent offensive display by Tatum and the lads. The Celtics produced more than 110 pts three times in their previous series and should continue in the same fashion. It is going to be my third pick at slightly lower odds than the first two.