Milwaukee Bucks v Boston Celtics: Claim £30 in Free Bets & a £10 Casino Bonus with 888Sport

The NBA Playoffs are underway and last years winners, the Milwaukee Bucks, take on 2020 finalists the Miami Heat.

Milwaukee Bucks v Boston Celtics
Milwaukee Bucks v Boston Celtics

The Milwaukee Bucks and the Boston Celtics each made it through the first round fairly easily. Now the real test happens in the second round when they face each other. The Bucks are the defending NBA champions and they are now the third seed in the playoffs this year.

They faced the Chicago Bulls who overachieved in their first year with all of their new players. The Celtics also overachieved this year and are seen as one of the best teams in the league right now after sweeping the Brooklyn Nets in the first round. Both the Celtics and the Bucks should be seen as legit championship contenders at this point. Giannis Antetokounmpo is arguably the best player in the league, so he should always be seen as a threat to take his team to the championship. The Celtics also have one of the best players in the league currently in Jayson Tatum, who has been dominant the last half of the regular season and in the playoffs so far. This should be a great series between two of the best teams in the league.

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The Milwaukee Bucks had a tremendous run last year to the finals and ended up winning it over the Phoenix Suns. The Bucks' greatest competition last year was the Brooklyn Nets, who took them to seven games and barely lost to the Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals. Last year the Bucks were definitely a really good team, and getting past the Brooklyn Nets was arguably their toughest matchup. The roster is still essentially the same as last year. Now though, they have that championship experience and know what it takes to get back to that stage and to win it. Compared to this year there weren't many other top teams to get in their way though. This year the Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, and Boston Celtics are all much improved. It should prove to be a tougher path to the finals for Milwaukee. 

The Celtics last year were much the same of what they had been in the past. They usually look pretty good during the regular season and even in the postseason but always end up facing an opponent that just has more talent on it. Every year it seems that no one takes this team seriously as a legit championship contenders. This year is different though. Out of nowhere this team has become one of the best defensive teams in the entire league. Tatum has evolved into one of the best overall players in the league as well. This makes this team extremely dangerous and the Bucks should not be excited to see them this early in the playoffs. The Cetlics were a disappointment in the first half of this year though. People were talking about them breaking the team up as they were in the 11th spot around the All Star break. They went on to have the best second half of the year out of any team in the league. At one point they were first in the Eastern Conference but they ultimately finished second. 

First Round Series: Round Up

The first round series against the Brooklyn Nets for the Boston Celtics was highly anticipated by NBA fans and it was supposed to be one of the best series in the first round. The Nets made it all the way to Eastern Conference finals last year and had a healthy Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving for the first round. The first game was won on a buzzer beater by Tatum for Boston and most of the other games were close, but the Celtics were able to win every game completing a four-game sweep of the Nets. The defensive effort of the Celtics is really what was able to shut down Durant and the Nets. Durant was held to just 11 shots in one game and in the others he was held under 50% from the field. Irving was also made largely ineffective in the series due to the Celtics' defense. In that first round series, Tatum averaged nearly 30 points per game with over seven assists. He got help from Jaylen Brown who put up nearly 23 per game and Marcus Smart who added 17 points and seven assists per game as well. Those three are playing the best basketball of their careers currently and no team should want to face them this year. Boston had a dominant series after dominating the end of the regular season. It is looking promising for them this series against the Bucks. 

The Milwaukee Bucks first round series was much of the same as how the Celtics' first round series played out. As the third seed in the Eastern Conference they were matched up against the sixth seeded Chicago Bulls. The Bulls were one of the best teams early in the season in the Eastern Conference. They even held the first spot in the conference for a while before they were hit with the injury bug. It started with Lonzo Ball being injured and then Alex Caruso and Zach LaVine being out of the lineup for a while. The biggest hit to the team was probably to Lonzo Ball, as he was the team's defensive leader and also one of the best three point shooters in the entire NBA. Demar Derozan was also playing out of his mind early in the year before regressing a little over the course of the season.

In the first round the Bucks looked like they were going to dominate the Chicago Bulls in a quick sweep. This was almost the case but Derozan had one massive game where he put up a 40-point game to steal one game in the series. The Bucks were able to close the series out in just five games despite that one big game from Derozan. Milwaukee was led by no surprise, Giannis, in this series as he put up 30 points and 13 rebounds per game. Jrue Holiday was also a big part of making this a quick series as he put up 17 points and seven assists per game. The biggest blow of the series was the loss of Khris Middleton after the second game. This series came with a downside of losing arguably their second best player, who is rumored to be out for the entire series against the Boston Celtics. This will hurt them a lot come round two. However, we did see one player really step up after Middleton went down and that was Grayson Allen. In games one and two with Middleton, Allen had zero and three points. In the last three games without Middleton, Allen had 22, 27, and then 13 points. 

One of the biggest keys to this series could be Grayson Allen. Milwaukee will likely rely a lot on his scoring if Middleton is actually unable to play for the entirety of the series against the Celtics like he is rumored to. Without Middleton, Giannis and Holiday are really their only big time scorers who have consistently done it this year. Allen stepped up without Middleton but he will have to continue to do that if the Bucks want to be competitive in this series. Most of the Celtics offense comes from Tatum and Brown. The matchup against those two will be a huge key in this series also. Allen will probably have to guard Brown in this series as well, which will put a lot of pressure on him on both ends of the floor. Allen seemed to be a fill in after the Bucks traded Donte Divincenzo at the trade deadline. It may prove that he has to play a bigger role than expected and could be the key to this series for the Bucks. 

Keys for the Celtics will start with slowing down Giannis. He is arguably the best player in the NBA and he was the biggest reason as to why the Bucks won the championship last year. The former MVP is largely unguardable but that is what the rest of the NBA thought about Kevin Durant before the Celtics were able to successfully shut him down enough to sweep his Brooklyn Nets team. Tatum will likely draw the task of guarding Giannis, which will put a lot of weight on his shoulders to both score most of the points and also stop the best player in the world. It is never an easy task to stop Giannis as he is one of the biggest and most athletic players in the NBA. 

This series will tip off on Sunday at Boston as the Celtics will have home court advantage in this series being the higher seed between the two teams. Both of these teams are seen as championship contenders and whoever wins this series will be one step closer to making that happen. Boston has had the same core team for the past handful of seasons and the Bucks currently have the same roster as their championship team last season. It should prove to be a very entertaining series that could very well go seven games.

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