Money vs. Celtics Odds
|Problems with the Bucks||+ 4.5|
|Up / Down||217.5|
For the second straight postseason, the second round series featuring the Milwaukee Bucks serves as a potential winner for the Finals.
Last year was Nets. This year, it’s the Boston Celtics.
Last year’s list was marred by injuries to James Harden and Kyrie Irving but still with hype, Milwaukee won Game 7 while Kevin Durant’s shoe was too big.
This year, Khris Middleton (knee) will miss all rounds, and Milwaukee will once again be on the verge of preparing for Game 7 after the late climb to avoid the Nets. Boston did not take part in the matchup and swept Brooklyn on the first line.
Giannis Antetokounmpo. Jayson Tatum. Jrue Holiday. Jaylen Brown.
Defensive game against NBA players 17 times.
This list contains everything. Let’s dig inside.
Milwaukee Fights the Rising War Without Middleton
Often this is where we dig the metrics for the seasons to find the history of these Bucks, but much of this is not really necessary. This is because they often leave Brook Lopez, who missed a long-term injury, including Middleton.
Middleton’s loss is huge on both sides. The Bucks are extremely short on deep wings, and are their only two-way wings. Milwaukee could use a Grayson Allen shot to correct the offense, but only reduce the defense. Pat Connaughton is a strong defender but only shoots 3s in error. Wesley Matthews is reliable but old.
The Bucks did great things against Chicago without Middleton, starting with Bobby Portis along with Antetokounmpo and Lopez, and the results were very good. Portis was a beast with 15.3 points and 14.3 rebounds per game in 30 minutes per game and hit seven 3s in his three starts. He has +650 at FanDuel to lead the list for further development.
Milwaukee had a 94.4 round of first Defensive Rating, about 10 points out of 100 than any other team. The main line dominated the glass, ending 82% of protesters with a single shot. Last year, Milwaukee’s defense was the most successful in the NBA in the postseason, but it wasn’t very strong this season. Was the Bucks a fitness club, or was Chicago bad? Maybe a little bit of it all.
Milwaukee only sat 14th on Defensive Rating in the regular season, but the Bucks were third on the standings. Security should carry the goods here, however, without Middleton.
Although Antetokounmpo is great, it is Middleton who can make a late late in the game. Jrue Holiday is the third star, but his error was unreliable in last year’s title and was not good against Chicago with 94 Offensive Rating at 48% True Shooting.
Allen started all 13 regular games that Middleton missed and scored 17.2 points with 4.0 3s per game. His numbers with Middleton dropped to 9.6 and 2.0. Despite being off the bench against the Bulls, Allen scored 20.7 points in three games without Middleton, beating 70% of his 3s while making 4.7 games.
Keep playing Allen over until proven otherwise, especially if the top team is struggling and playing too much.
However, it is worrying how the Bucks ’offense depends on Allen hitting the 3s. Antetokounmpo is the best player on the list, but he can do more and will be asked to carry more items for security. The Bucks need Allen, Portis, Connaughton and others to shoot to have every chance.
Milwaukee has a +12.5 Net Rating with its top three courtesy and Pivot Analysis, but it is inconsistent with Middleton on the outside. The Bucks were very good with Giannis and Vacation, but this still leaves eight minutes for Antetokounmpo without Jrue and – most worrying – 8 to 10 minutes of Vacation without Giannis. Those moments will be important
We know the history of Milwaukee. The Bucks defense offers 3 more points in the league and formations. If Boston bombers hit, Milwaukee is in trouble. The Bucks are also top five in 3s taken and made.
This type of diversity will explain more about this topic. The Bucks have to win the battle over and over again, so that a strong whistle can help against this physical D.
Antetokounmpo should be the best player on the list. He has to be a very good player on a large scale. Must be Super Giannis, Finals MVP, on both ends. We know he can be, but the task is great against a good enemy.
The Red-Hot Celtics Loved Properly Fighting Champs
Boston is 30-6 years old from Jan. 29, and three out of six lost had one bucket.
The Nets’ game was much closer than the sweep would suggest, but Boston’s physical defense gave Kevin Durant a disappointing series, with Jayson Tatum being the best player at 29.5 points with 7.3 assists, including great defense. If they are very close to the best players in the series, it is a wrap.
Boston was No. 1 at Disruptive and Self-Defense Levels from Jan. 29 to the end of the season. Security was ahead of No. 2 than No. 2 was from the league-average, and Boston had a +14.8 Net Rating. The Celtics get a point of contention for their opponents in every seven terms – and they do this for three months, I count.
Boston’s foul led the league in True Shooting and Effective Field Goal Percentage at the time. Koma Jan. 29, the Celtics ranked 23rd in the standings and 22nd in the Disappointing rankings.
What was Boston’s fault that was so easy to get out of the defensive zone? Some, of course, but this has come back with the addition of Derrick White as an assistant designer and, more importantly, another great step from Tatum and Brown.
Another major change came in defense, Robert Williams left the paint and Al Horford defended the opposition position in his place. Horford is better at changing and defending itself around. This frees Williams to wreak havoc as a defensive assistant.
Williams missed the final half of the season, and Boston defended him to seventh in the EFG and Defensive Rating. He came back but it was not good in the first 30 minutes. Without Williams, the Celtics have a very good defense. With him, they have become famous throughout history.
Boston defense was first in the NBA with a 2- and 3-point percentage allowed. Critics just don’t get good photos. This could be a big problem for the Milwaukee team who are not talented at times, especially if Middleton are on the sidelines.
Boston will need to make sure that last season’s jump was not a hot shot and adequate defense. Will Marcus Smart hit the open jumpers the whole series? Can Grant Williams and Payton Pritchard continue to shoot more than 40% off the bench? Will Horford be ready to shoot?
If they fall, the Bucks will be hard to keep up.
The teams have played four times this season, but two games are missing and the others came in December. The Bucks won Christmas and the big Antetokounmpo games and lost 12 days earlier when they were not good and Tatum scored 42. Both games were played without Lopez and before the Celtics came, so we can’t pick up much.
Antetokounmpo should be the best player on this list, ahead of Tatum. Vacation may also be required beyond Brown. If Portis or Lopez climbed as the fifth player in the game, Milwaukee could improve the matchups instead. The bench and the depth of Boston are great opportunities, especially those moments without Giannis.
Whether you like it or not, much of this list can make a difference in who you are. If Allen, Connaughton and Portis are shot, the Bucks ’offense could hang. If Smart and Celtics shoot well, Milwaukee is in big trouble.
The most reliable part of the court is Boston defense, and the lesser is Milwaukee’s fault without Middleton. It’s hard to know if Boston’s offense and Milwaukee defense could be as hot as ever, but the big question on the list is whether the Bucks can score enough.
Both of these errors will have major changes that will face such a strong defense after a simple start. It might surprise both teams at first, so I hope the scoring is a bit slow. Bettors are also anticipating this, betting dropping from 219 to 217 from Saturday afternoon.
The number that hasn’t moved much is the whole Bucks team at 106.5, and that’s the part I’m playing. Middleton’s Milwaukee offense against the incredible defense is the biggest problem on the list and could take time for the Bucks to realize. Despite all the good, the Bucks’ team numbers are 9-1 down in Game 1s under Mike Budenholzer, at Gimme the Dog.
I lean against Boston in Game 1 and the series, but five points is a big cover to ask for in a game that could be very low. I don’t mind betting on the Celtics to win Game 1 and take the list at -115. That means 53.5% and a better price than Boston’s -200 price tag, especially since you could feel so bad that they won the series with a loss of Game 1 at home.
If you agree that the Celtics are a step ahead of Milwaukee, there is a benefit to the future of Boston, to win the East with a head-on collision.
For the list, I will not confuse and predict the realities of the game. Giannis is good at winning individual games, and Boston is good at sweeping another tough enemy if anything.
But it is clear that the Celtics are a good team, especially without Middleton. I take Boston at -1.5 on the +130 line at BetMGM. I don’t see enough Bucks offense to win three, even four.
In Game 1, I could kill Allen and Grant Williams 3-point prop over the post, but my biggest game is with the Bucks team under 106.5. Milwaukee error should make sure it has answers before I change.
Select: Total Bucks team under 106.5 | Celtics -1.5 series line