At the start of this series many thought that the Boston Celtics would beat out the Milwaukee Bucks based on their first-round dominance against the Brooklyn Nets, and Khris Middleton’s absence. However, after three games the Bucks are now up 2-1, and look like the superior team. Can Milwaukee take a 3-1 lead on Monday night in Game 4?
Milwaukee has gotten the advantage in this series thanks to dominant performances from Giannis Antetokounmpo on a nightly occasion, and with Jrue Holiday adequately filling the role as the secondary scorer without Middleton in the lineup. Despite Boston’s heralded defense, it hasn’t found a way to slow down the reigning Finals MVP, but going forward they’ll surely try to ensure that guys like Holiday, Portis and the rest of Milwaukee’s supporting cast doesn’t catch fire. Here’s everything you need to know heading into Game 4.
(2) Boston Celtics @ (3) Milwaukee Bucks
- When: Monday, May 9 | 7:30 p.m. ET
- Where: Fiserv Forum — Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- TV: TNT | Live stream: TNT app
- Odds: BOS -105; MIL -115; O/U 212.5 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Celtics: I don’t expect Jayson Tatum to put up just 10 points on 21.1 percent from the field again in Game 3. Not when he’s averaging 28 points in the playoffs, and has been far better efficiently up to this point. With the Celtics facing the possibility of going down 3-1 if they lose in Game 4, I think we’ll see a huge bounce back game from Tatum, that looks more characteristic of the sterling performance he’s put on thus far in the playoffs. If that happens — and Jaylen Brown can carry over his Game 3 performance of 27 points and 12 rebounds — then Boston should be in a good position to head back to TD Garden with this series knotted up at two games apiece.
Bucks: For two out of the three games in this series the Bucks have executed their gameplan to perfection. Antetokounmpo has been an unstoppable force that has been unguardable by essentially everyone the Celtics put in front of him, and Holiday has more than picked up the slack with Middleton out. Milwaukee got out to a 14-point lead in Game 4, and the only reason Boston got back in the game is because the Bucks took their eye off the ball. Milwaukee will need more from the likes of Bobby Portis and Grayson Allen going forward, because Giannis putting up 42 points can’t be the only solution to beat this tough Celtics team, but we’ve seen the role players on the Bucks step up countless times when needed.
Before this series started I thought it was going the distance, and that hasn’t changed despite Giannis looking like Thanos with all of the infinity stones at times. I think Boston ties this series up with Tatum poised to have a standout performance. The pick: Celtics -1