On Friday night, the Celtics and Bucks will play their first game in the Orlando bubble.
When we last saw the Celtics play, they were dealing with a Kemba Walker knee injury. With several months off to work out and heal, he’ll be back, and all of the Celtics stars are going to be good to go. On a team that relies heavily on their starting five, this is huge for them.
The goal won’t be to win a title this year, but a third trip to the Eastern Conference Finals in four years would certainly be nice. This is the first postseason with Jayson Tatum as the clear best player.
The Bucks, on the other hand, are looking to end a 5-decade title drought. They had gone 18 years without winning a playoff series before last season, as they finally got the monkey off their back. This is a talented team with fantastic defenders at every position.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is the likely MVP and also DPOY, while Brook Lopez is among the game’s best rim protectors. Eric Bledsoe was 1st team All-Defense last season, and Khris Middleton is not far behind him.
The Bucks will be 4.5-point favorites in their restart opener, with the over/under set at 219 points.
Boston Basketball is Back!
It’s about time. The Celtics impressed many this year by staying competitive after losing All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Al Horford in the offseason. Everybody came in ready to go, and Daniel Theis went from third-string big man to a guy that starts and gets the job done whenever it’s needed.
Jayson Tatum has blossomed into a superstar in just his third season in the league, while Jaylen Brown has also been raising his level of play. Both of these guys have proven to be great fits in Boston and a big part of their future.
The wild part is that both of these guys were drafted with acquired picks. They didn’t need to lose to draft high in the lottery.
Their goal will likely be to make it to the ECF, and anything after that would be fantastic. The East is a lot tougher than it has been in past years, so we’ll see if they are up to the task.
Bucks Looking for Revenge
Except they cannot get it on Kawhi Leonard until the NBA Finals (potentially). The Raptors came back from an 0-2 series deficit to win four in a row against the Bucks last year.
They retooled their bench and have multiple All-Stars to lead the way for them. Nothing is standing in their way this time around.
They match up well with every team in the conference, Boston included. Jayson Tatum has turned into a great defender but will have a hard time with Antetokounmpo. And Walker may find it hard to score with Bledsoe breathing down his neck.
The veterans on the bench in Kyle Korver, George Hill, and Marvin Williams will add the value they missed a year ago.
Bucks Win Their First Game
Milwaukee will win pretty comfortably against the Celtics. Make sure to bet MIL -4.5!
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