The Boston Celtics will be looking to win game 6 and eliminate the Milwaukee Bucks from the NBA Eastern Conference playoffs. Boston took a 3-2 series lead over the Bucks with their 92-87 victory in game 5. Game 6 will be played at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee.
This series has featured physical and aggressive play throughout, with a little bit of chippiness mixed in. The home team has won every game in this series, a trend that the Bucks hope continues in game 6. The Boston Celtics are +5.0 against the Milwaukee Bucks in game 5.
The “Greek Freak” Must Respond
Giannis Antetokounmpo, the “Greek Freak,” didn’t have a very strong game 5 for the Bucks after dominating the first 4 games of the series. Antetokounmpo finished with just 16 points while on taking 10 field goal attempts. The Bucks need Giannis to be more aggressive in game 6, and he must attack from the beginning.
The supporting cast for the Bucks must also respond in game 6, after a rough offensive game in their game 5 loss. The Bucks shot just 36.8% from the field and an even worse 27.3% from three point range. Milwaukee struggled to get into a rhythm against the aggressive switching defense of the Celtics. Adjustments will have to be made if the Bucks want to extend the series to a game 7.
Celtics Defense Turns Up the Pressure
The return of guard Marcus Smart gave the Celtics an emotional lift, and also solidified their defense. Smart, along with rookie Semi Ojeleye, were up to the task of containing the “Greek Freak” in game 5. Smart’s return seemed to spark the entire Celtics team and they played with a different energy in game 5. Boston hopes that have that same energy and momentum in game 6 as they try to close out the series.
Veteran forward Al Horford had a monster game 5 for the Celtics. Horford scored 22 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead Boston. Horford’s play took some of the pressure off of young stars Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Boston’s depth looks to be a key factor heading into game 6.
Milwaukee Falls Flat, Boston Advances
Milwaukee is a tough team at home, but the Celtics almost knocked them off in game 4. The Bucks look like a team that will contend in the future, but they lack the playoff experience to advance this year. Antetokounmpo will be aggressive in game 6, but he just doesn’t have enough help around him.
Boston has yet to prove that they can win a road playoff game, but that won’t last long. The Celtics are too talented and play too hard to have that trend continue. Head coach Brad Stevens has done a marvelous job with his depleted roster this year, and his strategy and adjustments will be enough to get his team through to round 2. Look for Boston to keep the momentum and win game 6 in Milwaukee. Bet the Boston Celtics +5.0 over the Milwaukee Bucks.
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