It will be a rematch of the 2019 Eastern Conference Semifinals as the Bucks travel to TD Garden to take on the Boston Celtics Wednesday night. Milwaukee is coming off a 129-112 victory over Cleveland on Monday, while Boston has won two in a row, most recently a 118-95 romp over the Knicks on Saturday. Khris Middleton scored 21 points in the win over the Cavaliers, while Giannis was held to 14 points on 5/15 shooting. Kemba Walker scored 32 points in Boston’s win over New York.
The Celtics have a bit of a different look from last season, as they’ve replaced Kyrie Irving with Kemba Walker at point guard and signed Enes Kanter to replace Al Horford. Horford had a knack for playing Giannis tough, so this should open up more scoring opportunities for Antetokounmpo. Boston still has its heralded young core around in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, who they refused to deal for Anthony Davis. Gordon Hayward is another scoring threat for Boston, averaging 16.3 PPG in the first 3 contests. Walker is going to command a lot of defensive attention from Milwaukee, and I’d expect tighter defense on the perimeter as Boston has decent shooters all around.
Milwaukee is trying to break out of a bit of a rut to begin the season even though they have started 2-1. The defense has been subpar so far, fouling way too often and overall playing sloppy basketball. The offense looks like it is beginning to click as Milwaukee has scored at least 117 points in all 3 games so far.
MIL: Bledsoe, Matthews, Middleton, G. Antetokounmpo, B. Lopez
BOS: Walker, Smart/Edwards, Hayward, Tatum, Williams
Injuries: Jaylen Brown (illness) and Enes Kanter (knee) will both be unavailable for the Celtics.
The spread: MIL -3.5
Time and TV: 6:30 PM CT on ESPN
Prediction: The fact that Boston will be missing Jaylen Brown changes the outcome a bit. The Celtics offense will be a bit weaker and I expect the Bucks to dominate in the paint in this one. Could be a close game but the Bucks should be able to pull it out. Bucks 109, Celtics 102