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Celtics – Bucks

Jaylen Brown Giannis poster

The Boston Celtics will host the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday Night in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

The Celtics (4th seed) had a worse regular season than people expected – paradoxically, mainly because they had too much talent to add to a roster which was a game away from reaching the NBA finals last year. It took some time for the Celtics to figure out their minutes and their rotations, but now they seem at their best. The hosts won their first 5 games in these playoffs, sweeping Indiana and blowing out the Bucks in Game 1 in Milwaukee, before the Bucks took revenge in Game 2 with a blowout of their own.

The Bucks (1st seed) faced a must win game a couple of nights ago in Game 2, and they delivered. Like Boston, they won 5 out of 6 matches in these playoffs, so they will feel they are in a good position going forward. However, they did lose home court advantage after losing Game 1 at home, and clearly this series will be far from a walk in the park despite the Bucks being the better team in the regular season.

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Team news: The Celtics will continue to be without Marcus Smart, while the Bucks will continue to miss Malcolm Brogdon, Pau Gasol and Donte DiVincenzo.

The Celtics will be satisfied coming back home with the series tied at 1-1, and they have reasons to be optimistic for the rest of this series.

The Celtics managed to limit the Greek Freak Giannis in both games in this series, as the MVP favorite is shooting just 39% from the field and averaging only 25.5 points. If the Bucks don`t find a way to get Giannis going, they will not win this series. They absolutely need their best player to dominate, and so far the Celtics defense has been all over him. That`s a big reason for concern for the Bucks.

Another problem for the Bucks tonight is that Brodgon is still not ready to return. Brogdon might already be their second most important player, or, if not, at least the third. His defense, playmaking and shooting are key qualities which the Bucks miss a lot, and his absence is a big weakness against a top side like the Celtics.

The Celtics have pretty much been able to match or outplay the Bucks for most of the first two games, except for a disastrous third quarter in Game 2. They have neutralized Giannis so far, and benefit from Brogdon`s absence for the Bucks.

With the above in mind, the Celtics should be able to win Game 3 at home. Winning in Boston is an extremely difficult task in the playoffs (the Celtics won 12 of their last 13 home playoff games), and the Bucks are still young and inexperienced at this level – so they might find it hard to win the first game played at the Garden in this series. They might need a game under their belt in Boston and Brogdon back if they are to win here.

My tip will be the Celtics to win. Prediction: Boston Celtics – Milwaukee Bucks 108 – 101.

Pick: Celtics
Odds: 1.81 @ 1xBet
Stake: 8
Possible profit: 6.48
Event date: 4 May

Image: AP Photo / Morry Gash

About Rostick

Former bookie & water polo player. Rugby Union expert. - EDITOR INFO & STATS
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