The Milwaukee Bucks host the Boston Celtics Saturday in Recreation 3 of their second-round collection. The defending champions stole home-court benefit by splitting the primary two contests on the street, however the higher-seeded Celtics nonetheless have barely higher odds to make a deep 2022 playoff run.
The Bucks are favored by 2.5 factors in Recreation 3 at FanDuel Sportsbook. The Celtics are the favorites to win the collection with -138 odds. Milwaukee has +116 odds to succeed in the Japanese Convention Finals.
Recreation 3 begins at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC.
Milwaukee stunned Boston with a 101-89 victory within the collection opener. Boston was dominant in a 109-86 Recreation 2 win, main by double digits for the ultimate three quarters. The Celtics bounced again regardless of the absence of Marcus Sensible, who didn’t play due to a quad contusion.
With three days off in between Recreation 2 and Recreation 3, Sensible is more likely to return for Saturday’s contest. The NBA Defensive Participant of the Yr averaged 16.5 factors, 4.0 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 1.3 steals per sport in Boston’s first-round sweep of the Brooklyn Nets.
Irrespective of who’s been on the court docket this collection, Boston’s protection has been excellent. It’s a continuation of what the Celtics did within the first spherical and the common season, throughout which the Celtics allowed a league-low 106.2 factors per 100 possessions.
Giannis Antetokounmpo averaged 26.0 factors on 38.4% capturing in Boston. The reigning NBA Finals MVP shot 57.8% from the sector within the first spherical and 55.3% within the common season.
Antetokounmpo is getting a style of what Kevin Durant acquired in arguably the worst playoff collection of his profession. In 4 straight losses towards the Celtics, Durant shot beneath 40% from the sector.
The Bucks had been capable of steal Recreation 1 due to how Antetokounmpo affected the sport when he wasn’t scoring. Along with his stellar protection, Antetokounmpo added 13 rebounds and 12 assists.
Antetokounmpo’s teammates went 12-32 from three-point vary in Recreation 1. In Recreation 2, they solely made a pair of three-pointers.
It appeared like Boston couldn’t miss from behind the arc in Recreation 2, capturing 20-43. The Celtics have gotten a ton of open seems from three-point vary, even within the Recreation 1 loss. Milwaukee seems content material to let Boston take its possibilities with outdoors photographs, stopping any simple seems on the rim.
That technique has paid dividends for the Bucks this postseason. Milwaukee ranks forward of Boston with an NBA-best 96.8 defensive score within the playoffs. The Celtics’ offense slowed down within the second half of Recreation 2, totaling 44 factors within the third and fourth quarter.
Khris Middleton remains to be out with an MCL tear, giving Boston extra weapons than Milwaukee on offense. Jayson Tatum at all times appears to discover a method to strategy 30 factors. Jaylen Brown might be an vital catalyst in Recreation 3. Brown scored 12 factors on 13 photographs in Recreation 1 earlier than placing up a 17-point first quarter in Recreation 2.
With Sensible again on the court docket, Jrue Vacation has much less of an opportunity to publish large numbers. Antetokounmpo can probably carry the Bucks to a victory, however he can solely achieve this a lot if the Celtics are hitting their open photographs.
Recreation 3 Prediction: Celtics over Bucks, 103-100
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