Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics: Predictions, Starting Lineups (11/22/23)

The Milwaukee Bucks (10-4) meet the Boston Celtics (11-3) this Wednesday (11/22/23). Get Bucks vs. Celtics moneyline and spread odds, as well as predictions, starting lineups, injuries, and key matchups below.

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics Prediction

The Celtics are outscoring opponents by 20.9 points per 100 possessions in the first quarter, which leads the NBA. In addition, the Holiday-White-Brown-Tatum-Porzingis lineup is outscoring opponents by 28.4 points per 100 possessions across 176 minutes (not a small sample size). Only the Denver Nuggets can challenge them for the title of best first quarter team.

Damian Lillard faces a steep uphill climb in this matchup. Despite defending a whopping 15.8 field goal attempts per game (19th in NBA), Jrue Holiday is holding opponents to a paltry 39.8 field goal percentage. Few guards can hound ball handlers like Holiday, so Lillard will find it extremely difficult to consistently create a sliver of space. Boston also possesses Derrick White, who isn’t on Holiday’s level but remains an elite point-of-attack defender. With those two on the court, Boston can severely hinder Lillard’s impact.

Meanwhile, of the 39 players that have contested at least 75 field goal attempts within six feet of the basket, Kristaps Porzingis is holding opponents to the lowest field goal percentage in this area (46.6%). He’s a devastating rim protector that can help slow down Giannis Antetokounmpo’s drives. Factor in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown being able to switch across numerous positions, and Boston has the tools to pester Milwaukee’s productive offense.

On the other end, Milwaukee’s defense is a complete mess. The Bucks rank 23rd in Defensive Rating because their guards are liabilities that cannot stay in front of drivers or navigate ball screens. Boston loves to hunt mismatches; they are 4th in isolation frequency and 8th in isolation points per possession. Lillard and Malik Beasley will struggle mightily to hold their own here, and they won’t have Brook Lopez behind them protecting the paint due to Porzingis’ three-point threat.

Overall, Boston’s starting lineup should propel them to a first quarter win.

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics Prediction: Celtics 1st Quarter Moneyline

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Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics Best Odds

The Boston Celtics enter this contest as 4.5 point favorites, which is steep considering the opponent rosters Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard. Milwaukee must win this matchup roughly 37 percent of the time for their +170 moneyline to be profitable in the long run. Otherwise, the bet holds a negative expected value.

Milwaukee Bucks Starting Lineup

PG: Damian Lillard
SG: Malik Beasley
SF: Khris Middleton
PF: Giannis Antetokounmpo
C: Brook Lopez

Boston Celtics Starting Lineup

PG: Jrue Holiday
SG: Derrick White
SF: Jaylen Brown
PF: Jayson Tatum
C: Kristaps Porzingis

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics Injuries

Jae Crowder is out for Milwaukee, while Damian Lillard, MarJon Beauchamp, and Chris Livingston are probable. Jayson Tatum, on the other hand, is questionable with an illness.

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics Key Matchups

Kristaps Porzingis 3PT Shooting

The off-season acquisition is currently shooting 33.3 percent from deep on roughly five attempts per game. He started the season scorching hot, but he’s made only one of his last fourteen attempts. When Porzingis is firing on all cylinders, then Boston’s pick-and-pop offense becomes virtually unstoppable because centers cannot step up to meet his length. If he catches fire, then this Bucks defense is in serious trouble.

Braxton has been covering the NBA for Lineups since the 2022 season. He's worked with multiple collegiate coaching staffs regarding analytics and scouting, which has allowed him to understand the game on a deeper level. Braxton is also a contributor at Thunderous Intentions.

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