Milwaukee Bucks vs Boston Celtics 5/3/22: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Live Stream

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics Matchup Preview (5/3/22)

The Milwaukee Bucks (1-0) will look to make it back-to-back wins against the Boston Celtics (0-1) in Game 2 of the Second Round. The Bucks stole Game 1 101-89 and now have home-court advantage for the remainder of the series. Milwaukee scored 21 more points off of turnovers and were +7.8% in FG% compared to the Celtics. Giannis Antetokounmpo produced 24 points, 13 rebounds, and 12 assists, but he shot 9/25 (36%) from the field. It felt like Giannis could play much better despite recording a triple-double and the Bucks winning. Jrue Holiday had 25 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals on a 40 FG% and 3/5 from deep. Bobby Portis started in place of the injured Khris Middleton and added a double-double (15 points, 11 rebounds). Although he only had 6 points, Brook Lopez provided key rim protection while grabbing 10 rebounds. If Milwaukee can win Game 2, the outlook for the Celtics looks grim. 

The Celtics own the best Offensive Rating since February 1st (120.8), yet they only managed 89 points in Game 1 on a 33/36/75 shooting split. Boston actually had decent looks all game; they just struggled to convert on good opportunities. 

Jayson Tatum had 21 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists, but he shot a 33.3 FG%. Jaylen Brown contributed 12 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, and 7 turnovers on 4/13 shooting. He actually played worse than that stat line indicates even though it’s a poor line. Al Horford added 12 points and 10 rebounds on 4/9 from three. Marcus Smart had 10 points and 6 assists, but he injured his shoulder and quad during the contest. He is out for Game 2 because of the injuries he sustained. Boston can turn to Payton Pritchard or Derrick White as their starting point guard – White is the more likely choice. 

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics Betting Odds

The spread for Game 2 is -4.5 Celtics, which was the same line for Game 1. I am going with the Bucks to win Game 2 for a variety of reasons. Marcus Smart’s injury is a critical loss for Boston. The Celtics rely on his perimeter defense, ball handling, and playmaking. Without him, the guard rotation looks thin, especially with the way Derrick White has been performing this postseason. Jaylen Brown is also dealing with hamstring tightness, which could flare up at any moment. The Bucks, meanwhile, have the best player in the world who imposes his will on both sides of the ball. The scary thing for Boston is that Giannis recorded a triple-double and dominated despite not playing well. 

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TV Schedule

Date: 5/3/22
Time: 7:00 PM ET
Arena: TD Garden – Boston, MA
Channel: TNT

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Milwaukee Bucks Starting Lineup

PG: Jrue Holiday
SG: Wesley Matthews
SF: Giannis Antetokounmpo
PF: Bobby Portis
C: Brook Lopez

Milwaukee Bucks Analysis

Even though Giannis was missing shots he usually hits, his drives were crippling the Celtics defense all game. Boston was forced to send help inside because Giannis with a running start cannot be stopped by a single defender. The Bucks don’t use him out of the post for this reason; they have him set the pick at the top of the key because he will have space to pick up speed when he gets passed the ball. His court vision and passing out of the double-team has improved drastically the past couple of seasons, and it completely elevates the offense. Milwaukee trots out four shooters next to Giannis who can all hit three-pointers consistently. He racked up 12 assists in Game 1 because he was able to find the open man for a clean catch and shoot opportunity. Milwaukee actually leads the playoffs in catch and shoot PPG; they own a 41.8% on catch and shoot threes. Regardless of whether Giannis shoots well or not, he is always going to have a large amount of gravity that draws the defense and gives his teammates better shots. Stephen Curry does the same for the Warriors, but he pulls players to the perimeter, not the interior like Giannis. 

Jrue Holiday was crucial in Game 1 on both ends of the court. He poured in 25 points while scoring from a variety of areas. His defense, though, was arguably more important than his offense. Jrue’s a physical, strong guard who can withstand contact and recover quickly off of screens. He constantly flashed towards Tatum and played tremendous on-ball and help defense. With Smart hobbled, the Bucks may experiment with placing Jrue on Jaylen Brown for the entire game. Brown is their second best scorer who can exploit the Bucks defense by consistently hitting his threes. If Jrue can clamp Brown, the Celtics offense will lean even more on Tatum as an isolation scorer, which has never worked.

Boston Celtics Starting Lineup

PG: Derrick White
SG: Jaylen Brown
SF: Jayson Tatum
PF: Al Horford
C: Robert Williams III

Boston Celtics Analysis

Although they lost by 12 points in Game 1, there were encouraging signs that the Celtics can build off of. Robert Williams looked healthy and had a bounce in his step. He held Giannis to 0/5 shooting and the entire Bucks team to 0/11 shooting. In 22 minutes, he recorded 3 blocks and 1 steal. Horford will be the primary defender on Giannis, but Williams can be an elite help defender who cleans up any mistakes. Speaking of Horford, he played well defensively and made 4 of his 9 attempts from three. Boston was -4 in Horford’s 36 minutes, so the game was close with him on the court. Tatum and Horford combined to shoot 8/18 (44.4%) from three, which is a great mark. 

The negatives were obvious to see though. Jaylen Brown was a turnover machine who struggled mightily on the offensive end. It’s unclear whether his hamstring tightness was bothering him, but Brown needs to right the ship in Game 2. And although Tatum shot well from three, he took some tough contested shots that have haunted his game since his rookie year. Tatum needs to stop isolating so much and get the ball moving. He should take the majority of the Celtics shots, but a little more discipline would elevate the offense. Brown and Tatum need to play better, but it’s likely they bounce back and deliver. The bench, though, looks like a serious problem for Boston. Pritchard was -17 in 11 minutes, White was -8 in 16 minutes, and Grant Williams was -15 in 28 minutes. Pritchard went 2 of 8 from three, and many of those were off the dribble with a defender in his face. He cannot repeat that since he doesn’t have the shooting skill to make those consistently. White was sloppy handling the basketball and missed routine shots. Grant Williams was decent, and I think his bad plus minus was tied to him playing with the bench guards. Overall, the bench needs a serious uplift immediately. Carter, Allen, and Connaughton were killing them all game, and Boston cannot afford to badly lose the bench minutes.

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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