Thursdays’s Results: 1-2
All Time Results: 76-84-2, -4.5 Units
Boston Celtics +175 over Milwaukee Bucks, Series Price – 2 Units
Boston Celtics -2 vs. Milwaukee Bucks parlayed with Under 219 (+264) – 1 Unit
Milwaukee Bucks +120 @ Boston Celtics parlayed with Over 219 (+320) – .5 Units
My biggest takeaways from the first two games of the series was also my biggest hunch going in. The Bucks play will vary much more than their system does. In other words, they may make shots or miss shots, but their identity is getting them up there – like the 2006 Suns or the 2018 Rockets. Unlike those teams, however, they boast a DPOY of the year candidate that can gazelle straight down the paint like no one we have ever seen.
If the Bucks defense plays well, Giannis will have more opportunities to break and his teammates will have more opportunities to launch, feeding off of his penetration. Milwaukee put together 16 straight stops against the Celtics in the 3rd quarter of Game 2, and the teams still combined for 57 points – an over number. Because the Bucks defense is positively correlated to more points – the Bucks winning percentage is even more correlated to the over. If the Bucks win – they either had an above average road performance on defense or offense – either way, I would expect a higher scoring game.
Conversely, if the Celtics defense performs well – as they did in Game 1 – then Boston will be able to attack the Bucks deliberately, slow the game down and taking away the more athletic Bucks chances in transition. We saw this in Game 1. As the Celtics expanded their lead, the Bucks only scored 40 points in the second half. Kyrie mentioned in the post game conference, his scoring is secondary to his ability to manage the game. If the C’s combine stops on defense with turnover free, quality possessions on offense, I expect a lower scoring Celtics win.
I like the Celtics to win because I believe in Kyrie’s intellect and his playoff experience. He is 14-3 in playoff series for his career. And 14-2 if you don’t count the 2015 Finals, in which he was lost for the series in Game 1. He has been through the battles and performed admirably. Not only is he a champion, he is one of three players to score better than 29 points per 36 minutes in NBA Finals history with a minimum of 3 Finals (Jordan, Shaq).
The Bucks are like a freight train – they’re brakes don’t work so good. I like Kyrie, Stevens, Hoford and the Celtics to have the guile to pull off the upset.