The Celtics will welcome the Bucks for the playoffs opening game at Boston Garden.
With no Irving and no Hayward, with Marcus Smart on a disabled list and with lots of Bostonian determination and the playoff character - Brad Stevens led Celtics are still the favorites to win the series against the Freak and the Bucks.
Bradi Stevens stated that the only way to beat the Bucks will be thru guarding Giannis Antetokounmpo with team effort. Although Horford will; be in charge of defending the Greek Freak - team effort will be needed to stop him and prevent from the others to use the situation for easy baskets.
In Brad Stevens' own words describing the threat called Giannis Antetokounmpo : "Their floor is open in transition when he is at the four, the five, when he used to play the three, when he's played the one. He's a monster in transition. When I look at their team, they don't have a guy at each position that's not a good transition player. Snell makes shots in transition, Middleton makes shots in transition, Parker and Giannis coming downhill, Bledsoe coming downhill."
The meaning is that the Celtics will have to sweat and stop the Bucks transition.
Jayson Tatum is due to show some postseason skills as he will be much more active with Irving out of rotation.
This first game will be very interesting to watch and see if the well coached Celtics can handle a team with some great players that are not welded the way the Celtics are..
The line situation is as follows - opened up at the Celtics -3, dropped to -2 due to obvious reasons of missing players and immediately went up to -4 despite massive public and sharp money support for the Bucks.
I do not count the Bucks and the Freak out. No. But, the intensity of the game brought by the Celtics against the Bucks at home and with the early knowledge of the players that won't be available - Brad Stevens added to the equation - I do not see the Celtics not winning and covering one of the first two games. The first one is the most important for the Celtics because losing this one will put them to the wall.
These are first round games so I do not really see any reason to commit ourselves with too many units while we have the conviction but lack the proof as of yet that our conviction holds the water. Therefore - I will only issue a two uniter here.