Arguably the best round 2 matchup is going into game 5 tied 2-2. The Boston Celtics, thanks to a clutch 4th quarter by veteran forward Al Horford, took game 4 in Milwaukee with a 116-108 final score. Can Giannis and Milwaukee answer back with a game 5 win in Boston?
Something that not many people are talking about it she 4th quarter struggles for the Milwaukee Bucks. In game 3 the Bucks came dangerously close to blowing a huge lead, being outscored 34-23 in the 4th, in fact they were 0.1 seconds away from being sent to overtime to a Horford tip in. Looking at game 4, Milwaukee were up 7 heading into the final quarter, before being outscored 43-28 in the 4th to ultimately lose by 8.
In the Bucks two wins thus far in the series, the team has crashed the glass, averaging 53.5 rebounds and 10.5 offensive rebounds. In the team's two losses, they averaged 42.5 rebounds per game and 10 offensive rebounds. Giannis has proven he is by far the best player in the league, and has played pretty well in all 4 games despite the Bucks going 2-2. The biggest storyline for the Bucks is the absence of scoring forward Khris Middleton, with him missing it is evident that the Bucks have a lack of “guys who can create for themselves’.
The Celtics have been all about defence this season, well since January. the Celtics shot just 35% from the field overall and 33% from 3pt range. In the team's two wins, the Celtics are shooting 49% from the field overall and 43% from 3pt range. Horford's ability to stretch the floor has proven to be crucial thus far in the series. The Celtics will need more of that in game 5, and although that may be a lot to ask, they are at home so you can expect the ‘role guys’ to step up and shoot better from deep.
The 4th Quarter slumps by the Bucks is in-part due to their defensive scheme against the Giannis. In game 4 we saw the Celtics switch up their scheme, playing less on the ball defence and seemingly built a wall around the paint to force him away from the basket. Exepect Boston to switch things up on Giannis constantly with Grant Williams continuing to do a good job on slowing him down.
I expect the Celtics to play their most complete game of the series at the most important time. Giannis will get his numbers, there is no doubt of that but the supporting cast will struggle against Boston's defense, particularly on the road. You can also expect the Celtics supporting cast to hit better from deep on their home floor.
The line in this game seems pretty accurate, but the Giannis factor scares me. I am buying down from 5.5 to 2.5.
FREE PICK: Boston Celtics -2.5 [Buy 3 Points Down]