NBA: 10* Milwaukee +4 -110 (509)
Take Milwaukee (#509)
The Milwaukee Bucks are the playoff veterans here, not the Boston Celtics. Yes, Boston went to the Eastern Conference Finals last year. Six of Brad Stevens eight rotation players from that playoff run are either gone or hurt – all they've got returning from last year are Al Horford and Terry Rozier. Their top two point guards are both hurt, as well as their best wing defender.
Meanwhile, the Bucks core group won Game 1 on the road at Toronto to open the playoffs last year in a dominant showing, and had a 2-1 series lead before things went South. From all indications, Milwaukee has learned and grown from that experience. And yet, with playoff veterans like Tyler Zeller (who made the run with Boston last year) Eric Bledsoe and even Jason Terry, they're not primed to make the same mistakes this time around, especially considering the fact that they'll have the best player on the floor in Giannis Antetonkounmpo.
These two teams met last week in Milwaukee. The Bucks were ice cold from three point range, hitting only 5-20 from beyond the arc. They still won, because Boston had no answers in the interior, with Joe Prunty's squad hitting 38-59 from two point range – lots of good shots! The Bucks slashers have an edge here, too , against a Celtics team without a legit shot blocking threat in the low post.
The Bucks haven't been consistent, but they have been good! Remember, they won Game 1 in SU fashion as road dogs at Toronto last year. Since the All Star Break, they've won SU as road dogs at Toronto, Philly, San Antonio and Golden State; capable of stepping up in class fairly well. They'll have the best player on the floor and make no mistake about it – this is one HUNGRY squad. Live dogs here! Take the Bucks.