The Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks battle again on NBA Friday and we have picks and predictions. Both teams squared off on Wednesday where it was the Bucks gripping on for a two-point victory, which added to the recent woes.
We’re expecting plenty of online betting interest for this game, which could be a preview of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Boston Falls Short Of Remarkable Comeback
It won’t go down as a win on the column, but the Boston Celtics should be proud of their comeback effort on Wednesday.
The Celtics were 14 points down with a quarter to go before making a spirited comeback. Daniel Theis missed a wide-open three to win the game on the buzzer, but Boston fans should be proud.
They could have easily got blown out playing on the road against a Bucks team that was red hot. However, the Celtics knuckled down and made a contest of it.
Friday’s game won’t be any easier as it’s being played in Milwaukee again. Boston needs a boost after dropping five of its last six games, including losses to Cleveland and Sacramento.
Bucks Extend Winning Streak To Eight
It’s all guns blazing for the Milwaukee Bucks, which have now won eight on the trot.
The Bucks gripped on to score a 121-119 victory against Boston on Wednesday, extending their home record to 18-5.
They are the current leaders of the Central division and that shouldn’t be in doubt this season. Milwaukee is nine games ahead of Chicago and Indiana, so they are cruising into the NBA playoffs.
One slight cause for concern on Wednesday was Giannis Antetokounmpo. He scored only 13 points on 4-11 shooting and he seemed reluctant to put up the final shot of the game.
We would prefer to see Giannis demand the ball in that spot and we fear he’s scared of making a mistake in the clutch. Whatever the problem was on Wednesday, it’s not a common trend for the superstar.
We called for Khris Middleton to step up before the All-Star break and he hasn’t let us down. He scored 27 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. If he continues in that manner, Middleton will live up to his max contract.
Can Boston Turn Its Season Around?
NBA lines are turning Boston’s odds out with every loss, which isn’t surprising given its recent form. The Celtics are no longer a force in the Eastern Conference, and they’re not imposing fear into their opponents, despite having a talented roster.
The Boston attitude isn’t there with this group, except Marcus Smart. Without Smart, there is nothing Boston about the Celtics, and it hurts.
Boston is good enough to turn its season around, but it will take a team effort. Coach Brad Stevens was hailed as one of the best NBA coaches, so it’s time for him to step up.
The former Butler Bulldogs coach is having to deal with plenty of rumors, especially about Tristan Thompson, as Boston.com reports. The Celtics wound up acquiring Evan Fournier from Orlando and sending Theis to Chicago in a salary cap maneuver.
However, he needs to group his players together and focus on playing efficient basketball. Ignore the off-court distractions and get this team back to its best.
Celtics vs Bucks Game Pick
Boston made some good adjustments on Wednesday but falling behind by double digits isn’t a recipe for success against the Bucks.
There seems to be a lack of unity with this Boston side and we can’t back them with confidence until we see a change.
Milwaukee has plenty going for it at the moment and we don’t see it slowing down. The Bucks are known for going on lengthy winning streaks and they could push it to double digits next week.
Bettors should expect the online sportsbook to have Milwaukee as firm favorites.
Pick: Bucks 123, Celtics 116