Boston at Milwaukee
Time: 7 PM CT (TNT)
Spread: MIL -5.5
Odds c.o. 5dimes
The Boston Celtics have won two straight games to improve to 37-21 on the season, and it has jumped to No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference— if the playoffs began today, Boston would not have home court advantage in the first round against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Boston still sports as deep and quality a rotation as any team in the East. Jayson Tatum has quietly improved his efficiency in his sophomore season and is averaging 16.3 points per game on 45.1 percent field goals and 37.2 percent three-pointers. The Celtics have seven players averaging eight points per game or better, and it has a solid 10-man rotation that will serve it well in the postseason, even if Brad Stevens tightens up the rotation to 8 or 9 players, as most coaches do.
Franchise player Kyrie Irving still lingers as a potential loss in free agency, as he will have to be re-signed, but he is having an outstanding season.
Irving is averaging 23.8 points, five rebounds, and seven assists per game while posting a team-best PER of 25.46. Tatum, Marcus Morris, Jaylen Brown, Al Horford, and Gordon Hayward all average double-figures, and the C’s still are not really getting from Hayward what it thought it might when it signed him as a free agent. Hayward was a borderline superstar with the Utah Jazz, but he still is trying to regain that form following his broken ankle he suffered in the opener last season.
MIL TEAM NOTES:
The Milwaukee Bucks have won eight of its last 10 to improve to 43-14 on the season. It holds a one game lead over Toronto for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Bucks have a top-2 or 3 to rival any team in the East. Giannis Antetokounmpo is turning in an MVP-caliber season with his 26.6 points, 12.6 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.39 steals and 1.45 blocks per game. His PER leads the Bucks at 29.5. Khris Middleton is quietly having another superb season as the No. 2 scorer. Middleton averages 17.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game.??Eric Bledsoe has fit in well since becoming a Buck.
He joins Middleton in the backcourt as the No. 3 scorer, good for 15.8 points per game. 2017 Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon is steady and consistent. He has averaged 15.7 points and 1.00 blocks/steals per game and is one of the team’s best defenders. The Bucks are the league’s top rebounding team at 49.0 boards per game, and it has the No. 7 defense in the league in allowing 107.4 per game. The Bucks also possess the No. 2 offense, averaging 117.4 points per game. Its positive 10-point differential is best in the East.
ATS TRENDS (C/o Covers):