Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks - 4/17/18 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction


So now a Celtics roster loaded with youth, including potential stars-in-the-making like second-year guard Jaylen Brown and rookie forward Jayson Tatum, will look to Big Al for both leadership and production.

The 6-foot-11 positionless 23-year-old averaged almost 26.9 points, 10 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game this season, and is considered a top-five MVP candidate.

The Celtics have, for a long time, loomed as the number two seed in the east, but who they would meet in Round 1 of the Playoffs wasn't clear until the final day of the regular season.

The Milwaukee Bucks have another chance to steal home court advantage before going home for game three. During that stretch, six different Celtics registered points. During the regular season, this doesn't cause him too many problems, as he can get into the paint at will - he was the leading paint scorer in the National Basketball Association this season at 15.7 points per game.

After a tremendous end to the first, the Celtics quickly went quiet on offense and melted down on defense, watching their lead quickly evaporate. The Celtics were 24-14 ATS against teams above.500. As for the Bucks, they finished with a record of 44-38.

It's hard to figure out this Bucks team.

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Along the way the Celtics survived a 20 percent second quarter, which was dominated by a 26-4 Bucks run. Brown 21, and Tatum 20, are extremely young, but both are having phenomenal seasons. The Greek Freak has scored at least 28 points in every game against Boston in 2017/18 to average 33.5 points on 53.9% shooting. That game gives us the best sense of what the playoff series will hold, as it featured most of the players the two teams will have available. With a three-point lead, Boston could have simply wrapped Middleton up the second the ball came into the court and forced him to shoot a pair of free throws. But then Middleton responded after a timeout with an insane 35-footer off the inbound to force overtime.

No. 2 Boston Celtics (55-27) vs.

Like the rest of the contest, neither side could create much separation.

The Boston Celtics will take on the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round for the right to face the Philadelphia 76ers or the Miami Heat in round two.

Boston defended well in overtime and deservedly took a 1-0 lead in the series. Tip from TD Garden is set for 8 p.m. ET.