The Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks face off in a Friday night meeting and Boston. In a battle of Eastern Conference contenders, which team is the right NBA pick?
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics
Friday, November 12, 2021 – 07:30 PM EST at TD Garden
The Milwaukee Bucks have had a tough start to the season with various key roster members missing time. Khris Middleton is out with Covid. Jrue Holiday has been in and out of the lineup with an ankle injury. Brook Lopez has missed the last few games with an ailing back and will be a game-time decision for tonight's game.
Through it all, the Bucks have become heavily reliant on the greatness of Giannis Antetokounmpo. He has helped steady the ship and keep them in striking range of a top playoff seed at a record of 6-6. Giannis leads the team in all categories averaging 26 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 6 assists per game.
The team will be eager to get Lopez and Middleton back in the lineup and become a more balanced attack that led them to the championship last season.
The Bucks' most recent outing was a 112-100 victory over the New York Knicks. Pat Connaughton led the team with 23 points. Connaughton's contribution was a great help to a Bucks team that is desperate for players to support Giannis’ efforts. Connaughton's high-scoring output and clutch shot-making led to an impressive victory over a tough New York Knicks team.
The Boston Celtics are going through a period of transition after former head coach Brad Stevens took a position in the front office and handed over the coaching reins to Ime Uboka. The transition has not been the smoothest.
Uboka is still learning on the job. He does not yet have the polish as a head coach that Brad Stevens did. Still, in the long run, I think the change of voice is good for the team.
Uboka has a wealth of basketball knowledge and communicates with his players well. As the season continues, I expect his level of coaching and the team’s play to continually improve.
The Celtics are currently missing Jaylen Brown who will be out one to two weeks with a strained hamstring. Jayson Tatum will absorb a majority of the usage as well as Dennis Schroder, who has picked up his scoring output in Brown's absence. Schroder is averaging 14.5 points per game and a team-leading 5.8 assists per game.
The development of Robert Williams has pleased Celtics fans as well. Williams’ quickness and shot-blocking ability have made him a force down low for the Celtics by giving them some much-needed rim protection. Al Horford has returned and sometimes plays side-by-side with Williams, giving the Celtics a long frontcourt with the quickness to be able to handle defensive switches on the guards.
The Celtics (5-6) are off to a slow start, but you can see all the pieces coming together. This team has serious potential to be a true contender in the East.
Jrue Holiday vs. Dennis Schroder. Antetokounmpo and Tatum are the leaders of their respective teams. We can count on them for solid production night in and night out. Schroder and Holiday however are wild cards. On some nights they can be scoring machines, but on other nights they can shoot their team right out of the game with multiple misses.
Both players play excellent defense and they will be tasked with stopping each other from starting their team's offense.
If Schroder has a big night, he could provide the perfect complement to Jayson Tatum and help get the Celtics over the hump against the Bucks.
If Holiday is able to shut down Schroder and the rest of the Boston offense, as well as contribute on the offensive end, the Bucks will be in a great position to get the victory.
The Bucks are playing better. They are on a two-game win streak after losing five of their previous six. The team is learning to win without Middleton. I think they are poised to go on a nice little win streak and move back to the top of the Eastern Conference standings.
The Celtics are still a work in process progress under their new coach. While I do believe they are going to be an excellent team this season I don't think they are as far along as Milwaukee in terms of coming together as a team. Today's best bet will be the Milwaukee Bucks' NBA odds at one of BMR's best sportsbooks.
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