The Milwaukee Bucks left to continue a successful road trip and Boston against the reeling Celtics. Can Boston grab some momentum this season with a big win over the defending NBA champions? After looking at the NBA odds, which team is the right NBA pick?
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics
Monday, December 13, 2021- 7:30 PM EST at TD Garden
The Bucks will be looking to close out this road trip 3-1 in Boston. The Bucks started the road trip with a loss in Miami. Since then, they reeled off victories in Houston and New York. After their Sunday afternoon matinee against the Knicks, the Bucks will try to avoid fatigue as they take on a Celtics team desperate for a high-profile win.
When the Bucks have been at full health, they have been absolutely fantastic this year. The trio of Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton, and Giannis Antetokounmpo has been nothing short of spectacular for this team.
The Bucks are one of the best rebounding teams in the league, which contributes to their high level of defense. As everyone knows, a defensive possession is not a stop until the rebound is grabbed.
There was a concern for the Bucks after the loss of Brook Lopez this season. But Bobby Portis has performed admirably in his absence. Also, the Bucks recently signed DeMarcus Cousins to have some extra size since they will be without their big man. Cousins is not the defensive presence or the shooter that Lopez is, but at least he gives them a big body to eat up some minutes during the regular season.
The Bucks' best lineup is with Giannis at the 5 but they do not want to use that too often if it is very taxing on his body. Cousins provides a good way for the Bucks to eat up regular-season minutes without putting too much wear and tear on the starting five.
The Boston Celtics once again have turmoil and drama surrounding the team. A new report came out calling the players selfish and immature. In the report, players were criticized for still being more concerned about their own stats rather than getting a team victory. Watching the Celtics on the floor, this report does not seem far-fetched.
Teammates have already criticized team leaders Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown for looking for their own shot too much and not looking to get teammates involved. The Celtics are definitely playing the more traditional brand of isolation and pick-and-roll basketball rather than the motion offense that previous coach Brad.
Stevens had installed. The questions for the Celtics and their fans remain... Are the problems with the team the style they are playing? Or are the players simply not good enough? Jayson Tatum is the leader of this team but it is well known that he and fellow star Jaylen Brown do not particularly get along.
While this formula has worked in the past (see Shaq and Kobe), it is rough long-term when the team's two top players do not really like each other. To make matters worse, they both play the same style of game and sometimes their presence can be superfluous with each other on the floor at the same time.
Rather than running a cohesive team-based offense, it often seems like they are playing "my turn your turn" while the rest of the team stands and looks on. New Celtics coach Ime Udoka has a tough task ahead of him.
The Celtics have championship aspirations, but one must wonder, do they really have a championship roster? When compared to other Eastern Conference elite teams, the Celtics do not have a star that is better, nor do they possess the depth. One must wonder how much the inflated expectations are taking a toll on his team.
Khris Middleton vs. Jayson Tatum
Both Middleton and Tatum play an older style of basketball, where they are very proficient from the mid-range working in isolation for high-percentage jump shots. Both are also excellent defenders so they will be presented with a tough task and trying to check each other.
If Middleton is able to get the best of Tatum, this will allow Giannis and Holiday to have free reign dominating the rest of the team. If Tatum has a big night, he can single-handedly keep the Celtics in the game against the defending champs. Whoever gets the better of this matchup will give their team a great chance for victory.
For my best bets, I like the Bucks to get it done here and take advantage of a Celtics team that is less talented and has less cohesiveness. Milwaukee is on a roll and I expect them to continue. While the Celtics might get it together later in the season, against the best teams right now they are a fade. Take the better team. Take the Bucks.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.