Milwaukee ground out a 104-93 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night and tonight they turn their focus towards the Boston Celtics. This will be the second time these teams face off in the fledgling season with the Bucks taking the first meeting 108-100 in Boston. Tonight’s contest has been hyped since June when the announcement was first made that the Bucks will return to play a game at the MECCA (now UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena) for the first time since 1988.
Malcolm Brogdon returns to the starting lineup after missing Monday night’s action with a sprained left ankle. The Prez’s presence will be welcomed back with open arms as the Milwaukee offense looks to bounce back from a sloppy game against Charlotte. Giannis Antetokounmpo looks to keep his incredible start to the season going. Eight days ago, he handed in a 37 point 13 rebound performance against these same Celtics. The Bucks are off to their best start since the 2012-13 season where they also took three of their first four games.
Player to Watch: Khris Middleton
Khash has gotten off to another slow start to a season, but if the end of the Charlotte game is any indication, he is primed to snap out of his funk. A clutch block and game sealing three pointer late in the fourth quarter assured the Bucks their first winning streak of the 2017-18 season.
Middleton has converted only two of his 16 three-point attempts so far. Shooters slump and the best way to get out of the slump is to keep shooting. Middleton sunk his other three-point field goal on the season last time out against the Celtics, so there is some good mojo there.
The Celtics are also in the midst of a two game winning streak and have no intention of seeing that streak evaporate. On Tuesday night, Boston thrashed the New York Knicks, 110-89, with Jaylen Brown leading the scoring with 23 points. Kyrie Irving and rookie Jayson Tatum netted 20 and 22 points in the contest respectively. After an 0-2 start, the Celtics appear to be finding their groove and look to re-establish last year’s Eastern Conference pecking order.
Player to Watch: Kyrie Irving
The All-Star guard has slotted in nicely with the Celtics and has the role he wants, the go-to guy. He has scored 20+ points in three of the first four games with that one sub-20 point performance coming from last week’s meeting with Milwaukee. How Irving attacks a recovering Brogdon will be something to keep an eye on. The aforementioned Brown and Tatum are starting to come into their own, but the Celtics offense goes through Kyrie.
What Vegas Says
Bovada Sportsbook has the Bucks listed as four point favorites and the over/under is set at 206. The total points from the previous meeting added up to 208, so it will be interesting to see if the foreign sight lines and atmosphere of the MECCA will play a part in the total scoring.