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NBA Playoffs 2018 - Bucks vs Celtics Preview: It’s Now or Never

Game Seven (and a chance to face the Sixers) awaits

NBA: Playoffs-Boston Celtics at Milwaukee Bucks Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

After winning game six on Thursday night in Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Bucks face the Boston Celtics in Game Seven, which might be their last contest in this year’s NBA Playoffs. The home team has won each game they have hosted, and Milwaukee will hope to be the team that snaps the trend.

Bucks Update

Milwaukee has battled with Boston all series long. With the exception of Game Two, the Bucks have been able to keep the losses close. It could be argued that, if just a few missed shots had gone in, they could have stolen a game in Boston and fulfilled the #BucksIn6 prophecy. Milwaukee’s defense has been one of the bright spots, with an average defensive rating of 104.6, seventh overall in the playoffs and fourth in the Eastern Conference.

Player to Watch: Eric Bledsoe

I don’t think we need to state the obvious. Bledsoe has not been good this whole series. Between indifference on defense, bad passing, and generally not making smart plays, Bledsoe needs to be better. The fact Milwaukee is still in this series in spite of him speaks more of how great Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton have played. If the Bucks want to steal this game, Bledsoe needs to play like the player we saw in the last two months of the season, not the player we’ve seen in the last two weeks.

Celtics Update

Boston has notably been hit with injuries going into the series, but that hasn’t stopped them yet. Coming of age performances from Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Terry Rozier have gotten the Celtics big wins this series, with Brown in particular being the biggest threat on the team. Boston got a boost with Marcus Smart returning and brining Semi Ojeleye into the starting lineup helped Boston win Game Five.

Player to Watch: Jaylen Brown

Brown has been the Celtics best player this series. The second year player out of Cal has taken the offensive burden and has kept the Celtics in most games. He is averaging 20.5 points per game, shooting 40.5% from three and has a team leading 110.6 offensive rating. He has been hitting tough shots this series, and has eclipsed 30 points twice. If the Celtics get him going, he can be a difference maker.