On the precipice of an Eastern Conference Finals trip following their bludgeoning of Boston, the Milwaukee Bucks have a chance to close out the Celtics and send their pouty players home for the Summer.
You think Giannis Antetokounmpo is interested in messing around this postseason? In what could’ve been a game seen as just extra cushion given they already reclaimed home court, Giannis instead opted to stick his freakish foot right on the Celtics’ throats. Going for 39 points, 16 boards and four assists, the presumptive MVP was everywhere in game four, despite only playing 34 minutes. Milwaukee shook off a 4-19 shooting performance from Khris Middleton too, with George Hill (16 points) providing another steady scoring presence in the decisive third quarter. That period has continued to be the pendulum in this series, with Milwaukee taking an insurmountable advantage during each of their victories. We’ll find out whether that trend continues in game five.
For what it’s worth, D.J. Wilson is also questionable with a left ankle sprain.
UPDATE: Brogdon back!
Malcolm Brogdon is expected to play tonight against Boston as confirmed by Mike Budenholzer.— Kane Pitman (@mkebucksaus) May 8, 2019
Player to Watch: Giannis Antetokounmpo
I know picking Giannis is basically cheating, but the chance for his first career close out playoff win at home feels worthy of bending the rules. He’s looked more and more like Basketball Neo as the series has gone on, seeing the floor at a level well above the competition. More importantly, Milwaukee fans are hoping this is the culmination of years of franchise faith paying off. I remember being in the stadium for Giannis’s first breakout playoff moment in 2015, game three against Chicago. The Bradley Center was rocking as he made a second quarter run and I entirely lost my voice watching the play at 1:40 below live. We are blessed that this now feels like commonplace:
Yikes. Kyrie is beyond caring. The Celtics defensive effort seems broken. Their offensive spirit looks shattered. Whatever galvanizing effect game one may have had on this Celtics team is well in the rearview mirror already. They shot quite poorly in game four, just 37.8% and 22% from deep, but the Bucks weren’t all that much better overall (44%). Too often, Boston seemed content to pull up for difficult jumpers rather than shifting the ball around for a prime look. When they did get shots at open threes, they bricked them. Credit to the Bucks defense though, which has been on an absolute string with their rotations out to shooters, often snuffing out looks or contesting shots well. Brad Stevens seems like he’ll have to pull some unimaginable trick out of his hat for this team to keep extending the series.
Player to Watch: Marcus Smart
Smart came back in game four, and while his energy clearly gave some juice to the crowd, he looked rusty on the court. He went just 1-7 from the field (all 3-point attempts) and didn’t appear to understand his flow within the Celtics sputtering offense. He got trapped and turned it over several times. Plus, his defensive menace seemed muted, as the Bucks skimmed their turnover count down to eight. If the Celtics are going to have any life in this series, they need Smart to channel some of his frenetic energy into positive plays.
Game 5: Against the Celtics, the Bucks will...
This poll is closed
Win big (by 10 or more points)
Win close (by 9 or fewer points)
Lose close (by 9 or fewer points)
Lose big (by 10 or more points)