While the Milwaukee Bucks that hit the Fiserv Forum hardwood this evening will be basically the same cast we saw Wednesday, the Boston Celtics are a different team! The C’s made some notable personnel moves at the trade deadline after Milwaukee beat them 121-119 two days ago, dropping them two games under .500.
Where We’re At
The Bucks staved off a Boston comeback attempt Wednesday by getting some key defensive stops in the closing minute, though the game still came down to the final possession. Perhaps still feeling the effects of a sprained left knee, Giannis Antetokounmpo was subdued and didn’t display much of his typical aggressiveness to the rim, but Khris Middleton’s came up big with an efficient 27-point outing, while Donte DiVincenzo, Brook Lopez, and Bobby Portis picked up the rest of the slack. After a depleted Brooklyn team lost to Utah two nights ago, the Bucks are now second place in the East.
After Daniel Theis missed a wide-open, game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer on Wednesday evening, Boston promptly shipped him to Chicago as punishment (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it) alongside little-used second-year guard Javonte Green. They received his countryman Moritz Wagner from Washington and Bulls center Luke Kornet in the same deal, basically done only to get them under the tax line. Boston’s big move was committing part of their huge trade exception towards acquiring the Magic’s Evan Fournier. This cost them veteran point guard Jeff Teague (who is being waived, cc: Jon Horst) and two second-round picks. Fournier is not yet with the team, but the other two new Celtics may be in uniform tonight, and since Tristan Thompson is not traveling with the team due to health and safety protocols, third-year big man Robert Williams should get his first start of the year.
Bryn Forbes has been upgraded to probable for this one, while P.J. Tucker is doubtful with a left calf strain and Rodions Kurucs is still out with an abdominal strain. Romeo Langford remains in the health and safety protocols with Thompson for Boston, while Semi Ojeleye will miss tonight after exiting Wednesday’s game with a hip contusion.
Player To Watch
Jrue Holiday has come up huge for the Bucks lately, but Marcus Smart and company held him to just 13 points on 16 shots the other night while Kemba Walker wreaked havoc on the other end in the second half. A bit of an off night for the week 12 Bucks MVP, but he seems like a player who’s too... well, good at basketball to be bested like that in consecutive games. Holiday was stymied at the rim multiple times Wednesday evening, but with a depleted Celtics frontcourt he may have more luck, and perhaps he’ll look for the roll man more often after he had just 3 assists last time out.
Game 44: Against Boston, 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)