Celtics rest & recovery - The Greek Freak - points in the paint - & Semi Ojeleye
This isn't written in stone yet, but it looks like the Milwaukee Bucks will be the Celtics' opponent in the Conference Semi-Finals. After accomplishing a 4-game sweep of the Indiana Pacers, the guys in green should get some rest-and-recovery time prior to the next battle - and they may need that.
Since this question is filling my timeline...while there won't be an official announcement until at least Tuesday, there's no way a Boston-Milwaukee series would start until next weekend, almost definitely Sunday.
Network time slots and building availability run the show.
Milwaukee ended up with the best record in the League for the regular season (60-22). They went 40-12 in their Division and had a 2-1 record versus the Celtics. Both the Bucks and Celtics have six players scoring in double figures in Round One. Milwaukee's top two are Giannis Antetokounmpo (21.3 PPG) and Kris Middleton (20.3 PPG). The Celts are headed by Kyrie Irving (21.5 PPG) and Jayson Tatum (19.3 PPG).
Here comes the questionable part. In the 3-game, Celtics/Bucks regular season series, Milwaukee outscored Boston 110.3 to 107.0. It gets worse. The Celts shot 40% on field goals while the Bucks shot 47%. Here's the clincher. Boston averaged only 34.0 points in the paint, but Milwukee averaged almost 50 points (49.3).
Much of this comes down to The Greek Freak. He averaged 31.0 points and 10.7 rebounds per game for the 3-game, regular season matchup. He lacks a shot from any distance and loves the paint. He drives there and lives there. But Giannis doesn't do it all alone. Eric Bledsoe is averaging 20.3 PPG, 4.3 RPG and 5.3 APG. Kris Middleton is averaging 19.3 PPG, 6.0 RPOG and 5.3 APG. They can be dangerous. And Guard Malcolm Brogdon is due back from a foot issue.
Yes - so a week's rest and recovery for the guys in green may be a good thing. Milwaukee with be a tough opponent. Slowing down the Greek Freak is critical. Turnovers against Milwaukee can be deadly. Giannis can cover the floor after a Celtics turnover in just a few bounds. He runs and leaps like a deer. See my article later today on Semi (Ojeleye) getting more Semi-time in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. It worked last year.