The playoffs are underway and the daily preview takes it to the rim with NBA tips for Game 6 as Milwaukee Bucks look to close out Boston Celtics.
09:30 (AEST), Sat 14th May @ Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee
History: Played 267: Celtics 137 V Bucks 130
Last meeting: May 12, 2022: Bucks 110 d Celtics 107 at TD Garden
Final Thoughts: Milwaukee Bucks have the opportunity to finish off Boston Celtics at home in Game 6 of seesawing Eastern Conference Semi-finals series.
The defending champs have not trailed in this series, but they have not won back-to-back games, either. The Bucks took out Game 1 in Boston 101-89 before the Celtics levelled up in a 109-86 blowout.
Milwaukee edged Boston 103-101 at Fiserv Forum in Game 3 with Giannis Antetokounmpo going off for 42 but were put away 116-108 in Game 4 as Celtics duo Al Horford and Jayson Tatum both scored 30 points.
Antetokoumpo (40 pts, 11 reb) – with the help of a late block and steal from big contributor Jrue Holiday (24 pts, 8 reb, 8 ast) – then led the Bucks to a critical 110-107 Game 5 victory at TD Garden. The Bucks trailed by 14 points early in the fourth quarter before storming back, with Holiday hitting a big three as well as thwarting Marcus Smart in the dying stages.
Tatum (34 pts, 6 reb, 4 ast) and Jaylen Brown (26 pts, 8 reb, 6 ast) had big games. But as a team the Celtics were comfortably out-rebounded and shot comparatively poorly from three-point range.
The Celtics are 3-1 on the road in the playoffs after crafting a modest 23-18 away record in the regular season. The Bucks went 27-14 at home in the regular season but are only 3-2 in the playoffs.
While the series has been fought on a knife’s edge and neither has genuinely dominated the other in the past three games, Boston have a big job picking themselves mentally from dropping Game 5 at home and heading into a sudden-death assignment on the road. That Milwaukee are only $1.80 favourites at home with the series lead shows how closely matched these teams are – but I’m leaning towards the Giannis’ and the Bucks’ Championship qualities coming to the fore here.
Best Bet: Margin – Bucks 1-10 @ $2.85
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