As the Boston Celtics sit in the second seed in the Eastern Conference, it doesn’t seem locked up yet, but the Celtics have a firm holding of the spot over the Washington Wizards. The Celtics are looking at a potential first round matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Boston has been playing well of late, and playing well from now until the end of the regular is vital to this team’s playoff position. Momentum is key come playoff time, and it seems the Celtics are hitting momentum right now. They have won their last three games, and most recently defeated the Brooklyn Nets without superstar point guard Isaiah Thomas. They have a favorable schedule down the stretch, as well as it being the easiest schedule in the NBA. Without Thomas, they looked like a top eight team in the east, and with him, they look like contender. Right now they look great but a playoff matchup with the Bucks wouldn’t be easy.
Milwaukee has been spectacular of late, winning eight of their last 10 games, and have begun to separate themselves from the lower half of the Eastern Conference. They have been looking like a playoff team as of late, and their team is starting to gel like they were expected to at the start of the season. Giannis Antetokounmpo has been playing excellently, making shots and improving his teammates as well, as the season wains. Again, like the Celtics, if they can keep playing like this, their first round opponent could have a tough time stopping them.
The Celtics against the Bucks would not be a four game series in the playoffs. Boston has matchup problems against the Bucks, as well do the Bucks have those same problems. Isaiah Thomas would most likely have a great series because of who is guarding him, Malcolm Brogdon. Brogdon is a good young prospect, but he is a rookie and would struggle with the bright lights of the playoffs surrounding him. Al horford would be a huge X-factor as well. If he is able to make shots, and bring Thon Maker out to the three-point line, then it would create more space for other players to drive to the basket without having to worry about their shot getting blocked by the 7 foot Maker. Giannis would need to be double teamed, because Jae Crowder is just too small to guard him one-on-one.
If each team can just limit the opposing players superstar, it could go either way. Boston has the talent and work ethic to win this series in four games, but their defense would not be sustainable enough to do that. The Bucks are a young, athletic, and fast paced team, so it would be a fun series. The Celtics just have that playoff experience and more established talent, while Milwaukee has raw talent. So if this matchup were to happen this postseason, the Celtics would win this series in six games.