at Milwaukee Bucks (7-0) at Boston Celtics (5-2)
Thursday November 1, 2018
8:00 PM EST
Regular Season Game #8 – Home Game #4
TV: TNT, NBCSB, FSN-WI
Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub, 620 AM/103.3 WTMJ
TD GardenProbable Starters
Kyrie Irving...Marcus Smart... Gordon Hayward
Jayson Tatum...Al Horford
Jaylen Brown Two-Way Players
Walt Lemon, Jr.
P. J. DozierHead Coach
Brad Stevens Probable Starters
Eric Bledsoe...Malcolm Brogdon...Khris Middleton
Giannis Antetokounmpo...Brook LopezBucks Reserves
D. J. Wilson
Donte DiVincenzo (questionable)Two-Way Players
Mike BudenholzerGame Notes
The Celtics welcome the East leading and undefeated Milwaukee Bucks into the TD Garden tonight. The Celtics are riding a three game winning streak which has seen them break out of the offensive funk they were in with Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving starting to show they are coming back nicely from their injuries. Jaylen Brown also came out of his early season shooting slump and has played All-NBA quality defense as well. The Celtics are hoping to shut down Milwaukee and take their momentum on the road as they head out on their first extended road trip of the season. Boston will play their next five away from the friendly confines of the Garden.
Milwaukee comes into the season with some major changes that look to have been for the better. Gone are oft injured star Jabari Parker and head coach Jason Kidd. The Bucks signed Brook Lopez, Ersan Ilyasova and Donte DiVincenzo in the off-season and brought in former Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer. Budenholzer, a former Coach of the Year, brings his San Antonio pedigree and successful track record to the Bucks.
Budenholzer has the Bucks being the only undefeated team in the NBA. Milwaukee leads the league in point differential, rebounds per game, defensive rebounds per game and three pointers made per game. They are also in the top 5 of several other offensive categories. Milwaukee is led be superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo who is having a tremendous start to his season averaging 25 points, 14.2 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game.
When last Boston saw of Milwaukee, they were sending them home in the first round of last year's playoffs in a grueling 7 game series. Boston tried to force the Greek Freak out of the paint and make him shoot mid range or three point jumpers. And except for a good series by Middleton, Boston shut down the rest of the Milwaukee roster playing them tight and running them off the three point line.
But that was last year and this year Milwaukee's high scoring offense will try to score on Boston's league leading defense. Expect to see a heavy dose of Aron Baynes on Brooke Lopez to allow Al Horford to match up with Antetokounmpo. I would also expect to see Jaylen Brown matching up a lot of the game against Khris Middleton. This should be a tough game that could be a preview of a Eastern Conference Finals. Hopefully the Celtics can continue their recent momentum and take it on their road trip.
EDIT: Jaylen Brown has been ruled out. I will guess and say Smart will start to help on Khris Middleton.