at Boston Celtics (37-21) at Milwaukee Bucks (43-14)
Thursday, February 21, 2019
8:00 PM ET
Regular Game #59 Road Game #28
TV: TNT, NBCSB, FSWIS
Radio: 98.5 Sports Hub, 103.3 FM WTMJ
Fiserv Forum Probable Starting Matchups Point Guard
Kyrie Irving vs Eric BledsoeShooting Guard
Marcus Smart vs Malcolm Brogdon
Jayson Tatum vs Khris MiddletonPower Forward
Marcus Morris vs Giannis Antetokounmpo
Al Horford vs Brook Lopez Celtics Reserves
Aron Baynes (foot)
Gordon Hayward (questionable - ankle)Two Way Players
P. J. DozierHead Coach
Brad StevensBucks Reserves
Donte DiVincenzoTwo Way Players
Bonzie ColsonHead Coach
Mike BudenholzerGame Notes
The Boston Celtics travel to Wisconsin to take on this season's best team, the Milwaukee Bucks, to start off the post All-Star Game schedule. The Celtics start the "second half" of the season on a tough three game road trip that see a trip to Chicago sandwiched between meetings with the East Conference's two best teams, Milwaukee and Toronto. If the C's are to make a run at the 2nd or 3rd seed, a strong 3 game performance, on the road, right out of the break, will be needed.
Milwaukee meanwhile sits atop the league and conference and cruised into the All-Star break by winning 14 of their last 16 games. Milwaukee has to play 8 of their first 12 games on the road, which includes a 4 game Western swing, though not against any of the West's iron, and with three of their homes games being against possible Eastern Conference playoff teams: Boston, Indiana and Charlotte. And they will be doing so as they integrate newly acquired PF, Nikola Mirotic, into the rotation. Could this be where the Bucks trip up a bit? Based on their pre All-Star results, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for it.
The Celtics will have Kyrie Irving returning to action after missing the last two games before the All-Star break with a minor knee strain. Unfortunately, Gordon Hayward, who had an excellent last 5 games before the break, is questionable at the time of this writing due to a slight sprain of an ankle(not the ankle) he picked up in practice on Tuesday. Gordon's last 5 games saw him posting 17/5.2/4.8 numbers with shooting splits of 61.2/50/88.9. If Hayward misses the game look for Semi Ojeleye to get a good run as Semi is a favorite of Coach Stevens as Stevens uses him as the designated Giannis stopper.
Even with the two horrific losses to the LA teams, Boston has played well as a whole since mid January and are 12-3 in that time. I am sure Brad Stevens would be happy to see yet another good road performance as the Celtics have won their last 4 road games. The areas Boston needs to improve on to close the season is bringing it on the road and bringing it even against the less than great teams in the league. This 3 game road trip should be quite the test.