The Boston Celtics have been struggling lately and have managed just two wins in their last seven outings heading into this tie. The C's are now eighth in their Conference rankings with a sub-par 21-22 season record.
The Milwaukee Bucks, meanwhile, have been dominant lately, winning 12 of their last 13 games. They are currently ranked third in the East with a 28-14 season record.
Fixture: Boston Celtics vs Milwaukee Bucks | NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Wednesday, March 24th, 7:30 PM ET (Thursday, March 25th; 5:00 AM IST)
Venue: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, WI
Boston Celtics Preview
The Boston Celtics haven't been able to find their mojo post the All-Star break. Their over-reliance on the likes of Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker has hurt them the most during this stretch.
The Celtics were considered one of the top five sides in the East and will need their role players to step up if they wish to avoid the play-in tournament and achieve automatic qualification for the playoffs.
The Boston Celtics failed to capitalize on their upbeat win over the Orlando Magic as they succumbed to a 126-133 OT loss to the Memphis Grizzlies in their last game.
The former NBA champions were without Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker for the game. The former was a late scratch due to sudden illness, while the latter was rested due to knee injury management.
However, their absence saw the likes of Jeff Teague and Grant Williams produce tremendous performances. Teague scored a season-best 27 points, while Williams chipped in with 17 points. The Boston Celtics did well in regulation time but ran out of steam in OT as Memphis overpowered them to take home a hard-fought win.
Key Player - Marcus Smart
Marcus Smart needs to step up for the Boston Celtics from here on if they want to assert themselves as one of the top sides in the league. The likes of Tatum, Brown and Walker have given their absolute best on the majority of occasions but are in dire need of another player to come up big for them this season.
Smart is very much capable of filling that role and has had a few decent outings so far. Seven games into his comeback from injury, Brad Stevens will be expecting Smart to find his groove soon as the season enters a crucial juncture.
The Milwaukee Bucks are a strong side and the Boston Celtics will need all the help they can to prevent their opponents from claiming their eighth win on the trot.
If Smart does produce a season-high-level performance, the Boston Celtics will fancy their chances of pulling an upset over the rampant Milwaukee Bucks.
Point Guard - Kemba Walker, Shooting Guard - Marcus Smart, Small Forward - Jaylen Brown, Power Forward - Jayson Tatum, Center - Daniel Theis
Milwaukee Bucks Preview
The Milwaukee Bucks have been unstoppable lately and have the longest win-streak in the league at the moment. They commenced the second half of the season with a 100% win percentage.
The Bucks have strengthened their squad with the signing of P.J. Tucker, further making their case for becoming a top contender to win the championship this year.
In their last game, the Bucks dismantled the Indiana Pacers 140-113 despite star man Giannis Antetokounmpo being ruled out due to a knee injury. This enabled Mike Budenholzer to test his side's mentality, to play without such an important player, and as it turns out, his side responded in the best way possible.
Jrue Holiday led the way for his side with 28 points and 14 assists on the night, while Khris Middleton added 25 points to seal an emphatic win for the Bucks.
Key Player - Jrue Holiday
Jrue Holiday has been an exceptional addition to the Milwaukee Bucks squad this season. He was initially brought in with the idea of providing support to the likes of Giannis and Middleton, but he has done much more than that for them.
The way he organizes the floor is quite remarkable, making sure everyone is involved and can flourish as well. Not only that, but his ability to chip in with huge performances himself has proved to be of great help to this Milwaukee Bucks side.
Holiday is averaging 15.9 points, 5.2 assists and 4.6 rebounds to go with 1.8 steals per game this season. He has a player efficiency rating of 19.07 so far, which further goes to show just how important he is to the Milwaukee Bucks' championship aspirations this year.
Point Guard - Jrue Holiday, Shooting Guard - Donte DiVincenzo, Small Forward - Khris Middleton, Power Forward - Giannis Antetokounmpo, Center - Brook Lopez
Celtics vs Bucks Match Prediction
The Milwaukee Bucks will likely take the win in this matchup owing to their recent form and better squad depth compared to the Boston Celtics. However, the Celtics are likely to be at full-strength, and if they do fire on all cylinders, Jaylen Brown and Co. could snap the Bucks' seven-game winning streak.
Where to watch Celtics vs Bucks?
The game between the Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks will be televised nationally on ESPN. Local coverage will be available on Fox Sports Wisconsin and NBC Sports Boston. You can also live stream the same on the NBA League Pass.