“Tatum’s on a roll, he’s coming for people’s names, numbers, and spots” - Shaquille O'Neal picks Boston Celtics to beat Milwaukee Bucks if Khris Middleton stays out

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Shaquille O'Neal picks Boston Celtics to beat Milwaukee Bucks if Khris Middleton stays out
Shaquille O'Neal has picked the Boston Celtics to beat Milwaukee Bucks.
Shaquille O'Neal has picked the Boston Celtics to beat Milwaukee Bucks.

Former NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal has picked the Boston Celtics to beat defending champions Milwaukee Bucks in their second-round series contest if Khris Middleton remains sidelined.

O'Neal cited the Celtics' confidence and momentum following their emphatic series sweep over the Brooklyn Nets as a key reason behind his decision to pick them.

Here's what Shaquille O'Neal stated regarding his predictions for the Bucks-Celtics series that begins on Sunday, April 30th on-air on Inside The NBA (via NBA On TNT):

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"Boston.. if Middleton is not playing. They're (Boston) super confident right now. They just took out two of the best guys (KD and Kyrie) to ever play, and they did it with ease, so they're very very confident right now."

O'Neal continued:

"They're not scared, Tatum’s on a roll, he’s coming for people’s names, numbers, and spots. Even if they do lose to Milwaukee, Milwaukee's gonna have to beat them down bad to bring that confidence back down earthly."
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Shaquille O'Neal's pick is finalized as Khris Middleton is expected to miss the Milwaukee Bucks second-round series against Boston Celtics

Shaquille O'Neal will now have to go with the Boston Celtics as his pick to win against the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference semis. The Bucks are in deep trouble with All-Star Khris Middleton expected to miss the entire second-round series due to an MCL sprain he suffered against the Chicago Bulls in the first round.

Here's what The Athletic's Shams Charania reported regarding this:

"The left MCL injury of Bucks All-Star Khris Middleton is a Grade 2 sprain and he is expected to miss the entire second-round series vs. Celtics, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. The recovery of Grade 2 MCL places a potential Conference Finals in jeopardy for him as well."

Khris Middleton played a crucial role for the Milwaukee Bucks in their championship run last year. He was vital down the stretch on several occasions and the Milwaukee Bucks will miss his services big-time against the in-form Boston Celtics.

The Bucks will need the likes of Bobby Portis and Brook Lopez to step up in the absence of Middleton and provide support to talisman Giannis Antetokounmpo. The three-big lineup featuring Portis, Lopez and Giannis gives Milwaukee tremendous length and athleticism to work with against a physical team like Boston.

So regardless of Middleton's absence, the Milwaukee Bucks may have a healthy chance of winning this series against the Boston Celtics. However, as mentioned by Shaquille O'Neal, the Cs are oozing with confidence, so they will be entering this contest as the favorites.

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Edited by Sankalp Srivastava
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