After the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Boston Celtics 110-107 in Game 5 of the semifinal series, the thought was Boston gave that game away. The Bucks once again had proven their championship mettle and the Celtics had blown a golden opportunity. What lay ahead was a Game 6 in Milwaukee, and Jayson Tatum proved that he was ready for his ascension.
Tatum flummoxed the Bucks with his ability to get to the rim and hit from the perimeter, scoring 46 points on 17/32 shooting. Time and time again, when Giannis Antetokounmpo kept coming with 44 points of his own, Tatum responded. The Celtics again got contributions from multiple guys which now has us at a Game 7. This series is turning into a classic, and now we have reached the endgame.
What’s At Stake for Boston: A chance to take down the defending champs and to addvance to the conference finals. Also, the journey in molding a superstar in Jayson Tatum would feel near complete.
What’s At Stake for Milwaukee: A trip to the conference finals, and surviving in hopes of getting injured star Khris Middleton back. Also, Giannis cementing his status as the best player in the league. Considering how the Bucks are heavy underdogs in the series this would be a massive achievement for Milwaukee.
Boston will win if…. they get a similar 3 point variance they got in Game 6 as they hit 17 3s. Game 7’s are normally ugly, so any type of transition baskets they can generate would help. Feed off the home crowd, and get good performances from Marcus Smart and Al Horford. The stars will be stars, but usually there’s an unsung hero somewhere.
Milwaukee will win if….. they get any type of help from a third scorer. Giannis and Jrue Holiday have been the only reliable offense in the series. The Bucks are going to need someone to step up and fill those gaps. Expect Giannis to be dominant once again, but if Tatum matches him like he did in Game 6, they’ll need more from others.
The Prediction: On the last day of the regular season, the Bucks had a chance to be the 2nd seed. They decided to sit their stars and punt on home court in the 2nd round. That decision allowed Boston to host this game. Is home court advantage overrated? To a degree, but it usually matters in a Game 7. The numbers don’t lie. It will take a Herculean effort against a hungry, resilient Boston team to win this. If there’s anyone who can beat back this challenge, it’s Giannis Antetokounmpo. The champs have been staggered, but they won’t fall. Bucks win Game 7.