Tip: 8:00 PM Court: Bradley Center Watch it: CSN, NBA TV Hear it: WEEI
Referees: Dick Bavetta, Curtis Blair and Tony Brown
Led by a Rajon Rondo triple-double, the Celtics beat Milwaukee 102-96 in Boston on Feb. 29. A 13-0 Bucks run over the final 2 minutes made this game a lot closer than it needed to be. The Celtics have won 3 straight in Milwaukee.
Get it to: Rajon Rondo
Let's hope Rondo repeats his performance from the previous game vs Milwaukee: 15 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. (Watch Rondo highlights) To quote my analysis in the game recap: "Rondo played a fabulous game. He was aggressive on offense, attacking the basket without dominating the basketball." The Bucks bring more firepower into this game as Monta Ellis has replaced Shaun Livingston in the starting line-up. Whether it's Jennings or Ellis, Rondo needs to keep his man on the perimeter.
Gotta stop: Ersan Ilyasova
Ilyasova dropped 25 points and 10 rebounds against the Celtics in February and that was when they had Chris Wilcox. I'm scared sh*t to think what he'll do against as even thinner Cs front court. On the bright side, Ilyasova is coming off an illness that limited him to 23 minutes the past two games.
The Wild Card: Mike Dunleavy
John instant messaged me this tidbit this morning: "Mike Dunleavy is averaging 19.8 points and 4.7 assists off the bench over his last six games (all Bucks wins) while shooting 44-for-74 (.595) from the field and 15-for-31 (.483) from behind the arc. Mike f'ing Dunleavy?"
How we see it goin' down
The Bucks have won 6 straight, although their opponents (NYK, TOR, NJ, CLE, GSW, POR) are far from the league's elite. The streak has pushed Milwaukee to within one game of the 8th playoff spot. Expect a high-energy peformance from Monta Ellis, who is playing his first game in Milwaukee since being traded from Golden State.
The Celtics are coming off two days of rest in this monster 8 game road trip. I want to say they'll come out energized and focused, but this team is impossible to predict.
Celtics 91 – Bucks 90