The soaring Boston Celtics travel to Milwaukee tonight to play the abominable Bucks. While soaring might be a slight overstatement for the Celtics, abominable fits the Bucks like a glove. Milwaukee currently possesses the worst record in the NBA, which is saying something in this tank-fest of a season. The Bucks are in the midst of an eleven game losing streak, just four losses away from tying a franchise record of futility.
The Celtics win over the Cavaliers last night may have been the most complete performance we’ve seen thus far. With three wins in their last four games, they’re playing their best ball of the season. Behind the inspired play of guard Jordan Crawford (14.6 points per game, 7.2 assists per game, and a triple double over the past five games) and forward Jared Sullinger (13.6 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 43.8% 3-pointers over past five), Brad Stevens has his club playing efficiently and resiliently. Their 44.8 rebounds per game over the last four contests is three boards better than their season average and would be ranked 7th in the league if that production was maintained over the whole year. If Sullinger can keep up that long-range performance against the Bucks, Milwaukee’s 29th ranked scoring offense will be playing catchup all night.
Between two bottom-five offenses in the league, one might expect tonight’s matchup to be a defense snoozer. I personally predict a slow first half followed by an explosive second half. With Jeff Green lining up against Caron Butler (-4.8 net-48 PER production by position via 82games.com) I expect Green to explode for another great game on the heels of his 31 point performance last night. Look for the Celtics to back up their on-paper edge with a dominating on-court performance.
Make sure you follow us @HardwoodHoudini for live tweets and check back here after the game for my post game thoughts!