Bucks eliminate Celtics, advance to East Finals

Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks, 5/8/19 NBA Predictions & Odds

What a difference a year makes.

Wednesday's performance was the worst of Irving's four straight poor games in this series after the Celtics surprised the Bucks in Game 1. To that point, a major issue for Boston was a lack of ball-movement, with contributed to the team's lack of rhythm, energy and efficiency.

- Al Horford was one of the Celtics' most consistent factors all season long, but even he didn't seem like himself Wednesday.

Stevens' team was arguably the most-disappointing team in the league this season.

The Milwaukee Bucks have moved into the NBA's Eastern Conference finals for the first time in 18 years by slamming the Boston Celtics tonight. Milwaukee leads the Eastern Conference with 40.4 defensive rebounds per game, led by Antetokounmpo averaging 10.3.

They face the victor of the Toronto Raptors versus the Philadelphia 76ers, with the Raptors now 3-2 ahead.

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Boston went down without a fight. Does Boston have enough in the tank to push the series to Game 6? When faced with adversity the Celtics became a team of individuals that lacked genuine effort or trust for teammates. That moment absolutely came before the season's final buzzer. "He loves playing. He's very, very excited to be playing". Irving, who at a ticket holder event early in the season said he would be back, now is going to at least look at his options this summer, according to the buzz around the National Basketball Association (the buzz about him leaving Boston has grown louder as these playoffs have worn on).

"There's no question. They have TVs, they have phones, they hear everything", he said.

This series was a total role reversal. And they deserved this series.

Milwaukee's 7-1 record in the postseason to date is impressive, but it shouldn't be forgotten that it has been achieved without a key starter, who joined the illustrious 50-40-90 club this season. He had one assist, one rebound, three turnovers, one change of sneakers at halftime (turned out the problem was not the shoes), and was minus-25 in the 116-91 loss.

The season was a rollercoaster to put it politely, but Irving says he took lessons from it, despite the final result. Well, in the first half he shot 5-of-16, had zero assists, and his Celtics were down by 11. In particular, he's been a deadly scoring weapon for the Bucks the past two games, scoring 21 and 15 points. The crowd roared, Antetokounmpo shook his fist in the air, and at center court a board was updated from "9" to "8" in counting down how many more wins the Bucks need for a championship.

"I think collectively as a group, they outplayed us as a group and I give credit to them because they came after Game 1 getting punched in the mouth and they responded the way a team that deserves to win should".

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