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The budding rivalry between the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks will continue with a second consecutive Christmas Day matchup. Last season, the Bucks got the better of Boston on Christmas, but the Celtics got the last laugh with a hard-fought second-round playoff series win in seven games.
It appears those two teams are once again on a collision course. Though neither has been at their best in the past few weeks, they’ve established themselves as the class of the Eastern Conference. Entering Christmas, the Celtics are in first place at 23-10, while the Bucks sit in second at 22-10.
Here’s everything you need to know about the showdown:
Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics
- When: Sunday, Dec. 25 | 5 p.m. ET
- Where: TD Garden — Boston, Massachusetts
- TV: ABC/ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (try for free)
- Odds: BOS -4.5; O/U: 225.5 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Featured Game | Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Bucks: The Bucks started the season 9-0, thanks in large part to their elite defense which currently ranks third in the league at 108.1 points allowed per 100 possessions. They enter having lost two in a row and four of their last seven, including an uncharacteristic 41-point defeat to the Memphis Grizzlies. Giannis Antetokounmpo has been playing like a man possessed, but he just hasn’t gotten enough consistent help on the offensive side of the ball recently. That’s in part because Khris Middleton, who missed 20 games while recovering from offseason wrist surgery, is once again on the sidelines with a knee injury.
Celtics: After a brilliant 21-5 start, the Celtics have struggled even worse than the Bucks in recent weeks. Though they finally got back on track with a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday, they enter Christmas having lost five of their last seven games. The big issue has been on the offensive end, where they haven’t been able to buy a shot from the perimeter. During their 1-5 skid, they shot just 28.6 percent on open and wide open 3-pointers.
Both teams will be eager to get a statement win, especially given their poor form entering the game. With Middleton expected to miss out, we’ll take the Celtics. We saw what happened in the playoffs last season when the Bucks don’t have their second-leading scorer for this matchup; they just don’t have enough offensive options.