Bucks – Celtics
Last night was a great regular season NBA basketball game between the Bucks and Celtics. Milwaukee held on for a two point win as Paul Pierce’s jumper rimmed out. The result was great for us Bucks fans, but the way the game played out was just as good.
The Bucks had to earn this one. Boston proved they still have enough in the tank to be a tough team, their defense is still among the best in the East. Add to that the continued development of Rondo’s offensive game to make up for the decline in Allen/Pierce/Garnett and the Celtics still have what it takes to make a run to the Eastern Conference Finals. I am not sure the Celtics can topple either the Magic or the Cavs, but not many teams can.
Boston showed they wanted the game last night and the Bucks were able to beat them. It was a good win for the Bucks and they get another chance for a quality win this Friday when they host the Jazz.
With the run the Bucks have made since acquiring John Salmons they are no longer being ignored.
John Hollinger has an article breaking down the playoff teams chances in the east and here is a Milwaukee snippet:
We’ve been talking about five teams battling for four spots in the East for weeks, but Milwaukee’s win over Boston on Tuesday essentially cemented a playoff berth for the Bucks. Milwaukee has 34 wins in the bank with 11 home games remaining, and it is the hottest team in the league right now (sorry, Dallas) with 10 wins in 11 games since acquiring John Salmons.
If that wasn’t enough, the Bucks should own every tiebreaker with teams still fighting for playoff slots. They clinched the head-to-head series with Toronto and Miami, and their 25-15 conference record should give them an edge over Charlotte and Chicago, even if the Bucks lose their final meeting against each team. As an added bonus, the Bucks’ final three games — against Boston, Atlanta and Boston again — could become gimmes if the playoff seedings of the Hawks and Celtics are locked in place.
As a result, Wednesday’s Playoff Odds give the Bucks a 99.2 percent chance of making the postseason. Basically, they’re in, and we’re down to four other teams battling for three spots.
The Bucks have also received a boost in each of the ESPN NBA power rankings.
Marc Stein’s Ranking has the Bucks now at 11 up from 14 with this to say:
We still can’t name him, but the advance scout who tabbed the Bucks as his surprise team of the season in the Weekend Dime isn’t looking any less enlightened after the weekend. They’re now 9-2 since the All-Star break.
John Hollinger’s Daily Rankings has the Bucks at 12.