5 crucial matchups in Milwaukee Bucks’ playoff series with Boston Celtics

Dec 25, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 25, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Wesley Matthews, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Boston Celtics: Romeo Langford
Dec 25, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

Wesley Matthews’ defense on Jaylen Brown will be vital as the Milwaukee Bucks look to take down the Boston Celtics

Since becoming a full-time starter, Wesley Matthews has played a key part in Milwaukee’s identity on the defensive end, which will certainly not change. After hounding DeMar DeRozan throughout the first round, Matthews will now likely be tasked with picking up Jaylen Brown in round two, and it will be far from an easy task, given his stature as a scorer.

Matthews spent 37.6 partial possessions guarding Brown during the regular season, which is not the largest sample size. During their limited action matched up, Brown scored 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting, including 1-of-3 from 3-point territory, while handing out six assists. Matthews will now see significant time against the 25-year-old All-Star, and slowing him down will be a pivotal key in this playoff series for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Like Holiday, Matthews did an excellent job defensively in round one as he was assigned to slow down DeMar DeRozan. Across 186 partial possessions in the first round, DeRozan scored a mere 33 points on 11-of-29 field goal shooting as Matthews hounded him in every game. DeRozan got a sizeable boost at the free throw line as 11 of those points came courtesy of the charity stripe. Aside from committing six shooting fouls, Matthews did a stellar job of defending the All-Star.

Matthews will face another household name as he guards Brown in round two, and he must keep him in check similarly to how he did DeRozan.