3 keys for Milwaukee Bucks to steal Game 1 on road vs Boston Celtics

BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 13 (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 13 (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Grayson Allen, Boston Celtics: Josh Richardson
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – NOVEMBER 12 (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

One of the keys to every series is to get off on the right foot and win Game 1. I mean, winning every game is key, but getting that 1-0 series lead is nice. The Milwaukee Bucks didn’t believe in that during their championship run, going 1-3 in Game 1s but, of course, ended up winning every series.

They’re 1-0 so far in Game 1s, but they’ll be on the road for this one as they head to TD Garden for their series opener with the Boston Celtics.

Despite being defending champs and coming off of three straight dominant wins over a higher-seeded team, the Bucks come into this series as underdogs against the second-seeded Celtics and will be without their second-leading scorer in Khris Middleton for this game and likely the rest of the series. If the Bucks want to upset the Celtics, it starts with stealing Game 1.

Who will step up alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo offensively for the Milwaukee Bucks?

Once Middleton went down, the Bucks needed someone, anyone to step up with Giannis Antetokounmpo to carry the offensive load.

Well, they got a few someones in the way of Jrue Holiday, Bobby Portis, and Grayson Allen.

Holiday got off to a rough start against the Chicago Bulls (12-of-32 from the field) but rebounded well on the road to help the two-time MVP. Portis stepped into the starting lineup with 15 points on 57 percent true shooting and 14 rebounds per game in those three starts. Allen averaged over 20 points going 14-of-20 from 3 and a silly 89 percent true shooting.

I’m not saying they’ll need Allen to go unconscious from 3 again, but it sure would help.

We aren’t sure yet who will take Middleton’s place in the starting lineup for this series but it should be Portis for now. His size and spacing were crucial against the Bulls and it will come in handy again here, even if he gets picked on by Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown in isolation at times.

The Celtics boast the league’s best defense overall and were particularly great since the start of 2022. They, like every other team that has ever played the Milwaukee Bucks, will focus a lot of the attention on Antetokounmpo. They held Kevin Durant in their previous series to 22 points on 51 percent true shooting in the first three games as no one on the Brooklyn Nets could step up and help their two best offensive players in Durant and Kyrie Irving.

Antetokounmpo will get his, but he’ll need Holiday and the role players to pitch in as best they can if they want to win this game and three more to go back to the Conference Finals.