NBA Christmas Day Betting Preview - Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks
The second game on the NBA Christmas Day schedule is slated to come from Milwaukee, where the Boston Celtics visit to take on the defending champion Bucks.
Milwaukee enters this Christmas Day game at home, top-three in the Eastern Conference standings, but health and safety protocols could really impact them in this contest. Boston, meanwhile, appears healthy by comparison and will look to score a big road win against an elite team.
The Boston Celtics have alternated wins and losses over the last six games but have reason to be encouraged by their current health situation.
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are both healthy as of right now for the Celtics, and their key role players like Dennis Schroder and Marcus Smart are also available to help them.
While the Celtics do have some names in health and safety protocols, they have been one of the more fortunate teams in the NBA in that regard to this point.
Against the Bucks, the Celtics will have to figure out how to use their current roster to their advantage. Brown and Tatum match up pretty naturally with Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo, who could slow down the dynamic duo of the Celtics if Boston can't get creative with them.
But the status of Antetokounmpo is up in the air, which could really change the way this matchup unfolds.
Milwaukee has lost three of its last five games, including a loss on the road against the Boston Celtics. But the question for the Bucks in this game will be whether Giannis Antetokounmpo can go in this contest.
Antetokounmpo has been out due to health and safety protocols, and this game could hinge entirely on whether or not the two-time league MVP can take the floor.
With or without Antetokounmpo, the Bucks have to like their chances to win this game. They will have to slow down a tough in Tatum and Brown. But the Bucks have a considerable edge in the point guard department with Jrue Holiday, and Khris Middleton has proven himself to be more of a big shot maker than Tatum and Brown combined during the careers of all three men thus far.
Keys To The Game
Boston's top key to this game will be defending the paint despite their current roster issues.
Enes Freedom has been added to the league's health and safety protocols, joining Al Horford in that department. Robert Williams will be the primary interior player for the Celtics, but he won't have much NBA-caliber backup to help him if he gets into foul trouble or needs a break.
Beyond the question of whether or not Giannis plays, Milwaukee's biggest key is perimeter shooting.
When the Bucks are at their best, they are draining threes and forcing defenders out of the paint to create driving lanes. Milwaukee is going to need to shoot efficiently from start to finish to avoid letting Boston dictate their style of play on offense.
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