We have the first matchup in the second round of the 2022 Eastern Conference playoffs. The Boston Celtics will battle the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks. The Celtics surprised everyone by sweeping the Brooklyn Nets in the first round. The Nets were a lot of peoples favorite to possibly come out of the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee needed five games to eliminate the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls played the defending champs tough in the first couple of games. The Bucks did most of it without Khris Middleton who missed most of the first round with a sprained MCL. Coach Bud has stated that Middleton will miss the beginning of this round. Boston has arguably been the best team in the league in the second half of the season. Can they continue that dominance against Giannis and the defending champs?
As mentioned, Boston was arguably the best team in the second half of the season. They began the second half teetering around play-in status but made an incredible run to finish second in the east. Jayson Tatum elevated himself into MVP conversations. Tatum has been on a tear to the point people are mentioning him as one of the best in the league. Jaylen Brown is also great as he’s one of the best two-way players in the league. Marcus Smart is the defensive player of the year and Robert Williams anchor the middle. The Celtics can score with the best of them in the league, but the defense is top tier. Milwaukee is lead by Giannis and there’s a reason he’s won the MVP award twice. The Greek Freak is dominated on both sides of the ball and this Bucks team is battle tested.
It will take a collective effort to keep Giannis out of the paint. When he gets there, Daniel Theis and Robert Williams will be there along with Al Horford. Tatum and Giannis could even things out on scoring end so they both will depend on their role guys. The health of Khris Middleton will play a huge factor in this series. Marcus Smart will most likely guard everyone on the Bucks team and that could be key. Jaylen Brown will also have to have a great series for this Celtics team to advance. The availability of Khris Middleton will be huge, but Grayson Allen has looked great in his absence. Giannis is the best player in the league and it’s hard to see him being eliminated in the second round. This will be the best series in the Eastern Conference, and it wouldn’t shock me if it went seven games. In the end, I’m picking the Celtics because they play like a team on a mission. Boston Wins Series 4-3