Boston Celtics at Milwaukee Bucks
When: 8:00 PM ET, Wednesday, May 8, 2019
Where: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
MILWAUKEE – The Milwaukee Bucks looks to claim a berth in the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 2001 when they host the Boston Celtics tonight in Game 5 of the conference semifinals. The Bucks haven’t lost three straight games all season, which only makes Boston’s comeback task seem more daunting.
The Celtics won the series opener before losing the next three games and point guard Kyrie Irving is a porous 19-of-62 shooting during the trio of setbacks. “Who cares? I’m a basketball player,” Irving said after Monday’s 113-101 loss in Game 4. “Prepare the right way. Like I said, it’s a little different when your rhythm is challenged every play down. You’re being picked up full court. They’re doing things to test you. The expectations on me are going to be sky-high.”
Bucks MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo is clearly the best player on the floor and he had 39 points and 16 rebounds in Game 4 and is averaging 30.5 points and 11.5 rebounds in the series. “Good players, when they have an opportunity like this, they don’t waste it,” Antetokounmpo told reporters. “At the end of the day, I’ve got to do whatever it takes to help my team win.”
TV: 8 p.m. ET, TNT
ABOUT THE CELTICS: Another loss could be the final game in a Boston uniform for Irving, who is set to become a free agent after the season and isn’t displaying any sign that he would welcome a return. But whether he regains his shooting stroke or not in Game 5, the Celtics know there is no margin for error with few outsiders seeing them as candidates to win three straight games. “I know probably to the outside world we probably don’t stand much of a chance,” Boston center Al Horford told reporters. “We’re at a low point as a group, I guess that’s the reality. We’ll have to bring that fight to them on Wednesday.”
ABOUT THE BUCKS: Backup guards George Hill and Pat Connaughton have stepped up with strong efforts as Milwaukee continues to play without former Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon (foot). Hill is averaging 18 points over the past two games and 13.8 for the series, while Connaughton is averaging 8.3 points and 8.3 rebounds and has two double-digit rebounding outings. “Some nights, the starters might not have it going,” Connaughton told reporters after Game 4. “The effort and the energy when we check into the game, that’s something George, me, everybody on the bench prides ourselves in. That is the ‘Bench Mob.'”
- Celtics PG Marcus Smart (oblique) made his first postseason appearance in Game 4 and had three points on 1-of-7 shooting in 15 minutes.
- Antetokounmpo has eight career 30-point postseason efforts, tying franchise legend Marques Johnson for second most in team history.
- Boston PF Marcus Morris recorded 18 points and 14 rebounds in Game 4 and is averaging 17 points and 9.7 rebounds over the past three games.