Semi Ojeleye

David Butler II/USA Today Sports

Celtics draw Bucks in first round of playoffs, finish season with win over Nets

John Tomase
April 11, 2018 - 11:40 pm

Bring on the Greek Freak.

It took until overtime of the final game of the season for the Celtics to discover their opponent in the first round of the playoffs, but when the Heat beat the Raptors on Wednesday, their foe finally became official: the Milwaukee Bucks.

With the Wizards and Bucks losing and the Heat winning on the season's final day, he last three seeds in the conference were finally determined. Miami is the sixth seed, Milwaukee finishes seventh, and Washington takes eighth.

The Celtics and Bucks split during the regular season. Milwaukee took a 108-100 victory in the second game of the year, one night after the Celtics lost forward Gordon Hayward to a shocking broken leg. Little did anyone know that the Celtics wouldn't lose again for a month, ripping off 16 straight wins.

The C's claimed wins of 96-89 and 111-100 in the middle of the season before the Bucks squeaked out a 106-102 victory last week. That game is perhaps most relevant to the upcoming series, since the Celtics played it without star point guard Kyrie Irving, as well as valuable reserves Marcus Smart and Daniel Theis, who will each miss the series with injuries.

So what do the Celtics face? Quite simply: Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The superstar forward averaged over 27 points and 10 rebounds a game this year and will be the best player on the floor for either team. He's not alone, though. Sweet-shooting Khris Middleton also topped 20 points a game, while guards Eric Bledsoe and Malcolm Brogden are solid all-around players. Athletic center John Henson and power forward Jabari Parker, who missed 50 games with a knee injury, round out the regulars.

The Celtics finished their season with a 110-97 victory over the Nets. Center Aron Baynes led the Celtics with 26 points and 14 rebounds.

The NBA will announce the playoff schedule at the conclusion of Wednesday night's west coast games.


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