Thursday, November 1 at 8:00 PM ET
The Milwaukee Bucks look to remain the only unbeaten team in the NBA when they visit the surging Boston Celtics in a potential playoff preview on Thursday.
Ersan Ilyasova scored a season-high 19 points to help the Milwaukee Bucks improved to 7-0 with a 124-109 home win against the Toronto Raptors last Monday. The game lost some luster because Giannis Antetokounmpo missed the game because he was in the NBA's concussion protocol and the Raptors decided to sit out Kawhi Leonard to rest. Antetokounmpo has been cleared to play against the Celtics. Malcolm Brogdon and Eric Bledsoe also stepped up, adding 17 points each and the Bucks overcame 17 turnovers by going 19-for-45 (42.2 percent) from distance, tying the franchise record for most 3-pointers made, which was previously set last Friday in Minnesota.
The Bucks are averaging 120.0 points per game (4th in the NBA), they grab 55.6 rebounds per game (1st), dish out 26.9 assists per game (4th) and allow 104.1 points per game (4th). Giannis Antetokounmpo leads the Bucks with 25.0 points, 14.2 rebounds and 1.7 blocks, Khris Middleton is averaging 20.7 points and a team-best 1.4 steals and Eric Bledsoe adds 13.1 points and a team-best 6.9 assists.
After averaging just 14.0 points through his first six games, Kyrie Irving broke through with a season-high 31 points, leading a third quarter surge that helped the Celtics beat the Pistons 108-105 last Tuesday, handing them back-to-back losses after a 4-0 start. Irving scored 13 points in the third quarter and he started an early 10-0 run that put the Celtics up for good. The star point guard made 10 of 16 shots in the game and he also had five assists and five rebounds. Jayson Tatum scored 16 points in the win and Marcus Morris added 15 points and nine rebounds.
The Celtics are averaging 102.4 points per game (29th in the NBA), they grab 49.6 rebounds per game (5th), dish out 23.0 assists per game (21st) and allow 97.6 points per game (1st). Jayson Tatum leads the Celtics with 16.6 points and 8.1 rebounds, Kyrie Irving averages 16.4 points and a team-best 5.4 assists and Marcus Morris adds 14.4 points and 7.4 rebounds off the bench.
The Milwaukee Bucks are:
2-5-1 ATS in their last eight games playing on two days rest
3-8 ATS in their last 11 games against a team with a winning percentage above .600
1-5 ATS in their last six road games against a team with a home winning percentage above .600
1-5 ATS in their last six road games against a team with a winning home record
1-6 ATS in their last seven road games
The Boston Celtics are:
5-1 ATS in their last six home games against a team with a road winning percentage above .600
14-3 ATS in their last 17 home games against a team with a winning road record
4-1 ATS in their last five Thursday games
17-5 ATS in their last 22 home games
19-7 ATS in their last 26 games against a team with a winning percentage above .600
13-5 ATS in their last 18 games following an ATS loss
I like the Celtics in this spot, the Bucks are due for a letdown game and they will be facing the best defense in the NBA, allowing 97.6 points per game and a team that limits opponents to just 41.0 percent shooting from the field, 2nd in the league. Only one of Milwaukee's seven wins came against a team that currently owns a winning record and they've only played two road games so far. The Celtics are allowing just 95.5 points in their last four games and Giannis Antetokounmpo is just recovering from a concussion so he won't be 100 percent.
NBA Pick: Celtics