3 things the Milwaukee Bucks need to get past the Boston Celtics 

NBA playoffs: Bucks rout Bulls; Warriors eliminate Nuggets - Los Angeles  Times

Since the injury to Milwaukee Bucks all-star Khris Middleton (MCL Sprain) in the first series against the Chicago Bulls, the eastern conference playoff picture has shifted. Boston is now looking like the definitive best team in the east with a good chance to move past the defending champs. But with a former MVP on their team, this series is far from being decided. Here’s what the Bucks will need to advance to the next round.

Brook Lopez to make shots 

It may seem small, but Brook Lopez was a huge part in contributing to Milwaukee’s championship run last year. He may only be averaging 12.4 points this season, but Lopez is a seven footer that can hit the three at the top of the key. And with Giannis Antetokounmpo always taking up so much space inside, the Celtics will make it a habit to crowd the paint. Therefore, Lopez will need to make shots when the ball is kicked out to him—making the C’s play honest defense. If not, this will be a long series. 

Jrue Holiday needs to score AND play impactful defense

There’s no denying how good Jrue Holiday is as a player—but in this series he’ll be going up against the Defensive Player of the Year in Marcus Smart. Holiday averaged 18.3 points this regular season, he’ll need to score more on a consistent basis to pick up from the absence of Middleton. That doesn’t mean Holiday can give up plays on defense either, Smart is the Celtics third and reliable option. Holiday will have the biggest task on this team. 

A wing player will need to step up big

Whether it’s Pat Connaughton—who’s averaging less than 10 points in the regular and post season, or Grayson Allen—someone will need to step up big. The Greek Freak and Jrue Holiday can’t be the only ones scoring and defending Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Just how Bruce Brown needed to step up in a few games in Brooklyn, the Bucks will need the same here. 

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