On Saturday, Game 3 will begin between the Boston Celtics and defending champion Milwaukee Bucks.
On Tuesday, the Celtics tied the series with a 23-point win over the Bucks.
🏀 FINAL SCORE WIRE 🏀
Brown: 30 PTS, 5 REB, 6 AST, 2 STL, 6 3PM
Tatum: 29 PTS, 8 AST, 3 STL, 5 3 p.m.
Game 3: Sat 3:30 p.m./and on ABC pic.twitter.com/HCuWY4QxRT
—NBA (@NBA) May 4, 2022
The Bucks earned their own double-digit victory in Game 1.
It was a two-game story for Boston in Games 1 and 2 in terms of 3-point shooting.
The Celtics shot very well from range in Game 2 after a lesser performance in Game 1.
The series now moves to the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee for the next two games.
Aside from the stars, who will determine how the rest of the series unfolds?
Who are the x factors in this series?
Celtics X-Factor: Grant Williams
Grant “Batman” Williams rained down 3 points in Game 2, as the Celtics set a new playoff franchise record for 3 points in the contest:
Sat. 3:30 p.m./and on ABC pic.twitter.com/SCa5lOWqBU
—NBA (@NBA) May 4, 2022
Williams has carved out the role of the impressive sixth man on this Celtics team.
He, Derrick White and Payton Pritchard are the primary players off the bench for Boston this series, with Daniel Theis sporting a DNP-CD in Game 2.
In Game 1, Williams attempted six shots and scored eight points, but had -15 over/under in the contest.
Then in Game 2, he put on a terrific performance.
In Williams’ 28th career playoff game, he earned a career-high 21 playoff points.
Prior to the contest, he had never made more than five buckets or four 3-pointers in a playoff game.
Additionally, he sported a +22 plus/minus in the game, which led the team.
The +22 was also the best of Williams’ playoff career.
He played the fourth-most minutes of any Celtic in the game, and he also continued his strong defence.
If this is the first of many solid offensive performances for Williams, then the Celtics will look great.
So can Williams keep up with the good play?
The Celtics hope so.
Bucks X-Factor: Grayson Allen
In Boston, Grayson Allen has drawn the wrath of TD Garden fans.
He played very well in the absence of Khris Middleton during the first round series against the Chicago Bulls.
The Duke product set new playoff career highs in points in Games 3 and 4 against the Bulls:
- Game 3: 22 points on a 5 v 7 shot on 3 points
- Game 4: 27 points on a 6 v 7 shot on 3 points
The Bucks won their third straight game in Game 5, as the Bucks received 13 points (3 on 6 shots from deep) from Allen.
He’s a big scorer and agitator for Milwaukee, and it’ll be interesting to see how he carves out his role in the Celtics’ series.
Here’s how it’s performed so far:
- Game 1: 11 points, shooting 4 v 8, 3 v 6 from 3 points (did not attempt a free throw)
- Game 2: 5 points, 2 for 4 in shooting, 0 for 1 from 3 points, 1 for 3 in free throws
Allen had a plus-minus of only +5 in Game 1, but was down to -6 in Game 2.
His performances on offense and defense could determine a game or two in this series.
If he leaves downtown, the Bucks will be very happy.
So far, Boston has managed to control it.
If Allen can have a performance like Williams did in Game 2, then the Bucks would have success waiting for Middleton to return.