The Boston Celtics defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 108-95 on the road in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference Semifinals series on Friday to force a decisive Game 7 in Boston on Sunday.
It is quite a shame that we will only get one more game between the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks in the playoffs, but Game 7 on Sunday is surely going to deliver!
This series has been so tight and heading into the final game of this Eastern Conference Semifinals series, there is still no clear answer as to who has the upper hand.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has continued to prove that he is the best player in the world for the Bucks, but Jayson Tatum put on a show in Game 6 on Friday, proving to everyone that he can hang with the best of the best in this league.
In Game 6, the Celtics beat the Bucks 108-95 in a game that went back-and-forth in the second-half.
After leading by 13 points at the end of the third quarter, the Bucks cut the lead to 4 points at one point in the fourth quarter, only for Jayson Tatum to put the game away for Boston.
Scoring a total of 46 points in the game, Tatum scored 16 total points in the final quarter of play, going on scoring runs of his own to keep the Celtics’ season alive.
Now owning the momentum heading into Game 7, the Celtics will host the Bucks in TD Garden on Sunday afternoon for a chance to reach the Eastern Conference Finals.
Before this game, let’s take a look at the three biggest takeaways from Game 6.
It is kind of hard to believe that this is Jayson Tatum’s fifth NBA season, especially given that he is only 24-years-old. The 6’8” forward has emerged as one of the best scorers in the league this season and in the playoffs, he has had some massive performances.
Not only did he go for 30 points and 34 points in back-to-back games leading into Game 6, but then he went for 46 points against the Bucks on Friday!
Going 17-32 from the floor, Tatum could not be slowed down on the offensive-end of the floor and it was very impressive to see the Celtics’ All-Star went 7-15 from three-point range.
He is Boston’s best scoring weapon and finished the regular season ranking seventh in the league in scoring. In these playoffs, Jayson Tatum has emerged as a superstar offensive talent and his performance in Game 6 just backs this up.
Tatum is once again going to be a point of emphasis offensively for the Celtics in Game 7 on Sunday and he is the main reason why they have a chance to only only contend for a title this season, but for many seasons to come.
Khris Middleton’s absence has hurt the Bucks more than many would have thought. The All-Star forward is not going to be back for this series and has missed every game in this series stemming from an MCL sprain he suffered in the first-round of the playoffs.
With Middleton out, Giannis Antetokounmpo has had to single-handedly carry the Bucks’ offense and Jrue Holiday has had to step up as well, but the Bucks are not getting any contributions from anyone else offensively.
Brook Lopez has not been able to get anything going, Bobby Portis has struggled with his perimeter shot and the Celtics have done a good job of taking Grayson Allen out of rhythm on the perimeter.
Whether it is the first guy off the bench or the last, the Bucks are going to need someone to step up in Game 7 on Sunday if they are to have a chance at defending their title.
Giannis Antetokounmpo can only do so much for this team and as we saw in Game 6, scoring 44 points is not going to be enough for the two-time MVP to carry the Bucks to a win.
In this series, Boston has shot well from three-point range and in Game 6, they shot 17-43 (39.5%) from deep.
Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Al Horford and Grant Williams have all proven that they are capable of knocking down long shots from the perimeter and the three-point shot has been the difference in most of Boston’s victories.
They were +51 from deep in Game 2, +15 from deep in Game 4 and +30 from deep in Game 6, all of which were games that the Celtics won in this series.
This differential has propelled them to victories and heading into Game 7, Boston is once again going to have to win the battle out on the perimeter because they cannot outscore the Bucks in the paint.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday have had their way with attacking the Celtics on the interior and with Robert Williams III not being a shot-blocking presence underneath for Boston due to his knee injury, the Celtics really have no way to stop the Bucks’ All-Stars.
Should Boston win the three-point battle again in Game 7, they will advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the fourth-time in the last six seasons.
Brett Siegel joined FastBreak on Fan Nation in April 2022 after previously covering the NBA for NBA Analysis Network and working with Louisville Basketball, aiding in daily operations, scouting and recruiting. From playing to coaching to covering the game as a credentialed NBA media member, Brett has been involved with the game of basketball from many different perspectives. Breaking the news of Andre Drummond signing with the Lakers in 2021, as well as other key stories around the league, Brett is always on the phone, getting the latest news and rumors around the NBA. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @BrettSiegelNBA.