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BUCKS-CELTICS: A much different series this time around

BUCKS-CELTICS: A much different series this time around

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Game 1 of the second round of the NBA playoffs between the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics is set for noon Sunday.

Neither team had any trouble, getting out of the first round. The Bucks swept the Detroit Pistons, while the Celtics swept the Indiana Pacers.

Last year, these two teams went all seven games in the first round, with the Celtics winning at home in the finale.

This year, however, could be quite a bit different:

— Bucks have home court
— They also don’t have Jason Kidd as coach (or Joe Prunty)
— Giannis Antetokounmpo is the best player in the NBA
— Terry Rozier probably won’t be the best player in the series, like last year
— Boston will have both Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward for this one
— Milwaukee might not have Malcolm Brogdon

Last year, Rozier upstaged Bucks point guard Eric Bledsoe, averaging 16.5 points, 5.7 assists, 5.3 rebounds in the playoffs.

In Game 7 last year, he had 26 points on 10-of-16 shooting — 5 of 8 from 3 — nine assists and six rebounds.

As for Hayward, he missed all but minutes of the entire season with a broken ankle. It’s taken him most of the season to get re-acclimated but he’s looking his old self of late.

Hayward averaged 16.4 points on 58.5 percent shooting, with six rebounds and three assists to close the regular season.

Irving missed the last month of the regular season and the playoffs last season. The last half of this season, he’s averaged 25.4 points on 48.4 percent shooting to go with 7.5 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.4 steals.

Trying to stop Irving will be tough for the Bucks, who had hoped to have Brogdon back for the series.

Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer announced Thursday, though, that he will miss, at least, the first two games of the series, according to The Athletic’s Eric Nehm.

Brogdon suffered a minor plantar fascia tear in mid-March and is expected to be reassessed after the opening two games in Milwaukee, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Matt Velazquez.

Prior to missing the last 17 games with the injury, Brogdon was having a historic season.

He became the eighth player to join the 50/40/90 club – shooting 50.5 percent from the field, 42.6 percent from behind the arc, and 92.8 percent from the free-throw line.

The 26-year-old was averaging 15.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.2 assists.

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