Since the 2021-22 season ended it seemed the entire basketball world anointed the Celtics and Bucks the kings of the east. That the winner of them will represent the Eastern Conference in the 2022-23 NBA Finals.
Whether this is true and fair or not, it was the perception, and still is. 164 days into the season and only two teams have held the number one spot in the east. The aforementioned Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks.
Therefore when these two teams play it brings a playoff intensity and seems more important and impactful than a random Wednesday matchup with, say the Charlotte Hornets, even though all wins and losses count the same throughout an NBA season.
Therefore in the season finale of these two which could have and should have been way more important than it was, certainly still had a playoff feel to it, and in this game, the Celtics dominated the Bucks from start to finish.
A 41 point victory on the road that had the benches emptied by the third quarter.
One of the best games you’ll see from a duo all season with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combining for 70 points through three quarters. 40 for Jayson on 12-18 shooting and 30 for Jaylen on 13-20 shooting.
70 was just four points shy of the Bucks team total through three quarters.
The Jays as well as the team dominated from the three point line shooting 22-43 as a team.
Was it a message sent? Do either teams feel a certain way about each other going into the playoffs or was this just another regular season matchup?
Well this wasn’t the only blowout this season, on Christmas Day the Celtics handled Milwaukee 139-118. That’s a 21 point and 41 point victory in the Celtics two wins over the Bucks this season.
The lone loss came in an overtime game in which four of the Celtics starters did not play.
If you base the potential matchup of these two in the Eastern Conference Finals on the regular season, then surely the Celtics will be playing in their second finals in two seasons.
Obviously though, the regular season results do not matter, and both teams still have to win two series before they can play each other. But the Celtics should feel confident that they can win in the hostile building, and do it convincingly.
With five games left the Celtics are two back which puts them in a position where they still have a chance at the one seed, but it is a very slim one.
Next up is the Utah Jazz back home in the Garden, and on a back to back this might be a spot for some rest.
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