Why Stephen A. Smith Believes Celtics Will Win Series Against Bucks

Smith sees this series going the distance


May 11

The Eastern Conference semifinals series between the Celtics and the Bucks has turned into a best-of-three set.

Stephen A. Smith believes Boston will notch the two wins necessary to advance to the next round of the 2022 NBA playoffs.

The “First Take” co-host thinks the second-seeded Celtics will secure one of those victories Wednesday night when the Bucks visit TD Garden for Game 5. Smith, however, isn’t high on Boston’s chances of finishing off Milwaukee on Friday.

“I’m still going with Boston to win Game 5,” Smith said Wednesday on ESPN. “I believe they will lose Game 6 and I believe they will come back and they will close the deal out in a Game 7 in a thriller. It will come down to the wire. But whether it’s Jaylen Brown, whether it’s Al Horford, whether it’s Marcus Smart or Jayson Tatum or somebody, they will find a way at TD Garden to pull this out and advance to the Eastern Conference finals.

“I just believe that because I think that overall they’re going to make shots when it counts. I’m not so sure about that with Milwaukee. (Pat) Connaughton has played well, he can make shots. I expected more from Grayson Allen. He’s no (Khris) Middleton, but I still expected more from him. I ain’t getting that from him right now. Jrue Holiday is putting up numbers, but the inefficiency is flagrant. That has to improve, which I think it will, and it will be enough to push this to Game 7. But Boston is winning this in seven in my estimation.”

You could argue this series will be decided Wednesday. A whopping 85.2% of teams since 1984 have advanced in the NBA playoffs after taking a 3-2 series lead in Game 5.

For what it’s worth, oddsmakers like the Celtics’ chances of earning a second consecutive victory over the Bucks. Boston is a 5-5-point favorite and a -225 bet on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook for Game 5.

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