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The Student News Site of The NYC iSchool

The iNews Network

The Student News Site of The NYC iSchool

The iNews Network

The Bucks vs Celtics: Who’s better?


The NBA has seen two teams emerge as the best with the of majority opinions agreeing for the Eastern Conference due to offseason trades leaving all the other teams wondering how they could catch up in talent. As of October 17th these teams both have the best odds to win the NBA championship at +400 according to many betting websites and has fans very excited to see a playoff matchup between them. The question is which of these teams will prove themselves as the better team to advance to the NBA finals?

These teams I’m mentioning are the Milwaukee Bucks and the Boston Celtics. They have been at the top of the Eastern Conference for many years and seem to continue. The Celtics made the conference finals five of the last seven years with them making the NBA finals in 2022. The Bucks have seen themselves in the conference semifinals frequently with them also making the conference finals two of the last five years with one of those years winning a championship in 2021.

The offseason:

Both of these teams would have continued to be some of the top teams of the Eastern Conference but they wanted even better talent around their guys. On June 24th the first big offseason move was in a three team trade deal with the Celtics, Grizzlies, and Wizards. The Celtics gave up former defensive player of the year Marcus Smart, a second round pick, and two bench players in exchange for two first round picks and a seven foot three borderline All-Star center in Kristaps Porzingis.

Even though that trade was discussed a decent amount, the media’s favorite trade of the offseason has to be this three team trade with the Bucks, Trailblazers, and Suns on September 27th. It saw 7x All-star Damian Lillard traded to the Bucks in exchange for Jrue Holiday, Grayson Allen, a first round pick, and two pick swaps.

The Celtics saw what the Bucks traded for and had to make a trade to still be able to contend with them. So on October 1st the Celtics were able to acquire former Bucks guard Jrue Holiday from the Blazers while trading away Malcolm Brogdon, Robert Williams, and two first round picks. 

Milwaukee Bucks roster and breakdown:

With the acquisition of Damian Lillard the Bucks look to have one of if not the best duo in the league. Arif Rahmen, a lifelong Celtics fan even agreed by saying, “They look to be the best duo in the NBA because of the talent they both possess.” One player he is referring to is Giannis Antetokounmpo, already a two time MVP and regarded by many to be the best player in the league. Now he has Lillard who is known to be one of the best point guards in the league coming off a career year with averages of 32.2 pts, 4.8 reb and 7.3 ast while Giannis himself put up averages of 31.1 pts, 11.8 reb, 5.7 ast on 55.3 field goal percentage last year.

But it’s not only the averages that excite Bucks fans but their playstyles blend in with one another tremendously well. Arif believes this statement as he says, “I am so excited to see how their playstyles blend as they complement one another.” Giannis is a slashing big man who will get to the basket to either score or pass to the open man and is a great defensive player as he has won DPOY in 2020. Lillard on the other hand will open up the floor even more for his teammates as he is a deep range shooter and can go anywhere on the floor to either score or make a great pass.

Khris Middleton who is a three time All-star, also is an excellent shooter and has built a ton of chemistry with Giannis over his career. The three stars of the team (Giannis, Lillard, and Middleton) also have a lot of experience in the league and will provide veteran leadership to many of the other players on the team.

They also have contributing role players like Brook Lopez, Jae Crowder, Bobby Portis, Pat Connaughton, Malik Beasley, and Cameron Payne. They all provide value and also have experience of their own from the years they have been in the league and in the playoffs.

Boston Celtics roster and breakdown:

Although the Bucks roster is very well structured, you can say the same about the Celtics as many fans argue that they now have the best all around lineup. First they have the two-way stars in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown who have been producing at a high level and improving each year. Tatum last year had averaged 30.1 pts, 8.8 reb, and 4.6 ast while Brown averaged 26.6 pts, 6.9 reb and 3.5 ast. They have played with each other all their careers and have built great chemistry between one another.

They also have their new star players in Jrue Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis. Holiday last year on the Bucks put up averages of 19.3 pts, 5.1 reb, and 7.4 ast while being an All-Star. Holiday is known to be one of the best On-ball defenders in the league and already has championship experience to help guide the Celtics.

Porzingis who was on the Wizards put up averages of 23.2 pts, 8.4 reb and 2.7 ast. He is just entering his prime now while being a great scorer and giving much needed rim protection for them.

The other two main guys that round up their top six players are guard Derrick White and big man Al Horford. They are able to provide both scoring and excellent defense. Horford in particular will only further help their veteran leadership as he has now been in the league since 2007 and still being productive at 37 years of age. Other players on the Celtics that will contribute and play are Payton Pritchard, Sam Hauser, and Luke Kornet.

The weaknesses:

The strengths of these teams have only been mentioned but every team has their weaknesses and neither the Bucks or Celtics are exceptions.

The Bucks major weakness this year will be their perimeter defense as exchanging a great defender in Holiday to a not so good defender in Lillard might cause some problems against many good shooting teams and great point guards. Another potential problem could be the new hiring of a head coach in Adrian Griffin. He has never worked as a head coach and it might be a lot of adjusting for the Bucks.

The Celtics on the other hand will be dealing with a weaker bench with many unproven players that haven’t shown they deserve the role yet. Their biggest bench void is they haven’t found a solid back up big man that can cover the minutes from Al Horford and Kristaps Porzingis. The Celtics will also now have to build chemistry with all the new players and staff members before the playoffs come around. The last concern is the health of Kristaps Porzingis as he has been known to be very injury prone and miss a lot of games.

Who’s the better team?

We probably won’t know the answer unless they play a playoff series versus each other but we can certainly try and guess with the information we have. Makhi Belle, a student living in Massachusetts gives his input by saying, “The Celtics are better due to now having a player to try and stop Giannis with the increased strength and height of the team.” Charlie, a student in Wisconsin disagrees as he states, “No one will be able to stop the star power of Giannis and Lillard because they are too talented to beat.” With mixed opinions it should add on to the excitement of these teams playing one another as it looks to be a rivalry that will only continue to grow this season.

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