Celtics Talk: Brian Scalabrine shares prediction, keys for series vs. Bucks

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Celtics Talk: Scal shares prediction, keys for series vs. Bucks originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Celtics aced their first test in the 2022 NBA playoffs by sweeping the Brooklyn Nets, but it only gets tougher from here.

Next up is an Eastern Conference Semifinals matchup vs. the Giannis Antetokounmpo-led Milwaukee Bucks. Milwaukee took down the Chicago Bulls in five games in their first-round series and are looking to defend their title as NBA champions.

Here's the Celtics-Bucks series schedule

Ahead of Sunday's Game 1, Brian Scalabrine joined Chris Forsberg on the Celtics Talk Podcast to share his prediction for the series and the key to a C's victory.

Celtics Talk: Celtics in 7? Brian Scalabrine breaks down keys to series vs. Bucks | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

"I think this series is going to start Game 5 in the Garden and that's where the intensity's going to be up," Scal said. "I fully expect it to be 2-2 at that point. I actually expect the Celtics to be up 3-2 going into Milwaukee, and I also expect it to be 3-3 Game 7.

"I'm hoping that the Celtic faithful, and the ruckus and whatever it is, is the difference-maker."

Why Middleton's absence is a huge issue for Bucks in Round 2 vs. Celtics

Forsberg asked Scalabrine what the key will be for the Celtics to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

"Your boy, Rob Williams," Scal answered. "No disrespect to your boy, he was awful I thought in that Nets series. By the way, missing all that time and getting thrown into a playoff series is not ideal either, but if Rob Williams -- not on Giannis, even though I can see him guarding Giannis in the fourth quarter -- he needs that lurking around the basket and challenging shots. ...

"What we saw from the Celtics when they were at their best, Rob Williams on the help, next guy rotating out to the corner, next guy scrambling. Everyone talks about the Celtics' on-ball defense, it's great, it's spectacular at times, but I've never seen a team scramble out of when they get in trouble like I do with the Celtics. They really react well to that.

"So that is going to be the key. Can Rob come and help deter Giannis, make Giannis think, make Giannis pass, and can the Celtics scramble out of that and make it difficult for the Bucks. If you can, you win the series. if you can't, and the Bucks are getting 35-37 3s and 22 of them are wide-open, we're not going to win the series."

Also discussed in the episode: Why do the Bucks constantly struggle in the first game of a series? And how big is the loss of Khris Middleton?

Check out the latest episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network or watch it on YouTube below.