Milwaukee Bucks prove they're a real contender with blowout win over Boston Celtics

The Milwaukee Bucks defeated a Boston Celtics team in a blowout win that was expected to be a close game.
Boston Celtics v Milwaukee Bucks
Boston Celtics v Milwaukee Bucks / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

The Milwaukee Bucks flex their muscles with the national spotlight against the Boston Celtics.

What was expected to be a possible preview of the Eastern Conference Finals turned out to be a lopsided blowout victory for the Milwaukee Bucks as they defeated the Boston Celtics by a score of 135-102. The Celtics did not perform like a team contending for a title as they appeared to be exhausted and sluggish on both ends of the floor.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard set the tone from the beginning as they were locked in making it difficult for the Celtics to recover as the duo combined for 35 first-half points.

The Celtics, coming off of a hard-fought overtime win the night before against the Minnesota Timberwolves, played as if they were fatigued and exerted all of their energy in that overtime victory. It may be true that the Celtics were not mentally or physically prepared to play this Bucks team but they cannot use the excuse of playing on back-to-back nights due to the fact that every team in the NBA has to figure out the balance and adjust accordingly and the Celtics are no exception.

This was indeed a statement win for the Bucks despite it only being a regular-season game. They proved that they can't be overlooked or taken lightly regardless of who owns the better record or how bad they have been on the defensive end this season. After a 37-point halftime deficit, Celtics head coach Joe Mazulla sat all five starters to begin the second half, and rightfully so.

Regardless of being mentally and physically drained, the Celtics should have been better prepared for this matchup knowing the importance of this game. While the loss won't make or break their season, this loss was a deflating one and certainly one the Celtics shouldn't forget for the duration of the season. A key attribute to a championship team is being able to overcome adversity and having the ability to be mentally tough and push through whenever they face challenges.

The Milwaukee Bucks show signs of high-ceiling potential

As for the Bucks, Antetokounmpo continues to play at an MVP level and Lillard's confidence in his teammates continues to grow. For the Bucks to gain that big of a lead in the 1st half versus a team with the Celtics' level of talent was impressive and certainly something to take note of. This victory for the Bucks doesn't mean that they are better than the Celtics by any means but it does prove that a playoff series between these two juggernauts would be a coin flip in a series that has the potential to go seven games.

As we saw in last year's playoffs, seeding means nothing as the Bucks got obliterated by the 8th-seeded Miami Heat in the 1st round. The Bucks are 5-5 in their last 10 games and have been losing to teams that they shouldn't be losing to. It appeared that the Bucks entered this contest with a sense of urgency as they picked up a much-needed win.

Lakers murray trade . Los Angeles Lakers: What a Dejounte Murray trade deadline trade would look like. dark. Next

The next game between these two teams is about two months away and I'm sure that the next matchup will be much closer than the last result. But for now, the Bucks have shown the Celtics and the rest of the NBA that they are legit and can't be slept on.