Who Are The X-Factors In The Celtics-Bucks Series?

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

 

On Saturday, Game 3 will commence between the Boston Celtics and defending champion Milwaukee Bucks.

On Tuesday, the Celtics tied the series with a 23-point victory over the Bucks.

The Bucks had a double-digit victory of their own in Game 1.

It was a tale of two games for Boston in Game 1 and 2 in terms of their 3-point shooting.

The Celtics shot very well from distance in Game 2 after a lesser performance in Game 1.

The series now shifts to Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee for the next two games.

Other than the stars, who will be determining how the rest of the series goes?

Who are the x-factors in this series?

 

Celtics X-Factor: Grant Williams

Grant “Batman” Williams was raining 3-pointers in Game 2, as the Celtics set a new playoff franchise record for 3-pointers in the contest:

Williams has carved out the role as the impressive sixth man on this Celtics team.

He, Derrick White, and Payton Pritchard are the main players off the bench for Boston this series, with Daniel Theis sporting a DNP-CD in Game 2.

In Game 1, Williams attempted six shots and scored eight points, but had a -15 plus/minus in the contest.

Then in Game 2, he had a tremendous performance.

In Williams’ 28th career postseason game, he had a playoff career-high 21 points.

Prior to the contest, he had never made more than five buckets or four 3-pointers in a playoff game.

In addition, he sported a +22 plus/minus in the game, which lead the team.

The +22 was also the best of Williams’ playoff career.

He played the fourth-most minutes of any Celtic in the game, and he continued his strong defense as well.

If it is the first of many strong offensive performances for Williams, then the Celtics will be looking good.

So, can Williams keep up with the great play?

The Celtics sure hope so.

 

Bucks X-Factor: Grayson Allen

In Boston, Grayson Allen drew the ire of the TD Garden fans.

He played very well in the absence of Khris Middleton in the first-round series against the Chicago Bulls.

The Duke product set new playoff career-highs in points in Games 3 and 4 against the Bulls:

  • Game 3: 22 points on 5-for-7 shooting on 3-pointers
  • Game 4: 27 points on 6-for-7 shooting on 3-pointers

The Bucks won their third straight game in Game 5, as the Bucks received 13 points (3-for-6 shooting from deep) from Allen.

He is an important scorer and agitator for Milwaukee, and it will be interesting to see how he carves out his role in the Celtics series.

Here is how he has performed thus far:

  • Game 1: 11 points, 4-for-8 shooting, 3-for-6 from 3-point (did not attempt a free throw)
  • Game 2: 5 points, 2-for-4 shooting, 0-for-1 from 3-point, 1-for-3 on free throws

Allen had a plus-minus of just +5 in Game 1, but he was a -6 in Game 2.

His performance on offense and defense could determine a game or two in this series.

If he goes off from downtown, the Bucks will be very happy.

Thus far, Boston has been able to keep him in check.

If Allen can have a performance like Williams did in Game 2, then the Bucks would be in for success as they await Middleton’s return.