Retired NBA great Kobe Bryant began this NBA season by issuing a bunch of challenges. Bryant’s challenge for the Milwaukee Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo was a big one. Bryant challenged Giannis to win the NBA MVP. It’s an honor a guy named Kyrie Irving also wants to add to his trophy case, and one Irving was unlikely to win playing next to perennial MVP candidate LeBron James in Cleveland. So as everybody knows, Irving opted to start from scratch in Boston. What many people forget is that the Boston Celtics actually won the Eastern Conference regular season last season — Irving is hardly lifting the Celts from the dust. Even so the Celtics 20-4 start is a surprise to everybody who’s honest, especially given the loss of Gordon Hayward in Game 1.
The Bucks are a surprise too, but only to those not paying enough attention. Head coach Jason Kidd brings the winning pedigree nightly to Milwaukee and, well, there’s Giannis. The Bucks opened up against the Celts in October and Giannis had 37 points, 13 rebounds, three assists and three steals in giving Boston its second loss in as many games. The Celts had their revenge later in the month, holding Giannis to a mere 27 and 10, plus seven assists. The Celtics are way out in front in the East thanks to their great start. But the 12-9 Bucks are a tough matchup for Boston and for everybody else. That’s why Boston is only getting five points in Vegas, despite being at home. Bucks-Celtics is on NBA TV at 7:30pm ET. [Bonus: Harley-Davidson Logo on Bucks NBA Jerseys Like A Tattoo, VP Says]