The Boston Celtics proved that their success in the regular season was no fluke. They swept Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and the Brooklyn Nets in convincing fashion and look like a legit title candidate.

Now, Ime Udoka's team will need to keep their foot on the gas when they face the reigning champions, Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks got by the Chicago Bulls in just five games, so both teams will be well-rested.

But even though beating the defending champs won't be an easy task, the Celtics should be favored to move on to the Eastern Conference Finals. Here, we break down the 3 reasons why they'll advance in the playoffs.

NBA Playoffs 2022: This Is Why The Celtics Will Beat The Bucks

3. Bucks Are Shorthanded

The Bucks will need to get by without Khris Middleton in this series, as he suffered a knee injury against the Bulls. Losing Middleton is a massive blow on both ends of the floor, as he was one of their most active wing defenders and second-leading scorer.

Middleton averaged 20.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.2 steals, and 2.5 three-pointers per game on 44/37/89 shooting splits. The Bulls were also shorthanded but the Celtics are a deep, stacked team at every position.

2. Defensive Prowess

The Bucks will need to make up for Middleton's 20 points per game against the top-ranked defense in the Association. Moreover, they ranked 19th in scoring in the regular season, so they could only struggle further against the Celtics' gritty, pesky, physical defense.

Moreover, not having Middleton around takes a legit three-point threat away from them. The Celtics know how to build a wall around Giannis Antetokounmpo and force him to score from distance, and they have the reigning DPOY in Marcus Smart.

1. A Blossoming Superstar

And last but not least, Jayson Tatum is playing like a man on a mission. He reminded us of 2010 Kobe Bryant against the Nets, averaging a whopping 29.5 points, 7.3 assists, 4.5 rebounds, 1.8 steals, and 3.3 three-pointers per game in the first round.

Tatum continues to break out as one of the best two-way players in the league. He's been unstoppable from all three levels while also playing solid defense throughout the whole season, and he'll lead the C's to another ECF trip this year.