Semi Ojeleye
Boston always has a plan. Meet the Giannis stopper, Semi Ojeleye. He’s the secret weapon against the Greek Freak. Look at those pipes! #CUsRise (Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY Sports)

No team has been doubted more this season than the Boston Celtics. Fans still think the NBA regular season matters… YAWN. The Celtics predictably took the Pacers out quickly and now find themselves in a showdown with the one seed, Milwaukee Bucks. This is the same team that Celtics beat in the first round last year. The only difference is Milwaukee will actually show up with a real head coach this year. The only difference for the Celtics is that they will bring Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward to the table. While adding Irving and Hayward is obviously a huge boost, the most important Celtic this series just might be a guy you never heard of before, Semi Ojeleye.

How do you stop Giannis Antetokounmpo? That’s what every single team is trying to figure out. The Greek Freak is going to be named the MVP of the league after the end of the season. He’s the scariest young player in the league. There’s no question about it. What most people don’t know is the Celtics have their own Giannis stopper. Get ready for Semi Ojeleye.

Speaking of scary, Ojeleye might be the one player in the league that you don’t want to see in a dark ally. The man is built like a brick shit house.

Semi Ojeleye
(Brett Rojo/USA TODAY Sports)

That’s a picture of Semi in college. Don’t worry, he’s bigger now. Ojeleye, 24, was a second round pick in 2017. Semi doesn’t get a ton of minutes on a loaded Celtics team but he does some things really well. He can shoot and really defend. Ojeleye is one of the few guys that Giannis will not push around in the post.

Semi Ojeleye

90 percent of the league craters when Giannis tries to work in the post. Ojeleye is like trying to back down a brick wall. It’s not happening. The statistics also show that Semi does a hell of a job defending the Greek Freak.

The following is from Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston:

“The Celtics have typically fared well when Ojeleye is on the court with Antetokounmpo.

The pair logged 41 minutes together on the court during the Celtics-Bucks regular-season matchups this year. Antetokounmpo’s net rating with Ojeleye on the floor was minus-4.5, then spiked to plus-7.4 in the 66 minutes he played without Ojeleye on the court. Now, that’s a bit misleading because the Bucks had an offensive rating of 108 in the minutes Ojeleye was on the court and that actually plummeted to 97.1 without him, so the variance was more on the defensive end.

The luxury for the Celtics is simply being able to deploy another stout body capable of taking some of the wear off Horford. Even if Antetokounmpo scores, Ojeleye can make him work, offer resistance near the basket, and give you another batch of fouls to keep Boston’s top rotation guys on the floor in key spots.”

That’s what it’s all about. It’s kind of like having pass rushers in the NFL. You might be facing a great quarterback but having a bunch of pass rushers makes defeating him a doable task. Semi is the kind of luxury most teams don’t have. A big body that isn’t afraid to attack Giannis on the defensive end.

“That dude is a machine, man,” said Hayward.

“I don’t know what his deal is, why he’s so angry,” Brown said while trying to muffle a sly smile. “I get it, he’s probably like, ‘Man, f— it, I wanted to be out there [in the game].’ He’s just throwing that medicine ball and he’s probably got a picture of Brad Stevens next to him.”

For a team that’s going to be missing Marcus Smart during this series, Ojeleye brings the type of toughness and mean streak that is needed for the Celtics.

At the end of the day, the fact that so many people love the Bucks makes me feel so confident in this series. The Celtics beat them last year without Kyrie Irving. If you have watched Kyrie this postseason, you would see that he isn’t f*cking around this year. He’s out for blood. 22.5 points per game and shooting 42.5% from 3-point range.

Yikes… Don’t teams every learn their lesson? Remember the last team that tried that chant out?

Then the Yankees got their doors blown off. Boston just pisses excellence. The fact that Boston has a still has a chance to complete the championship sweep across the 4 major sports might be the most incredible accomplishment ever. Red Sox? Check. Patriots? Yup, they won too. Bruins? Still in it with home ice the rest of the way. Celtics? Oh, yeah.

Betting against Boston is never a good idea. This time you’re betting against Kyrie Irving, Brad Stevens, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum, and Al Horford. Boston always has a plan. This time it’s Semi Ojeleye.