Although the Bucks' season ended in unfortunate blowout fashion, everything leading up to that made their 2014-15 campaign much more special. They exceeded expectations that most had of them before the season got underway, they continued to develop their young core and likely set a record for the amount of loops set on Vines (thanks, Giannis).
As we look back on the season that was, we recap the five best plays that made our jaws drop and drinks fly across our shirts. So pick up those leftover tears and remember the journey that was. If there are other memorable plays you can think of, please share them in the comments.
5. Knight's plus one over Memphis
The situation: We didn't forget about you, Brandon Knight. The Bucks needed a basket to tie with under 10 seconds to go against the powerhouse Memphis Grizzles Nov. 8 at home. Knight rolled off a high screen from Zaza Pachulia and split through Marc Gasol before finishing on Courtney Lee at the rim for two with a foul. Knight sank his lone free-throw afterwards and put the Bucks up three with 1.1 left on the clock. The win gave the Grizzlies their first loss of the season at the time.
4. The backboard buzzer
The situation: Nothing usually stems from the Bucks playing in Phoenix. Last year Larry Sanders and Gary Neal had a shouting match, and on this particular night, they lost Jabari Parker to an eventual ACL tear. But the lone positive that night was how the Bucks walked off the court as a team. Down just one with 3.5 remaining, Khris Middleton threw in a pass to Jared Dudley that went directly back to him as he came out of bounds. Middleton bounced off Marcus Morris and rattled in backboard three with time expiring to stun the Suns. The shot was Middleton's first game-winning shot of his career.
3. Giannis brings down MSG
The situation: An angry Giannis Antetokounmpo walked into Madison Square Garden after being deactivated the previous game against Cleveland. On top of finishing with 23 points that night, Giannis bolstered in a ferocious coast-to-coast slam after a block on Tim Hardaway Jr. that was only accompanied by the greatest stink face in the history of stink faces. As he noted days after, he wanted to play angry and use his benching as motivation. He definitely did that.
2. Bayless at the buzzer
The situation: The Bucks had their backs against the walls in Game 4 of the NBA Playoffs down 0-3 to the Chicago Bulls. Chicago was gaining momentum late once again through their workhorses Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler, and it seemed like a game was going to overtime for the second straight game in the series. With the game tied at 90 apiece, Rose threw a bad pass that led to a Middleton steal and a Bucks timeout. The Bucks had 1.3 seconds left in the game, and one last shot to make sure it didn't go into overtime. Off the inbound, Bayless ran by a sleeping Rose under the basket and kept the Bucks' postseason hopes alive with a game-winning layup.
1. Middleton burns Miami
The situation: Middleton's second game-winner checks in for the No.1 play of the Bucks' season. Down two with a chance to tie, Jerryd Bayless won an improbable jump ball over Michael Beasley, but then his drive at the rim rattled out as the ball looked to sail out of bounds in favor of Miami. But Pachulia battled through Goran Gragic and Luol Deng to complete an incredible diving save that went straight to Middleton at the 3-point line. Khris' shot sinked at the buzzer and gave the Bucks a 89-88 win after once being down 11 on Jason Kidd's birthday.The reason why this shot is over Bayless' is because of the unlikely and desperation completed pass from Pachulia.