There's no use ignoring precedent: Teams that have fallen behind 0-2 in a seven game series have only completed the full comeback 19 times in 302 such series. That's a success rate of merely ~6.2%. The Celtics have never lost a series after going up 2-0. Cold hard historical fact would lead you to believe that, even after evening their series against the Boston Celtics at 2-2, the Milwaukee Bucks have one hell of a mountain to climb this week.
If the Bucks are to beat the odds they'll need to scratch out two more difficult victories including at least one win in Boston. Game 3 was Milwaukee's coming out party, Game 4 was a near-run thing bordering on a disaster, but the Bucks are still standing. What is in store for Games 5 & 6 is anybody's guess.
I'll leave the predicting to the finer basketball minds here at Brew Hoop, and instead focus on a combination of themes like the pending head coaching search, a development in the G-League, and reminisce on coach Joe Prunty's time as a beer salesman.
NBA coaching candidates: Big names, top prospects and wild cards (ESPN)
This one is a must-read for any fans who want to familiarize themselves with the names both known and unknown that will be tossed around this offseason as possible head coaching hires.
Who you back as a candidate probably depends largely on your belief in what the Bucks need to take the proverbial next step in their development. Do you believe experience at the helm of a NBA team is the most important quality in a coach? Then maybe the likes of Mike Budenholzer or Frank Vogel are for you. Want a hotshot assistant looking for their first shot at the leading role? Maybe I can interest you in Nick Nurse or someone with a pedigree like Ettore Messina?
All we can really hope for as fans is that the interview process isn't as botched as the GM search from last offseason. I'm totally sure our three-headed ownership group will come to a decisive consensus...
Big Pay Raises Coming for G League Players (New York Times)
A much-needed change to the G-League's compensation regime looks to finally be on its way with all G-League players earning at least $35,000 plus insurance and housing benefits. That's a big jump from the $19,000 many players were making and may serve as further enticement to potentially flip college-bound prospects into the NBA's minor-league system.
For the Wisconsin Herd this jump in salary expenditure may not mean a lot in the short-term, but don't be surprised if a touted high school talent finds his way to Oshkosh instead of a mid-tier NCAA program in the coming seasons thanks to this pay increase.
Once a beer salesman, interim coach Joe Prunty now trying to get Bucks to the second round (USA Today)
This one got included simply because I had zero idea that coach Prunty had a history of hawking adult beverages before entering the NBA's coaching ranks. He may need to rely on those hard-earned salesman skills once the season is over to convince either Milwaukee's ownership it would be worthwhile keeping him as coach or to sell himself to other franchise's and coaching staffs around the league.
Rumor has it that Jason Kidd might get serious consideration for the coaching role down in Phoenix, so maybe Joe won't be out of a job for too long after all.
Brandon Jennings’s Roads Not Taken (The Ringer)
He may not get much burn the rest of the playoffs, but now seems as good a time as any to take a moment and marvel at the basketball path that led Brandon Jennings from California to Rome, then to Milwaukee, around the rest of the league, China, and finally back to the Bucks.
Jennings was a unique prep player over a decade ago when he was deciding between an offer to play for Arizona or to go overseas. Instead of playing college ball, young Brandon opted to get paid handsomely ($1.2 million) for a year to play pro ball in Rome. He'd be drafted by the Bucks in the 2009 draft, have an astounding first two weeks in the league, and the rest is history.
Now, back from the basketball brink in China, Jennings once again finds himself staring at a cloudy future. Fate could find him on the bench of a NBA team or sent abroad in search of success once again. For Brandon, the uncertainty of it all is nothing new.
Jabari Parker is frustrated with playing time, but there’s a reason he’s not playing much (The Step Back)
This piece came up between Games 2 and 3 as the Jabari Death Spiral was in full-effect. Since two disastrous performances in Boston, Parker stabilized for a game and a half before lapsing into disinterest once again.
If this is truly Jabari's final ride in a Bucks uniform, it'd be comforting knowing he sent himself off with a memorable night or two to help lead Milwaukee to its first series win in nearly two decades. A few spirited games could only help increase his value in restricted free agency, and it'd surely get the fan mob off his back for a few days. What's he got to lose?
From the Social Media Realm
Sigh, looks like we need to run another local business out of town. You ignore Giannis after a big playoff game and thems the rules:
At @BelAirCantina on water street and just watched @Giannis_An34 wait for a table for 10 minutes and no one helped him so he left... Dude just won Milwaukee a playoff game! Get him some service pic.twitter.com/hcjsJfThiA— Morgan (@MoSokanhe) April 22, 2018
The chronically underappreciated Khris Middleton turns the table on a reporter w/ Giannis Antetokounmpo's help.— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) April 21, 2018
Middleton: "Were you the guy who called me Jabari earlier today?"
Giannis: "He's the guy!" pic.twitter.com/N9htfP5os5
Giannis and Bucks jerseys everywhere!
Steph Curry & the @Warriors top the NBA list of most popular jerseys & team merchandise, marking the third consecutive regular season Curry & the defending NBA Champions have earned top honors based on https://t.co/I0ypSvyq5i sales. pic.twitter.com/teRalPrMVb— NBA (@NBA) April 17, 2018
A belated happy birthday to GM Jon Horst from those of us at Brew Hoop, and his own rookies:
It’s GM Jon Horst’s birthday, so the Bucks rookies sang to him after practice. pic.twitter.com/drSpAkON1P— Matt Velazquez (@Matt_Velazquez) April 16, 2018
Do you guys hear that? That's the sound of one Bucks Aussie legend handing the torch to his successor:
The @ThonMaker14 game!!!!— Andrew Bogut (@andrewbogut) April 21, 2018
Red never looked so good:
Nothing but red on Boston's shot chart at the half #TwitterNBAShow https://t.co/91j7p9BD7x pic.twitter.com/mxXvQcjGCt— Nate Duncan (@NateDuncanNBA) April 21, 2018
Nothing worse than getting roasted by players whose teams aren't even in the playoffs:
Ready to see “idk who the hell that is vs Drew Bledsoe” tonight— Reggie Bullock (@ReggieBullock35) April 20, 2018
The season lives on, at least until this Thursday depending on how Games 5 and 6 turn out. Milwaukee will have to win at least once in Boston with their first crack coming Tuesday evening. Having nearly stolen Game 1 on the road and with momentum nominally on their side, I wouldn't be shocked if the Bucks won in emphatic fashion. Similarly, I would be even less shocked to see them drop an egg of a game in Game 6 at home on Thursday to force things into a high-stakes Game 7 in Boston on Saturday.
What say you, Bucks fan? Do you think this team can get it together enough to fulfill the “Bucks in Six” prophecy foretold years ago? Or are they just pulling another round of rope-a-dope on the fanbase having tied the series at 2-2 before inevitably collapsing in dispiriting fashion by Thursday evening?