Oh, how sweet it is! The Bucks have finally reached the summit of 60 wins, as they closed out the Atlanta Hawks Sunday afternoon by a 115-107 score.
The opening quarter would be a little bit of an odd one. Budenholzer would go as many as 10 deep — unfortunately, the bench wouldn’t produce as much as you’d like to see. Eventually, Milwaukee would push the gas a little, and it resulted in them taking a 28-21 lead with them into the second quarter.
The Bucks would really kick into high gear throughout the second quarter but still never really make much distance. Transitioning into halftime, it was the Bucks 54, Atlanta 45.
The third quarter would feature brief stints of Giannis, as it was clear that Budenholzer was staggering the starters’ minutes in this meaningless game. However, when he was out on the floor, he made a world of difference. Moving into the fourth, Milwaukee built up a 13 point lead.
Despite the double-digit lead in the fourth, Atlanta wouldn’t be put to bed. They’d scratch and claw their way all the way back to a three-point deficit, when they were all of a sudden met by a pair of Khris Middleton 3-pointers. That’d end up being the dagger, and the Bucks would be on the way to their 60th win of the season.
In 25 minutes of play, Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks. He’d finish with 30 points, six rebounds, and three assists. Khris Middleton had himself a nice night out there as well, featuring 21 points. Sterling Brown and DJ Wilson each had 10 points apiece.
Alex Len was the lead point getter for the Hawks and the entire game, finishing his night up with 33 points.
So this is what 60 wins feels like.
Wow. It really is pretty crazy to think about. I mean, at the beginning of the year, what were your expectations for this team? Honestly, with a new coach and a new system, I would’ve been content with around 45 wins. Wouldn’t have batted an eye. 50 wins? Oh heck yes, sign me up. I would’ve taken that any day of the week. Only a few NBA teams have reeled in the proper talent to reach 60 wins, and now, the Bucks are one of them. I mentioned in my Rapid Recap that 60 always sounds like that mythical number of wins that only teams with Kobe, LeBron, and other superstars reach. Well, now Milwaukee has their superstar — and while they admitted to taking a little bit of time to celebrate this feat, their eyes are still set on the bigger prize — winning an NBA title.
It was another strong performance from Sterling Brown.
Sterling has been on a tear as of late. Last night marked the sixth straight game of double-digit points for him — his previous streak was just three games. He definitely brought his A game last night, especially on his throw down dunk early on in the first quarter. His recent play definitely could make it tough for Mike Budenholzer to organize a playoff rotation — or will it?
Sort of caught off guard by Bud answering a question from @mkebucksaus about Sterling Brown and how difficult his recent play might make it to put together a playoff rotation.— Eric Nehm (@eric_nehm) April 8, 2019
His response: pic.twitter.com/YmAkUd9ZM1
I am very here for Sterling Brown playoff minutes. The level of intensity he’s brought the last few weeks has been off the charts and to see what he can now bring in a playoff series is going to be quite fun.
Brook Lopez continues to be an Iron Man.
Last year, it was Khris Middleton who played in all 82 games. This year, Brook Lopez is on the verge of doing that. A pretty special campaign, to say the least. He’s truly meant so much for this Bucks team, and honestly, who knows where this team would be without him. He truly has been a game changer on both the offensive and defensive sides of the basketball, and will continue to be a major impact come postseason as well. Want to see a crazy Brook Lopez statistic? Ah, who am I kidding — of course you do!
Brook Lopez is the only player in nba history to record 175 threes and 175 blocks in one season.— Bucks Film Room (@BucksFilmRoom) April 8, 2019
Once again, pretty mind blowing. I’m ready to see how he contributes in the playoffs. Going to be fun!
Bonus Bucks Bits
- Right off the bat, it was a block party at Fiserv Forum. It didn’t take long for the Bucks length to shine in this one, and it showed by Brook Lopez’s four blocks in the first few minutes of action. It really did set a tone that the Hawks were going to have some trouble down under and that the Bucks would be racing out ahead.
- The mean mug is officially back on the menu:
I don’t know what Alex Len ever deserved to receive that, but boy, was Giannis ever on a mission.
- That wouldn’t be the end of the night for Mr. Len:
Jeepers, folks. Don’t click this article at work, because that alone makes this piece NSFW.
- The defense as a whole had another huge night. In fact, it was Milwaukee’s NBA-high 23rd game of the season holding their opponent to under 40 percent shooting.
- The Bucks were also pretty busy down under. They’d end up hauling in 62 rebounds as a team, marking their NBA-high-tying fourth 60+ rebound game of the season.
- Complements to DJ Wilson on a solid night as well. He’d tally his eight game of the year reaching double-figures, and he did it on a nice 3-of-4 shooting night from the floor.
- Prior to the game, Giannis Antetokounmpo was presented with the 2018-19 EuroPlayer Award as the best European player in the world. I have a feeling that that’s going to be the first of many pieces of hardware he’ll be picking up in the next few weeks:
- Okay, I honestly don’t know what the Hawks were doing with those jerseys. Not a fan at all. The neon green mixed with the red has also never really appealed to me either. The really should’ve just re-branded back to their classic colors of white, orange, red, and yellow. Who would’ve been upset at that?