It’s nice to talk about basketball again, isn’t it? There’s much more in the world going on that’s bigger than basketball, but that doesn’t preclude us from cheering on the Milwaukee Bucks. And cheer we shall, as they closed out the Orlando Magic with a 118-104 victory and will face the Miami Heat in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Do you think Giannis is ready?
Dude went up for a finger roll and was like "nah, I'm dunking this sh!t" pic.twitter.com/SIX2yko2tS— Bucks Film Room (Brian Sampson) (@BucksFilmRoom) August 29, 2020
The Bucks took a few minutes to warm up, but the Magic committed a number of unforced errors and Milwaukee was able to ease into a double-digit lead. Threes were dropping early, but Orlando found some life and the Bucks carried a 26-21 lead at the end of the first quarter. At the start of the second, the Milwaukee offense hit a bit of a rut, but Giannis Antetokounmpo continued his efficient assaults on the rim and the threes kept falling, and the lead ballooned up to 67-50 by halftime.
Other than Game 1, the Bucks-Magic series has given off a “March 10th during a long normal season” feel. That means the Bucks are doing something right— Mike Prada (@MikePradaNBA) August 29, 2020
The third quarter rolled around, and the Bucks put their collective foot down and said “okay, we’re taking this game.” Perhaps it was the twenty-plus point deficit that the Magic were flirting with, or the fact that they were so close to being able to escape this forsaken bubble, but it seemed like Orlando just had nothing to offer. The Magic did answer with a fourth-quarter barrage cut the deficit all the way down to 3 (partly because Giannis earned himself four fouls in the third quarter), but order was quickly restored and the Bucks cruised to victory.
Three Strike-Related Tweets
Hill said he didn't tell his teammates because he didn't want to put pressure on them if they didn't want to make that decision.— Matt Velazquez (@Matt_Velazquez) August 29, 2020
George Hill said he didn't want to play Game 5 on Wednesday and Bucks teammates stood with him. Of the domino effect said, Hill said he wasn't proud -- more "humbled."— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) August 29, 2020
"I don’t want any credit for it. I just was a human and followed my heart."
.@Giannis_An34 said he was on court pregame on Wednesday when he came back to locker room and saw that George Hill wasn't going to play the game. And neither was Sterling Brown. Giannis had no hesitation; he would not play either. GHill is his brother; he would support teammates— Lori Nickel (@LoriNickel) August 29, 2020
Bonus Bucks Bits
- The league held a moment of silence to commemorate the passing of NBA player Clifford Robinson, Arizona coach Lute Olson, and actor Chadwick Boseman, all of whom died in the last 24 hours.
NBA has moment of silence for Cliff Robinson, Lute Olson and Chadwick Boseman before players from both teams kneel during the national anthem for Bucks-Magic game. pic.twitter.com/P4lZ1M4O2T— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) August 29, 2020
- Bucks guard George Hill was not on the floor during the playing of the national anthem, but rejoined the team right afterwards. Why? Well...find out at the bottom of this section.
- Ersan Ilyasova entered the game early in the first quarter, partially because Khris Middleton earned an early pair of personal fouls. This is only notable because first quarter Ersan minutes should never, ever happen again.
- Bucks color commentator Marques Johnson was not working the game today, but he had some pretty good reasons!
- In the second quarter, Magic head coach Steve Clifford used a challenge to overturn a block, and was successful. Usually this happens with Giannis, but this play instead involved Brook Lopez. Bucks fans everywhere were generally pleased with the decision, since coaches challenges don’t regenerate.
Anytime an opposition coach uses a challenge that Giannis isn’t involved in you have to look at it as a win if you are Milwaukee.— Kane Pitman (@KanePitman) August 29, 2020
- In the first half, Milwaukee had a trio of fouls on three pointers. They’ve been doing that an awful lot in the bubble, and one wonders if that’s going to come back to bite them later in the postseason.
- Ladies and gentlemen, Marvin Williams. The wily vet went 4-4 from deep and showed the type of versatility that Milwaukee wanted when they targeted him on the buyout market. It was The Marvin Williams Game.
- I...don’t know.
- Milwaukee closed the competitive portion of the fourth quarter with Giannis-Khris-Marvin Williams-George Hill-Eric Bledsoe. The lineup looked fast and moved the ball well, helping push things to a close.
- This is why it’s okay that Giannis takes all those threes. Every so often, you’re gonna need it.
- Let’s turn our attention to the Heat. Here’s what we have so far:
Dates for the Bucks-Heat series are set:— Matt Velazquez (@Matt_Velazquez) August 29, 2020
Game 1 – Monday, August 31
Game 2 – Wednesday, September 2
Game 3 – Friday, September 4
Game 4 – Sunday, September 6
Game 5* – Tuesday, September 8
Game 6* – Thursday, September 10
Game 7* – Saturday, September 12
- George Hill: leader of men, taker of shits.