On to the next one, as they say.
With the Miami Heat out of the way, the Bucks will have a chance to sit back and relax for about a week before they begin their second round series. Barring an extremely strange collapse given the talent disparity, Milwaukee will likely be facing off against the Brooklyn Nets as we largely expected. Going into that round, you couldn’t be blamed for being either solidly confident or solidly worried.
For the confident crowd, you’re likely working from a host of different angles. You’ve got the 2-1 regular season record between these teams (with the gigantic caveat that none of those games featured all three of Kyrie Irving, James Harden, and Kevin Durant) and the fact that Giannis Antetokounmpo got essentially anything he wanted against Brooklyn’s defense:
Giannis v. Brooklyn in three games this season:— Riley Feldmann (@RileyFeldmann) May 30, 2021
39.7 points (.489/.385/.781), 10.7 rebounds, 5.0 assists, with a 38.1% usage rate.
On top of that, we’ve got four games in the bag showing proof of concept with this team in the playoffs. While the loss of Donte DiVincenzo is going to be felt when trying to cover the likes of Joe Harris off-ball, there should be enough offensive firepower in the rest of the rotation to keep the Bucks competitive in a series where the first one to score 130 each night will win.
For every positive there comes a question to keep you from declaring the Bucks sure-fire winners. There just isn’t any getting around how good Brooklyn’s big three are as an offensive trio. Anyone who says otherwise is utilizing wishful thinking or is an ardent believer in egotism stepping in and knocking the Nets off their game once they’re challenged. Even with a defense that could be, at times, stifling against Miami, it’ll be nigh impossible to give Brooklyn’s stars the “Jimmy Butler” treatment. While Pat Connaughton is going to give it his all, neither he nor Bryn Forbes will have the chemistry or same defensive potential of Donte, and so that’s a hole in the starting five that is going to bandaged over in the hopes that it is enough.
But that’s for next week. Right now, we’ve got a little more satisfaction to derive from the series that just ended, especially since that’s all the national media was talking about. Oh, and Milwaukee Public Market cookies. Can’t forget the Milwaukee Public Market cookies.
Hell, next time I’m in Milwaukee I might just have to stop on by and try things out myself. Couldn’t have picked a better time to make my sojourn to the city in about a week.
Steve Aschburner strikes all the right notes here, highlighting particularly the variety of ways that Milwaukee was able to win. It’s a small sample size, but if it’s anything to go off of we’re seeing very solid early returns from a season spent tinkering.
This is a very good summation of the series (that came true!), so we’ll leave it at this (emphasis Mr. Devine’s):
The Bucks remember every indignation they faced after crumbling last postseason, every sling and arrow sent their way over the past eight months. They want to beat the living shit out of Miami—to break the Heat, to make the team that bullied them in the bubble tap out, in front of a national audience.
How Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks are feasting on the Miami Heat — and what comes next (ESPN+ - Subscription required)
Yeah, I know, you’ve got to pay to read the words, but they’re Zach Lowe’s words! It’s a long ode to just how thorough Milwaukee’s shellacking of Miami had been up to that point, and more importantly, a preview of how the Bucks might bring forward the things that worked against Brooklyn in the regular season.
Fan Post of the Week
Nada. Which means that I win Fan Post of the Week, as is tradition. Thank you for coming.
Know Your Enemy (maybe?)
Since Boston-Brooklyn technically isn’t decided, we’ll include both here for “content” purposes.
- Brooklyn Nets - Nets Daily - Kevin Durant and James Harden combine for 80 but Brooklyn falls short, 125-119
Blake bad at switching on defense? Brooklyn racking up a total of 16 assists as a team? Boston doing the want-it-more hustle stuff? Sounds like a recipe for dropping a game against an inferior opponent to me.
- Boston Celtics - Celtics Blog - Jayson Tatum’s historic 50-piece might have just saved the Celtics season
Oh, and Tatum put up a 50 burger. Not sure if he has three more of those in him, but with Jaylen Brown out and Kemba Walker dealing with injury himself, Tatum will have the green light to shoot to his heart’s content.
The Social Media Section
Mike Budenholzer getting the GTA treatment while eating a cookie is amazing art
Congrats once more to Jim on a career well done
Thank you very much. This has all been my privilege. I am forever grateful.— Jim Paschke (@Paschketball) May 30, 2021
Someone shared this on the Game Four recap, but it’s so good it needs reposting
Bucks co-owner Wes Edens at the BAL with Masai today too pic.twitter.com/wAXNm73I8g— emma (@_emmajbrown) May 29, 2021
Seeing is believing
Bryn Forbes outscoring Jimmy Butler in a playoff series is an all-time talking point— Josh Eberley (@JoshEberley) May 29, 2021
Giannis: “How many games this series going?”— Josiah Johnson (@KingJosiah54) May 29, 2021
Jimmy Butler: pic.twitter.com/HhR2YtM4ok
PJ Tucker is the heart and soul of a stingy team
Even Ricky Pierce got in on the action
I just watched my Milwaukee Bucks put a beat down on Miami. With the addition of Holiday, they're ready to make the next step. The offense and defense is on point. Stay tuned.#game3 #BucksvsHeat #ESPN #accushot22— Ricky C Pierce (@RickyCPierce) May 28, 2021
It’ll have to wait until later this week for our next round opponent to be locked in, so sit back, relax, and enjoy the fireworks for a bit. Any extra games the Celtics and Nets take out on each other is just another notch in Milwaukee’s favor.
We’re big fans of Team Chaos around here, and we’ll be pulling for them again this week.