The Milwaukee Bucks are in their third postseason with serious aspirations, and for the third straight year they find themselves fighting from behind to avoid disappointment. Two years ago, it was against the Toronto Raptors...who won the title. One year ago, it was against the Miami Heat...who made it to the NBA Finals (in the Bubble, but still). Now, it’s against the Brooklyn Nets...who are the odds-on favorite to make it to the championship round.
Third time’s the charm, right?
Where We’re At
In Game 1, the Bucks put up a fight and ended up getting badly beaten. In Game 2, they couldn’t even manage much of a fight; the final margin was somehow smaller than it felt.
The margin of victory in Game 2 was 39 points.
On Milwaukee’s side of things, nothing has worked. Putting PJ Tucker in the starting lineup to replace Donte DiVincenzo made the Bucks bigger, but did nothing to bolster the floundering offense. The Nets are scoring 120.0 points per game, which was what was expected; nobody thought Milwaukee would fail to crack 100 points per game (averaging 96.5). Advanced statistics can often tell us the story behind the story, but the story of this series so far is complete and overwhelming dominance by Brooklyn. To turn the tide, Milwaukee has a lot that they need to do differently, and no one is more important to see a revitalization from than Giannis Antetokounmpo.
In Brooklyn, everything is pretty cool. Why wouldn’t it be? They’re cruising to a commanding lead in this series, and all without Jeff Green and James Harden, both of whom will remain out tonight. Kevin Durant is the basketball monster he’s been for much of his career, Kyrie Irving is so talented it’s infuriating, and Blake Griffin has embraced his role more tightly than he clutched his ticket out of Detroit a few months ago. And we haven’t even gotten to the contributions of Joe Harris and Bruce Brown, who are excelling in their own roles.
A Bucks win in Game 3 would put the series at 2-1 and give Milwaukee a fighting chance to win their home games and have to steal one – just one! – in Brooklyn. A loss tonight plops Milwaukee into a 3-0 hole, which we learned last postseason, is a deficit that no team has ever come back from.
Player To Watch
Giannis. It’s time, big guy. It’s time.
Game Three: Against the Nets, Milwaukee will...
This poll is closed
Win big (by 10 or more points)
Win close (by 9 or fewer points)
Lose close (by 9 or fewer points)
Lose big (by 10 or more points)