My compatriots on the staff (and you guys, of course) have spilled plenty of virtual ink reveling in Milwaukee’s toppling of the Brooklyn Nets. Suffice it to say, I’m as ecstatic and elated as everyone else. Part of the joy stems from besting another challenger, but another part rises out of having seen this team reach the Conference Finals for the second time in three seasons. It’s us and, improbably, the Atlanta Hawks.
Funny enough, having emerged triumphant against the Nets, the Bucks will now get buzz as the odds-on favorite to advance to the Finals. It wouldn’t be surprising if all that talk about Milwaukee-Brooklyn being the “real Finals” grew in the coming day or two in the lead up to game one. They can’t get complacent and they can’t take the competition lightly no matter what, but all that is for Wednesday.
For now, I think it is appropriate for us to take a step back and appreciate the fact that we’ve reached the Conference Finals at all. After all, only four out of 30 teams get to this stage, and in the NBA it’s an even harder climb for the “lesser” teams to get to this point. Our first go-around came on the back of a thunderously successful initial campaign under Mike Budenholzer, only to end in excruciating pain when the Raptors turned the tables and went on to win the title.
Now, back in elite company once again, we get to see whether the Bucks are able to learn from their past mistakes while harnessing the gutsy attitude they’ve developed this postseason. That first ECF team may have felt like a squad on a date with destiny and found out that Destiny can be a fickle mistress. This time there aren’t any illusions about deserved grandeur or accolades. Milwaukee had to dig deeper than ever before in the past years to get to this point. Let’s see if they can’t bring it home this time.
How about some accolades and praise? I like that, and it saves me from having to write “journalist X praised Bucks for winning in Y capacity” over and over:
How Giannis Antetokounmpo and Milwaukee shook off struggles and playoff failures in chaotic Game 7 (CBS Sports)
Milwaukee Bucks Eliminate Nets From N.B.A. Playoffs (New York Times)
And, of course, it wouldn’t be the playoffs if the Bucks haven’t made consequential internal decisions long before the playoffs are actually over. That’s why we’re getting word the Budenholzer saved his job on Saturday:
Know Your Enemy
- Atlanta Hawks - Peachtree Hoops - Hawks topple 76ers in Game 7 to advance to Eastern Conference Finals
There’s not much more to say than good on the Hawks for gutting it out and pulling off the upset. Also, lol Sixers. Dorks.
iokouvo94 did what we’ve all been doing in a general sense which is praise PJ Tucker for his excellent defense. Difference is, iokouvo also broke down the film move by move from game three to really show the numerous ways PJ impacted Kevin Durant’s offense in “Defense on KD and a tribute to Tucker”
The Social Media Section
The Bucks are uniting the world
Make no mistake, this job takes it out of you no matter how much winning you do
Giannis is a leader of men
A good time in the city, every time
A simpler time
The minutes distribution the last time the Bucks played a Game 7 (three years ago).— Dan Shafer (@DanRShafer) June 19, 2021
I still can’t believe Shabazz Muhammad played actual playoff minutes in a season-deciding game. pic.twitter.com/Dj3vgxDEw0
Bobby staying locked in for the squad even when minutes are coming his way
Time coming. Until then gotta stay locked in!! The real never lose! EVER! https://t.co/Xy5yzitCYr— Bobby BP Portis (@BPortistime) June 18, 2021
Actually a good zinger
Giannis at least I'll have time to say goodbye to my friends and family https://t.co/3j4IvSdhXT— Ben Gore (@b0mbtrack_) June 17, 2021
Darvin Ham the likely favorite should Bucks make a coaching change. https://t.co/y9bofrAHMI— Sam Amico (@AmicoHoops) June 14, 2021
I can’t even imagine being on the other side of this last possession. Neither could Kyrie.
Three games this week! How exciting is it that we get to keep on dancing? The best. Game one is this Wednesday back in Milwaukee, game two on Friday, and game three in Atlanta on Sunday.
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the return of our favorite prognosticator.
retired janitor’s official 2021 NBA playoffs prediction:
Enjoy it. He hath spoken.