No counting chickens before your egg hatches, or whatever. I know. I KNOW.
The Bucks are sitting pretty right now, eh? After dropping game one of the Eastern Conference Finals through a combination of *shrug* and “wow, look at Trae Young, he’s so fun to watch”, Milwaukee has come storming back to retain a 2-1 series lead over Atlanta. Game two was an utter beatdown from start to finish, and game three saw the Bucks grind their way into striking distance into the fourth quarter. Then Khris Middleton happened.
Khris is unconscious:— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) June 28, 2021
38 PTS | 11 REB | 7 AST | 6/12 3PT pic.twitter.com/Xmq2HJvwK4
And so we wake up this morning having rectified the home court loss and with the odds in our favor (not to mention the unknown health status of Trae Young who twisted his ankle on an official’s foot; you literally can’t make this stuff up). Make no mistake, the Hawks are still dangerous in that any NBA team that makes it this far has enough talent and guts to win on any given night, but from where I’m sitting Milwaukee has more than enough skill, strength, strategy, and solidity to see themselves through the next week and on to the promised land.
Which means you can blame me for whatever disaster befalls us tomorrow night.
Yes, I know it is extremely lazy of me to do this, but at the same time it isn’t my fault all these writers are dissecting the games bit by bit! Here’s a roundup (within the roundup... roundupception?) of coverage of the series thus far:
Brook Lopez adjusts on D, Bucks clamp down on Hawks (NBA.com)
Can the Bucks stay calm and in control? (The Undefeated)
The Bucks Stole Game 3 in Atlanta. What Are Their Chances to Advance Now? (The Ringer)
Space Erasers: How the Bucks bounced back in Game 2 vs. the Hawks (Basketballnews.com)
And now on to other things of note...
The Bucks-Hawks Series Could Come Down To One Area Of The Court (FiveThirtyEight)
A rather prescient prediction from Jared Dubin here that the region of the paint that isn’t within the restricted area would prove to be critical to swinging this series. Namely, Trae Young made that zone his castle in game one and went off, and Giannis Antetokounmpo has done the same in the two games since. Unfortunately for Atlanta, the evidence is piling up that their defense isn’t up to snuff to slow Giannis down right now. Adjustments like throwing true doubles his way or working to better construct a wall will help, but if they stick to just putting Solomon Hill out there and praying, it’s going to be a bad time.
Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday say Olympics not a distraction during Milwaukee Bucks’ playoff run (ESPN) & Giannis Antetokounmpo “Hoping to Play for Greece” in the Tokyo Olympics (GreekReporter.com)
I salute these guys and their willingness to answer their national team call when it came, but jeez... you’d figure almost any player would be pining for a little bit of rest after the past season. It’s understandable, though: You only get oh so many chances to be an Olympian. Good luck to them all!
P.J. Tucker Is Happy Being the Underdog (GQ)
I’ll never have enough money or time to invest in really getting into fashion beyond jeans and a decent t-shirt most days, but that’s PJ’s lane anyhow. This is a really fun interview from a guy who has been nothing if not a wonderful addition to Milwaukee. Hell, he earned all his plaudits and then some for taking the call night after night against Kevin Durant to even get us to this point.
Fan Post of the Week
toasterrebound with “Who Can Be Trusted Now?”. Turns out the answer is Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton... and maybe the Bucks? *ducks*
Know Your Enemy
- Atlanta Hawks - Peachtree Hoops - Hot shooting Khris Middleton helps Bucks down late fading Hawks, 113-102
Is it cheating for me to just keep using whatever the latest post-game recap was from PTH’s page? Yes, of course it is. But nobody has stopped me yet!
The Social Media Section
Please, stop cutting onions. I can’t see past these tears.
Giannis — full of praise for Khris Middleton’s 4th Q — says he and Khris were chatting about how long they planned to play for. Giannis said he told Khris: “The day you retire is going to be the toughest day of my career.”— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) June 28, 2021
“He’s special for a reason and he showed it tonight.”
My dawg Giannis was spitting that real and then came out and dropped 40 in a game 7 on the road. Stuff of legends pic.twitter.com/lcSYUXFnDj— Lroom (@GintamaStan) June 22, 2021
Giannis has a point: How can you get rattled when you’ve already airballed free throws tons of times in your career?
June 27, 2021
Bobby Portis is a folk hero
Coming from where I come from, this gives me chills..WOW humble in victory..thank you @Bucks fans https://t.co/7U7LXYHsvf— Bobby BP Portis (@BPortistime) June 26, 2021
Love me some good art
Hold my beer pic.twitter.com/ZWg9dgUAzG— Jack Perkins (@purehoop) June 26, 2021
Nobody:— Hacksaw Stim Duggan (@DanteLaSoul) June 24, 2021
Mike Budenholzer: pic.twitter.com/6SI1oLm5q4
Just the most random celebrity fan that could’ve emerged in this playoff run
“Yes, I’m a Bucks fan, of course!”— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) June 25, 2021
Exclusive Interview with @SherylCrow: pic.twitter.com/AOAjpuAbXJ
I’m extremely thankful that we’re in the flow of the playoffs where games are coming at us every other day instead of having two break days. That means we’ve got three games on deck this week (if needed), game four tomorrow night in Atlanta, game five on Thursday in Milwaukee, and game six back in Atlanta on Saturday.
There’s still a climb ahead, but man oh man are we ever so close to making it happen. Enjoy the ride, that’s what we’re all here for!