I never figured this series would be a walk in the park, but nobody figured Giannis would just break his ass 11 minutes into the playoffs, either. Unable to recover from the strategic shakeup of losing Giannis in game one, claiming a redemptive victory in game two, and getting pantsed in game three, the Milwaukee Bucks quite suddenly find themselves facing their first do-or-die fight of these playoffs.
Never mind that losing tonight wouldn’t technically expel Milwaukee from the playoff field. There has been plenty in this team’s recent history to suggest they can and will win series that devolve into mud wrestling. There is less to suggest they’d be one of the exceedingly few teams to rattle off three straight wins to take a series after going down 3-1. Losing game four would be a disaster whether it be by 30 or by 3.
In that vein, here are some suggestions from me to the Bucks on how to avoid openly tempting disaster:
- Giannis Antetokounmpo needs to suit up and play. Give him whatever cocktail of painkillers, HGH, and alien horsemeat necessary to get him out there even on a minutes restriction. The defense has been dead in the water without him.
- Be willing to trim the rotation down to eight guys ASAP. Pat Connaughton dragged himself out of the ditch, Bobby Portis can spell Giannis/Brook Lopez a few minutes, and you’ve got Jevon Carter for emergency ball handling. Jae Crowder is on bozo watch and Joe Ingles may be merely a luxury when the aim should be to muck things up as much as possible.
- Give Wesley Matthews the same cortisone/HGH/extraterrestrial horsemeat mix that Giannis will be munching on.
- If the Heat are going to rough you up, you have to not merely be willing to drop to their level, but overjoyed at the prospect. Get your money’s worth on fouls if you’re in bad position. Choose death rather than letting your assignment get easy space off screens. We didn’t win a title because we had finesse. We won because we were blockheads who physically outlasted opponents. Embrace that something as stupid as “want to” can have a material impact.
- Don’t panic if you aren’t up big out of the gates. Don’t drop your heads because the shots just aren’t falling. You supposedly have championship DNA somewhere in there. You have championship fight. Tap into it. Show us.
Is it all a little heavy on the rah rah crap? Of course. I’m too stupid to suggest anything else. But if they’re going to go out I want it done on their shield and not because they’re frustrated with refs and opt to complain after their umpteenth turnover.
Instead, scrap like hell to rectify the situation. Your season is this close to being on the line.
Long-term rentals in Bologna, Italy (Idealista.it)
Just wanted to help Jae Crowder get started on finding a place to live when he begins his sure-to-be illustrious career in Italy’s Lega Basket Serie A next to former-Buck legend Semi Ojeleye this fall. Nikola Mirotic had a fall from grace, too, but at least he was posting career-high numbers with New Orleans before pulling a Houdini on us. Jae doesn’t seem to be even bothering out there on either end of the court.
While the Heat have been shooting out of their statistical minds this series, the Bucks themselves are helping Miami out. You knew the Heat sunk the final nail in the coffin in G3 when they closed a 9-0 run putting the game out of reach with a drive that saw Jrue Holiday standing statue-like baseline not paying any attention to Jimmy Butler making a simple cut for a dunk. Outside of a short stretch in the third quarter of G1, Milwaukee has had no consistent answer for Miami and are getting flamed as a result.
The Bucks Would Be In Big Trouble Without Brook Lopez (FiveThirtyEight)
True, and that was exemplified even further by the ability of the Heat to deny him the ball for much of game three. As Kyle ably pointed out during the latest recording of the Brew Hoop Podcast Presented by Milwaukee Bucks Fans, Brook is either on to start the game, or floats for the majority of it. If you as an opponent can keep him quiet the first eight minutes, you’ve probably gone a long way to neutralizing ~1/5th of the starting unit’s firepower. That’s a problem with no Giannis, a poor Jrue, and a defense that has been getting shredded on the other end.
Oh, to be a normal person whose weekend wasn’t really crimped by the Bucks loss. I’d like to know more about the group of hardcores willing to go to the Deer District with a high temp of 43°F and yet were mostly unperturbed by that showing. Clearly they’re not avid listeners of the Milwaukee Bucks Podcast by Brew Hoop.
We adore when there are new entrants and new winners of the FPOTW. This contestant wasn’t willing to leave the coveted hardware up to my whims and posted not once, not twice, but four times this week in the Fan Post feed! So congrats to mhort for, “Four takeaways from Bucks/Heat Game 3.” Will Jae Crowder do anything even remotely useful to improve Milwaukee’s bench fortunes? We find out, next.
Know Your Enemy (Until SB Nation Ceases to Exist)
- Always happy to help a good group of lads put on two of the finer performances of their calendar year. The biggest reason for hope for the Bucks is that the Heat are still only hoisting threes in the low-to-mid 30s; this isn’t an offense humming simply by making 20-25 threes a game as a matter of course. Figuring out how to defend the paint and mid-range is the utmost task, but I don’t think it impossible with the right attitude and right approach.
The Social Media Section
Good tweet/quote from Gabe, better reply by the Greinke Modeling Co.
That’s why Serge had to go.— Greinke Modeling Co (@greinkemodeling) April 20, 2023
I thank Khris ahead of time for opting out and signing a three year, $30 million deal with us this summer
Also in the new CBA, per league sources: players can now decline player options + sign long-term extensions starting at salaries below option $. Current rule is that any such extension must start at least at option amount.— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) April 17, 2023
Start MarJon in game four
I like the suit and I like the blue green as, optimistically, a nod to the Bucks base green and the neon blue court we’ve been playing on for what feels like nine months
Goran low-key taking a smidgen of credit for helping mold Luka into the superstar he is today
Please don’t post dredge like this again
#FindAWay to make an impact in this series so you can #FindSomeMonay in the offseason
Lived long enough to see the Masai-Nurse duo hit the rocks
"I did not enjoy watching this team play. I think that spoke loud and clear," - Masai, and all of us— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) April 21, 2023
By the time the next edition of the MMMR runs we’ll know whether we’ve advanced or depressingly crashed out of the first round. Game four will start at 6:30 PM (CT) in Miami, game five is on Wednesday in Milwaukee at 8:30 PM, game six (if necessary, lol) would happen on Friday, and any game seven would be wrapped up by Sunday night.
Here’s hoping we’re back here a week from now with heads held high.