Hi Bucks fans! I just have a quick question for all of you reading the articles, posts, comments and other Tom Foolery on the internet calling the Milwaukee Bucks all sorts of names.
At some point this season, did you believe this was the team to beat in the NBA, and that nobody (outside of maybe Boston) had a real chance at beating us?
The Question I Literally Just Asked
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If you voted “no,” you have your reasons. More power to you, have a good day. This post is for those of you who said “yes.”
For those of you who voted “yes,” including ALL of us on Brew Hoop, what happened to your confidence in this team? You can know you are not alone, and I’m not trying to single anybody out, but I want to call out our staff from our last Roundtable. Answering the question of “what’s your prediction in round one?” nobody had us losing the series or going to 7 games. I had us in 6 because I felt like we were sleeping on Miami (well then). Adam, Kyle, Gabe, Morgan and Dru all had us in 5, and Van had a sweep. We were confident.
My point here is, I don’t want you to think I’m talking down on you, or thinking anyone is dumb for assuming the Bucks would do well in this series, because it’s in fact the opposite. Nobody had Miami getting this far.
So what happened to the confidence we had in this Bucks team? What happened to being an 11 or 12-deep roster of players that we could trust? What happened to this team being able to win in 5 or even sweep “any team that they play”? The Bucks had two bad stretches during the regular season, losing 5 of 8 in November and losing 4 straight in December. Here is a breakdown of those sequences:
Lost to Atlanta, beat OKC, lost to San Antonio while shorthanded, lost to Atlanta, blew out Cleveland, lost to Philadelphia, beat Portland, and finally lost to Chicago.
In the eight games that followed, the Bucks went 7-1 with their only loss coming at home to the Lakers after that monstrous Anthony Davis game. They beat Cleveland, Sacramento, New York, Dallas twice, Orlando and Charlotte during that stretch. They can get it done.
December Losing Streak
Cleveland, Brooklyn (with KD still there), Boston and Chicago
These four games were the biggest of the season. Following that, they won five of seven with wins over Minnesota, Washington, Toronto, New York and Atlanta. They lost to Washington shorthanded and had a crazy anomaly game against Charlotte. Following that, they quickly lost two in Miami without Giannis or Khris, and then only lost twice in an eight week span.
Heading into game one against Miami, 88% of you had the Bucks winning Game One. 55% of you had them winning Game One by 10 or more points. Similar for Games Two and Three. Now that this happened, why do you stop believing? I bet if we put a poll in the Series Preview, almost all of you would have said Bucks in five or less. So do you just not think they can anymore? Because to sweep a series, it means you need to win four games in a row and the Bucks only have to do it three times. History also shows us that the Bucks come back from rough patches as strong as ever, and that they can even sweep Miami. Here is why I still believe.
-We still have the best player out there, even if he isn’t acting like it (yet)
-We still have the best three defenders
-We have two more home games
-Miami relies on Duncan Robinson, Haywood Highsmith and other random players
-Miami has been worse than us all season long
-Jimmy Butler is unlikely to score 40+ (or 50+) again
I see Game 6 as the pivotal game. I believe that the Heat come to Milwaukee and we smoke them out of here. Do you really not see that still as a possibility? Say that happens, do you really think Miami can just bounce right back out of that without the Bucks having a great chance at evening the series up heading into a Game Seven at home? All we need to do is get to Game Seven. The series is not over.
What are your thoughts? Vote and comment below!
How Much Further Do We Go?
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