Seventh game between Milwaukee and Boston: the Bucks’ season ends against the Celtics
The Milwaukee Bucks put up an awful performance from depth, and coupled with a tough shooting last three quarters from Giannis Antetokounmpo (and, well, everyone), and the Boston Celtics advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals after a 109-81 win.
Brook Lopez and the complementary gang showed up to kick this one off, helping push the Bucks to a 26-20 lead after the first. Milwaukee weathered a very tough 3-19 half from deep and trailed 48-43 after a bad foul to end the half. Milwaukee couldn’t find a rhythm after halftime, and even with Tatum on the bench for much of the period, Boston pushed their lead to a massive advantage, 79-64 as the Bucks had 12 minutes to go. dig in. They couldn’t, however, as Boston’s three-way advantage kept growing and Milwaukee saw its season end in the second round.
A reigning league season is coming to an end. I’m sure many of you are disappointed, probably upset, and probably questioning some decisions too. I can’t blame you either. Grayson Allen played a lot in this series, and while I understood the reason why he brought something offensively, it was entirely moot because he couldn’t hit a shot. But, for me personally, I’m leaving satisfied with the season as it is, given that Milwaukee may have pushed the league’s second-best team to seven games without their second-best offensive player. I put this series loss mainly at the feet of the absence of Khris Middleton, but there is no denying the frustration that comes with the idea that we could still have won.
Milwaukee just couldn’t make three. That was truly the story of the series, as the Bucks’ deep shot missed them dramatically when they needed it most. Just as rough as their poor shooting is how Boston limited their attempts, with just 29.5% of their shots coming from deep in this series (which would have ranked last in the regular season) compared to 38.5 % in regular season. Moreover, they reached only 29.2% overall in depth. On a day when Boston went 22-55, there was no way to overcome that disparity.
The Bucks shot just 4-33 (12.1%) from 3P range today.
The only team in NBA playoff history to shoot a lower percentage on at least 30 3P attempts is the Jazz on April 25, 2022 (3-30, 10.0%).
— Justin Kubatko (@jkubatko) May 15, 2022
Giannis was impressive, but clearly gassed. Giannis came out with a near triple-double in the first half, but was full of blown rabbits as the game wore on. It wasn’t characteristic of the Milwaukee superstar, who still offered a streak that will easily place him as the league’s best player heading into next season. Thanks to him for even getting the Bucks to the point where they could have won this series. He finished with 25 points, 20 rebounds and nine assists.
Bonus Bucks Bits
- Lopez made his presence known in the first half, hitting his first hat-trick of the series and making timely jumps into the paint. All day he looked like one of the most indispensable Bucks, as we’ve known him all year. Hopefully he will be healthy through next year.
- Jrue Holiday was gassed from both ends, finishing with 21 points on 21 shooting, as usual this entire series. You saw how difficult it was for him to maintain that kind of energy on both sides. Hopefully he gets some rest in the offseason after the grueling championship run at the Olympics until this race he just faced.
- Wes Matthews’ man. This team really needed his defensive presence all year, and I hope he comes back next year to give it one more run. They would have been terribly short of defensive backcourt rotation without him this season.
- I know a lot of people wanted to see Jevon Carter run in this game, but I didn’t think defense was the issue here, and he wasn’t going to fix the offensive side. Just my two cents.
- Guannis was called for a 3-point shooting foul late in the first half… not my favorite call.
- Bud returned to the BIG three lineup with Bobby Portis, Giannis and Brook in the third quarter, and that’s when you knew they really needed to find something that could work offensively. Narrator: That’s not the case.
- There’s a lot to do this offseason, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Milwaukee enter next season as co-title favorites with a healthy Khris Middleton. It should be an enjoyable offseason, with (maybe!) first-round selection and free agency decisions to be made on Bobby Portis, Pat Connaughton and a few others. Thank you for following Brew Hoop throughout the season and sticking around for offseason coverage.