The Milwaukee Bucks had momentum on their side. Coming off a complete performance in their Game 3 win versus the Toronto Raptors and riding the wave of emotion provided by a ruckus home crowd, things were looking up for the Bucks. They came into Game 4 with a chance to take a commanding 3-1 lead in their best-of-7 playoff series. Yup, things were looking up, until the game happened.
Now don’t get me wrong, the first half was promising. These two squads showed why many thought they were evenly matched, playing to a 41-41 tie at the half. The offensive spacing wasn’t great for either team but the defense for both squads did a good job of forcing each other into tough shots. There was hope at the half, but that dissipated in the second half. So what did I see?
I saw the Bucks cost themselves a playoff game. Missed shots, missed free throws, and turnovers. These are all under the Bucks’ control and they failed down the stretch. If the Bucks take care of the ball (20 turnovers), make those seven free throws they missed, (Bucks went 11-18 from the line.) and make three missed shots, made ones from the field, (Bucks shot 37% overall) they win this game 89-87. THAT’S how close this was. Credit to Toronto’s defense for forcing the Bucks into playing a half court game, (Not the Bucks strength.) but they didn’t win the game, Milwaukee lost it.
In order for Milwaukee to steal another game on the road in Game 5, they must bring their own emotion and energy. This was probably the most troubling thing I saw while watching them play on Saturday at the BMOHBC. It is alright to ride the wave of emotion of your crowd and draw energy from them, but you HAVE to bring your own to begin with.
I’m not going to be a part of the crowd that is forcasting doom and gloom. The Bucks have not reverted to their mid season form. (Which saw them struggle mightily.) This is a game they had every chance to win and didn’t execute well enough to do so. Watch the tape, practice, learn, and move forward. The Bucks are still in this.