Earlier this week, I predicted the Milwaukee Bucks would win their first-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics, in seven games. (Truly against my better judgment to this point.) Now as I gaze upon cloudy skies, in the deep 0-2 hole the Bucks have thrown us all in, I search for answers.
I re-watched Game 2, two times. I did this just to make sure I actually saw what I thought I saw. Did the Bucks and Celtics both shoot over 50 percent from the field? Yes. (Bucks 59%, Celtics 53%) Did the Bucks and Celtics have the same number of rebounds? Yes. (38 apiece with only a two offensive rebound difference in favor of the Celtics.) Did both squads have the same shooting percentage from distance? Yes. (Virtually. Bucks 41.2%, Celtics 41.9%)
If all of these stats were identical, how in the hell did the Bucks lose 106-120? Well, here’s where it gets ugly.
Bucks had TRIPLE the turnovers the Celtics had. (15-5) Celtics had more steals (10-3), more blocks (6-4), and far more production from their bench. (41-25) The Celtics outplayed the Bucks in the areas that really count. Not to mention, they have far more heart than the Bucks. Hard to say it but it’s true. (I’m truthful opinionated and passionate for a reason, folks.)
That isn’t the only thing the Bucks suffer from. They are directionless. Joe Prunty is still using Jason Kidd’s antiquated offensive and defensive systems, that teams easily figure out. (His rotations ain’t much better either.) He has been an assistant coach for over two decades for a reason. He isn’t the guy for this job.
Speaking of jobs, Jabari Parker, Eric “Mr. I Don’t Know Who The F*** That Is.” Bledsoe, Tony Snell, and Matthew Dellavedova, DAMN sure haven’t done theirs. These guys combined for 14 points. 14! Twelve of them were from Bledsoe. These guys have been absent all series long and are a huge reason for this 0-2 hole.
I’ve said this in this space before and I’ll say it again; The Bucks look like a team that is running out the clock. They all want to get to next season ASAP. With this amount of talent, that’s despicable and a slap in the face of Bucks fans who have long suffered for a championship team and continue to do so.
Usually I offer solutions, but there are no quick fix adjustments for effort and heart. That has to be in one’s DNA. Some guys on this team have displayed it, everyone else, hasn’t. They have no one to blame but themselves. They haven’t only dug a hole and buried themselves, they’ve also buried the very fan base that’s believed in and supported them.