Remember those lessons I said the Milwaukee Bucks were given during the regular season? Remember after Game 2 of this first-round NBA Playoffs series versus the Miami Heat, I said the Bucks would have another chance to apply that knowledge, to take a commanding 3-0 series lead? Looks as if the Milwaukee did just that, as they dismantle Miami (again), 113-84.
The score may indicate this was an offensive onslaught. Although the Bucks did find the range better in the second half, the first half wasn’t all that offensively laden. At times Milwaukee couldn’t throw the ball into Lake Michigan, standing on Bradford Beach. The Bucks defense made life for the Heat offense, much worse. They weren’t able to drop a ball into the Atlantic Ocean, while on a boat in the middle of it.
Milwaukee has long pined for the kind of defensive versatility and relentlessness, that’s been on display thus far in postseason. Jrue Holiday and P.J. Tucker have been difference makers in this facet of the game.
In the postgame press (Zoom) conference, Tucker said; “We dogs. That’s all we talk about. That’s all I ever talk about. We gotta be dogs. People’s perception of us and what people think in the past, we’re erasing all of that.”
P.J. is correct on all accounts, at least to this point. There’s seemed to be a personality shift amongst this team. The last two season the Bucks felt to be a finesse team. This season, through acquisitions and challenges, the aura feels tough, both mentally and physically.
This new found mental and physical toughness will be needed in a close-out game, Saturday afternoon, in Miami.