NBA Playoffs: Bucks lack of effort results in Game 3 loss to the Heat

Playoff basketball has ebbs and flows, but lack of effort? Concerning at this point of the season.

I tend to not write when I’m angry. So when the Milwaukee Bucks laid a gigantic egg in a 121-99 loss to the Miami Heat, I had to let the blog breathe. No good was going to come of writing immediately after the game.

After sleeping on it (and a fasted work out) I was as prepared as I could be to iterate my feelings. I put forth something in my workout, the Bucks didn’t even bother to bring in Game 3; effort.

There must be a level of care, or give a damn, especially in the playoffs. Offensively (at least in the first half) Milwaukee seemed to have it. They started off working through Brook Lopez, a formula that was successful in their Game 2 victory. This lead to open shots, made with great success. Bucks shot 10-of-18 in the first half from distance. This, despite a scoreless stretch that lasted about 6 minutes between the first and second quarters.

The second half was more famine than feast for the Bucks. After a good start from 3 in the first half, Milwaukee shot 5-for-21 the rest of the way. As atrocious as those numbers are, I don’t believe it’s what sunk them.

For the second time this series Milwaukee allowed: Jimmy Butler to get 30 points, at least 15 made 3’s (Miami shot 16-for-33), themselves to be out hustled. Piss poor.

Don’t even want to talk about how sloppy Milwaukee was with basketball, but I’ve got to do it. Bucks coughed up the ball 18 times which lead to 21 points for the Heat. Limit those turnovers and it’s a completely different ballgame. (Obvious, I know.)

As bad as the stats trend for Milwaukee, it was their lack of give a damn that was most alarming. To allow that many uncontested 3’s, after a Game 1 thrashing in which you did the same thing, is infuriating. A well deserved 2-1 series deficit.

Playoff basketball has ebbs and flows, but lack of effort? Concerning at this point of the season. Giannis’ absence for a second straight game in this series is no excuse. Bucks have been able to handle business against good teams without him. You simply can’t think you win because you showed up. You have to give a damn.

Bucks aren’t quite against the wall, but they shouldn’t be feeling comfortable either. Another lackluster performance and a 1 versus 8 upset becomes more plausible. We’ll see if Milwaukee gives a damn about that.

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