We are down the final four in the NBA Playoffs. The conference finals are ready to begin and the matchups are intriguing. For the Western Conference Finals, the Portland Trail Blazers will go against the defending champs in the Golden State Warriors. TAs for the Eastern Conference Finals, the Toronto Raptors will battle the Milwaukee Bucks. In this writing, we will focus on the Eastern Conference Finals and talk about how one team can make the NBA Finals.
With that being said, let us focus on the best team in the NBA. How do the Milwaukee Bucks make the NBA Finals?
In the opening round, Milwaukee quickly dispatch the Detroit Pistons in a sweep. The best team in the league faced off against the last team to make the playoffs. You know what was coming in this one. The Bucks manhandle the Pistons, scoring over 100 points in all four games and 120 points in three of them. Just total destruction of the Pistons that did not surprise anyone.
In the east semifinals, the competition will be better in the Boston Celtics. So we thought, especially after Boston took Game 1 in Milwaukee handily, 112-90. Boston’s dominated performance led former Celtic and ESPN analyst, Paul Pierce to say, “I think it’s over.” Milwaukee would bounce back in Game 2 as expected to tie the series going to Boston The Bucks took home-court back after beating Boston in Game 3 in Boston, 123-116. The bench of Milwaukee outscored Boston’s bench 42-16 led by George Hill with 21 and Pat Connaughton with 14. Not everyone was on the Celtic bandwagon however, as TNT analyst, Charles Barkley said, “The Boston Celtics are not gonna win another game,” after Game 3. Milwaukee would dominant games 4 and 5 to dispatch the Boston Celtics in a surprising manner. Winning Game 4, 113-101 in Boston and Game 5 at home, 116-91.
The Milwaukee Bucks are headed to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2001.
How Can The Bucks Make The NBA Finals?
The Milwaukee Bucks have been the best team in the NBA including these playoffs. In the nine games they played, they are scoring at least 110 points in all eight of their wins. The one time they did not reach 100 points, they lost, the Boston Celtics in Game 1.
It is simple, on paper that is, continue to be the best team in the NBA. That’s why they play the games, because it looks simple on paper, but the competition is at an all-time high now. The Milwaukee have a date with Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors. This series will not be as swift and dominated as the other two series were.
This time around, the Bucks are facing a simple team and must be on their A-game to make the Finals.
The Greek Freak and Middleton Staying True
The first thing for Milwaukee to make it to the NBA Finals is that Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton stay turn to who they have been. Giannis is averaging 27.4 PPG on 52.6% shooting and 11.3 RPG in this post season. Khris Middleton is averaging 19.1PPG on 42.2% shooting, 46.7% on 3-pointers, and 6 RPG.
Talked to a bunch of Bucks players, coaches and execs about Giannis … and every one of them raves about his work ethic, leadership qualities and ability to impact team chemistry at a high level. This Milwaukee team buys into their roles and embrace Giannis.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) May 9, 2019
They have never faced the pressure of the conference finals before and now the Toronto Raptors stand between them and the NBA Finals. By the way, did I forget to mention that the Raptors have two championship players on the roster in Danny Green and a Finals MVP in Kawhi Leonard? As long as Giannis and Middleton don’t fold under pressure, the Bucks will have a chance in this series.
The Return of Malcolm Brogdon
🎙 Malcom Brogdon on the Bucks championship aspirations 🔥💯 pic.twitter.com/GT3njJMsbe— Manny Godina (@EmanuelcGodina) February 8, 2019
The return of Malcolm Brogdon is the big question going into the East Finals. Brogdon missed the last 18 games of the regular season and eight of the nine games in the playoffs. Malcolm was the team’s best 3-point shooter during the regular season, shooting 42.6% from beyond the arc. He made his return in Game 5 of the conference semifinals against Boston, but he wasn’t needed. Nevertheless, he played and scored 10 points on 50% shooting including making one 3-pointer and one free-throw. Can Brogdon return to form for the East Finals? If he can, that’s another scoring threat for Milwaukee.
The bench of the Milwaukee Bucks will have to play an important role against Toronto. Milwaukee’s bench play was one reason why they ousted the Boston Celtics so quickly and easily. As mention earlier in Game 3 Milwaukee’s bench outscored Boston’s bench 42-16. In Game 4 everyone stepped up in the 3rd Quarter when Giannis and Middleton left with both of them picking up their fourth personal fours respectively. The was tied at 59 when Giannis exited the game, the Bucks outscored Boston 32-7 until Giannis return, and then The Greek Freak took over from there in the fourth quarter. In the close-out Game 5, everyone was involved in the dominated performance. The bench outscored Boston’s bench 49-41 in a beat down of the Celtics.
Milwaukee’s bench is more important in this matchup against the Toronto Raptors. Toronto has one of the best benches in the NBA beside the Portland Trail Blazers. The bench play in the Eastern Conference Finals will be a pivotal role in determining who is going to the NBA Finals. George Hill, Pat Connaughton, Erasn Illyasova, and others need to show up. They don’t have outplayed Toronto’s bench in the same manner as they did against Boston. They just have to keep Toronto’s bench from going crazy. If Milwaukee’s bench keeps it close with Toronto’s bench then it will be up to the Freak, Giannis to bring Milwaukee over the hump.
The Eastern Conference Finals begin on Wednesday night in Milwaukee. All of the Eastern Conference Finals games will on TNT.