Five Things to Know About the Bucks’ Almost Great Weekend
Milwaukee Bucks are not going to get the one seed. That’s okay. I have made peace with it. The dreams of the one seed died when Atlanta beat Milwaukee on Sunday evening. You probably are thinking ‘Wow Charlie that is outrageous.’ But considering Milwaukee lost a game in the standings and is now 3.6 back with less than 20 games to go, it seems hard to fathom they can get the top spot. Some people do not want it, and those people are overthinking it. Getting the one seed would mean Atlanta or New York likely in Round 2 versus Philadelphia or Brooklyn. Sign me for the former even with what happened on Sunday. Let’s look back at the full weekend, not just Atlanta.
1. Look, it’s good to get two wins over Philly – Despite what happened yesterday, it is a good thing that Milwaukee won those two games against Philadelphia. I realize they didn’t have Joel EMbiid on Saturday but you play the opponent in front of you. We still don’t have a true gauge on the Bucks versus the Sixers considering Embiid was out for two of the games and Ben Simmons was out for two as well. Out of Brooklyn and Philadelphia though, the Bucks seem like a better matchup against the Skiers.
2. The fourth quarter against Atlanta cannot keep happening – Milwaukee Bucks are a bad fourth-quarter team. For a while, I gave them the benefit of the doubt. This is a new team with new pieces. It takes some time to grow into roles. It’s been long enough and Milwaukee still stinks in the fourth. They’re 17th overall in NET rating. They have a defensive rating of 20th in the fourth with giving up 112 points per 100 possessions. They need to fix their fourth-quarter approach fast.
3. Three-point shooting is night and day against Philly and Atlanta – On Thursday and Saturday, Milwaukee shot 50 percent from three. It’s part of the reason why both games were blowouts. Despite the score on Thursday, Milwaukee kicked the shit out of Philadelphia. The Bucks could not miss early on in their first game which propelled the game to get ugly. Atlanta was another story. Milwaukee went 8-for-28 from beyond the arc. If the Bucks make six more threes to equate to what they did on Thursday and Saturday, they have 18 more points Off nights happen and maybe Milwaukee was due for one.
4. Bogdan Bogdanovic is always going to make me mad – With Trae Young out, Atlanta actually might be a more well-rounded team. There is some definite Ewing Theory potential here. Bogdan is a complete stud. He had 32 points with six threes last night. It is starting to feel like Milwaukee’s version of the Chris Paul trade where the league stepped in and made sure it didn’t happen. This will sting for a long, long time.
5. Bobby Portis was a game-changer against Philadelphia – One thing to note from the two Philly games is that the Sixers did not have an answer for Bobby Portis. He played excellent in those two games. On Thursday, Portis had 23 points making all five of his three-pointers. He had 17 in the game on Saturday. Portis does not seem like a good matchup for the Sixers.
Milwaukee stays on the road to play Charlotte. They are 0-2 against the Hornets this season. The only team that has swept the Bucks in the last two years has been Phoenix. Hard to remember an Eastern Conference doing that against the Bucks.