The Bucks were 22-30 at the beginning of the month. They have since won 17 of their last 23 with a record of 17-6 and are now at 39-36 overall with just seven games to go. They have been on an absolute terror. It is safe to say that they are officially the hottest team in the Eastern Conference. The Heat were also playing well up until Dion Waiters got hurt. I know, it sounds weird saying that the Dion Waiters was a key part to their success, but it’s true, the player that once said he was the best shooter in the NBA was actually making a big impact on a team that does not have much talent. Even Goran Dragic is looking like a superstar on that team. They have no talent but are in the 8 spot in the playoffs. Partly because outside of the top four teams in the playoffs, the Eastern Conference is not the best at the moment. I don’t like saying that because the Bucks are having such a good run, but it is the cold hard truth unfortunately.
Two nights ago the Bucks beat the Celtics who, at the time were the top seed in the Eastern Conference. It is a bit funny because they were the one seed for a total of about 12 hours. They went onto their home court and handled them for majority of the game. It showed a lot of a young team and gives us Bucks’ fans hope for the upcoming playoffs. The game had a very high intensity to it and it was exactly what us fans were hoping for, a playoff atmosphere. As the season starts to wind down, all the games are starting to weight more and the teams are starting to play harder. This may seem like a moot point because the Bucks are hated around the league for trying so hard all the time. A perfect example would be Giannis playing in the All-Star game. He was giving it 100% while everyone else was giving it about 4%. I don’t take that as a bad thing though. Giannis and Thon are trained to play hard all the time. As a fan, isn’t that the way we want it? My partner and Badger blogger Phil VandeWettering hates the Bucks. We had a group chat going two nights with the Beyond The Bench crew and all Phil could do was bash the Bucks. Brogdon hit that clutch, game-winning shot with a man in his face and the text we got from Phil was “Garbage”. Now I’m not going to sit here and say that was good offense, because it wasn’t. But at the end of the day, they were trying to wind down the clock and still get a shot to fall into the hoop. Brogdon did a great job of that, like it or not.
Screw you Phil
Brogdon proved that he can be a closer. He is a unique Rookie because he played out all four years in college and is 24 already. I know, 24 does not seem old at all but on a team where our superstars are 22 and 21 years old, a 24 year old proves to have some experience and composure. Malcom had 3 assists and 4 points in the last couple of minutes. He scored when he needed to and also dished it when needed. In my opinion, Giannis does not quite know how to close games yet and Brogdon is our answer when it comes to closing games. And are we really talking about him not winning the Rookie of the Year?!? He has been above and beyond better than any other Rookie and now that the Bucks are playing well and shooting for the five-seed, he clearly deserves to be the ROY. There will be uproar in Milwaukee if he does not get that.
Every game is important from here on out. They are fighting for the 5-seed and if you ask me, their magic number to make the playoffs is four wins but their magic number to obtain the 5-seed is 5 wins. I truly believe with the Hawks not playing that great of basketball and the Pacers pooping themselves, that if the Bucks win 5 of their last 7 they safely obtain that 5-seed.
Now lets handle the Pistons tonight and get even one step closer.