Bucks Fall From Pinnacle After Hard-Fought Bout


“History,” Walden Two’s Frazier argues, “never repeats itself.”

Yes, author B.F. Skinner provocatively taught that history is a nonsense field. While Skinner may be a bit off about the value of the past, the Bucks proved he had a key point about the science after all.

No matter how awesome our heroes appear, each new river flows differently. Giannis AntetokounmpoJrue Holiday and his offensive gifts, Khris (Money) Middleton (sadly out all series): all a year older than when they celebrated on Fiserv’s floor.

This May 15th, history did not repeat; tragically, at the hands of the infuriating Boston Celtics and their shrill fans, neither did Milwaukee.

Organizational Fatigue

Bucks Lead understands “organizational fatigue” sounds funny. But, sadly, it’s all too real. Consider the LeBron James post-Heat Cavaliers; after four-straight trips to the Finals, the wear of 82 games, followed by four playoff series, tested a tiring franchise.

Soon, after the Warriors swept Cleveland, James fled and left the Cavs in the familiar cellar.

Now, don’t panic! Giannis isn’t about to be holding his thumbs at the NBA lottery anytime soon. But when one considers the disappointing natures of games six and seven, one must wonder about the toll of 186 games since the 2020-21 season, counting playoffs.

Also, Holiday and Middleton won a gold medal for their country at the Olympics. Combine all those games, and that’s a lot of hard work! Sure, somewhere, those mean Celtic fans are ready to say: no excuses, no explanations, no fun allowed in the Cream City.

But it is reasonable to criticize the Bucks for mistakes while also identifying mitigating factors. Consider first game six, then, the closeout formality.

Bucks in 6

After an exhilarating game-five triumph, the energy at Fiserv Forum for the potential clincher didn’t seem right. Boston took a quick lead, and Bucks fans…stewed? Correct, fans grumbled instead of cheered. Groaned instead of hurrahed. While employees tried to get fans to make noise, too many sat quietly.

It was as if a fan were visiting a beloved friend in denial about his fading health. It wouldn’t be right to express positivity; sometimes, a team needs a warning. Milwaukee seemed lifeless as Jayson Tatum, previously ineffective in the series, blitzed Fiserv with 46 points. Tatum, unconcerned with the road environment, continued his wild-arm gesticulations, while Giannis couldn’t get enough help.

And Game 7? Worse.

Bucks In 7

Some tweets seem laughable in hindsight, sometimes due to timing mistakes. But the following official tweet is quite confounding indeed after the game.

Milwaukee finished with four 3-pointers on 33 attempts. Boston? A game-seven record 22 on 55 tries. 18×3: a 54-point difference!

True, Milwaukee had a 48-to-26 advantage in points in the paint. That’s coach Budenholzer’s long-time strategy: dare the opponent to shoot.

Against the struggling Chicago Bulls, the strategy worked. Versus a Celtics team rising for five years? No way.

Giannis deserves little blame while his fans continue to stan the GOAT around the globe.

While he only shot 10-of-26, his signature drive or dish (he led the team with nine dimes) resulted in success.

But with Grayson Allen (one point, 0-of-6 shooting) and George Hill (no shots) ineffective, Boston defeated the purpose of Giannis’s passes.

And Serge Ibaka, the return from trading the beloved Donte DiVincenzo? Did not play – coach’s decision. (And, note, a sound decision.) Giannis didn’t tire, but it’s a ten-man game, and one player can’t win alone, even as amazing as Giannis is.

While it’s easy to whine after a loss, Bucks Lead must note some important positive too.

Bucks In 2023

The Rockets’ Twitter guy, evidently not satisfied with a series win, got the ax after a rude tweet in 2015. But the Bucks are a classier organization.

That’s a game seven at its most honorable, which the NBA does best. Baseball still insists of bests of threes and fives. Hockey is pretty good, but those darned Chicago Blackhawks won’t let us have a big-league team. Consider instead how, although the Celtics and Bucks battered each other in 336 rugged minutes, they still expressed respect.

The NBA is a family. But you don’t kick someone out of a family, one objects? You don’t suspend a family member? You don’t T a brother up?

Sure, families often have disagreements, with members departing. But when one looks at the entire umbrella of America’s best men’s sports league, there’s many more smiles and hugs than frowns and shoves.

Jon Horst goes back to his web browser; Giannis, to his growing family. The Bucks head home with history’s sweet duplication denied. Perhaps, as Frazier argued, this disappointment is the permanent state of Man.

But Giannis has some unfortunate news for the commune settler: in the Walden Two community, there is no NBA. Milwaukee knows that as long as No. 34 is a Buck, the sweet memory of a June’s triumph, with tens of thousands of ecstatic fans jumping in elation, could soon have a twin brother.

About Jeffrey Newholm

"Jammin Jeff" Newholm had been a basketball fanatic since his high school days, and remained a casual fan as a student in Whitewater. Wishing to check in as an active participant, he also completed a writing certificate program at UWM. He loves seeing Bucks games more than any other activity in hometown Milwaukee and especially screaming really really loudly to get someone to miss a free throw. Twitter: @JeffreyNewholm

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