By: Jeffrey Newholm
The worst prediction in the history of sports is undoubtedly Brandon Jennings’s infamous “Bucks in 6” proclamation in 2013. Although no other expert thought the Bucks could win a game against the 66 win Heat, Jennings thought the Bucks would win the series. The Bucks were easily swept. However perhaps Jennings, now a benchwarmer for Milwaukee, was just a bit premature. Bucks fans crazed by their team’s 49% three point shooting and frustrating, smothering defense deliriously shouted “Bucks in six!” as they stormed out of the Bradley Center. Quaint dream against the two seed Celtics? Perhaps. But few could blame them based on the sample size of game three alone.
Wisconsin scribes unanimously bemoaned the team’s poor attitude and potty mouths after a desultory game two loss. But perhaps a strong home crowd would help turn things around. This is the Bucks of course. Would fans overcome their jadedness of 17 years of losing to give their team a shot? A sellout crowd of 18,717 answered with a screech of YES! The undermanned Celtics were quickly washed away under a tide of emotion. Brad Stevens, supposedly a wiz of a coach, couldn’t draw up any answers. And now he must solve a riddle: how can Boston regain control and dissuade Buck hopes of winning the series?
A deer may briefly startle a driver, but he won’t just keep driving straight. With enough time, he’ll either swerve or break. Milwaukee won a playoff game by 27 last year and didn’t notch another victory. If Boston can maintain a professional composure and close out better Sunday, they can shift the game to the paint. And there it’s a battle of wills: can the Celtics prove they’re still a finals contender without Irving? Or will the Bucks prove that they’re finally at the table in the big stakes game of the NBA playoff grind? Most likely a young and imposing Sixer team will be waiting. And a nation’s eyes eagerly glimpse ahead at a battle to see who will get to play for the new seat of a conference’s throne.