Bucks Force Game Seven: Win or Go Home

Four words NBA fans never tire of: win or go home. Will the Bucks finally have a playoff triumph, or will the Celtics avoid catastrophe against a seven seed?

Khris Middleton has been the shooting savant to complement Giannis's drive and passion. Can the two lead a talented Milwaukee team past the favored Celtics Saturday night? Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE. (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

By: Jeffrey Newholm

“One win to rule them all, one win to find them, one win to bring them all and in the darkness bind them”. So said TNT studio host J.R.R. Tolkien. While that may not be quite how that quote goes, it doesn’t get any bigger than a game seven in the NBA. Either the Celtics defend home court and avoid a huge letdown, or the Bucks reach their first second round since 2001. Barring an invasion of Orcs, these are the only two scenarios. Either-or, win or go home. The Celtics had a chance to avoid such a scenario, but the Bucks erased that script Thursday night.

After only taking ten shots in a crucial game five loss, Giannis Antetokounmpo was vocal about doing more. Early Thursday night the Celtics had the confidence of  a team closing out an underdog. But that lasted for just a quarter. Behind Giannis’s 31 points and 14 boards, the Bucks chipped away until eventually taking a comfortable lead. The Celtics went on a late counter-run to make the game mildly interesting, but the Bucks calmly trotted to the final horn. Now the Celtics get a final shot at a target that’s now rapidly dribbling at the same pace.

Thus far the home team has won every game in this series. If the Celtics hold serve, they’ll exhale as a Pyrrhic victors. Even without Kyrie Irving, the Celtics seemed too proud of a franchise to take the lowly Bucks to seven games. Preseason expectations had the team as finals favorites, and a first round loss would lead give an already cranky fanbase more angst. By contrast, the Bucks are almost in a no-lose situation. The team has steadily progressed since drafting Giannis. The Bucks have gone from sixth game embarrassment, to sixth game heartbreak, to now having a significant chance to win game seven. The Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center already towers over downtown Milwaukee and beckons for more prestigious basketball and more profitable seats. But the enticement of a rematch against the Sixers, the Buck’s foil in the 2001 semifinals, can’t be resisted. Saturday night the team with everything to lose, at home, tips against the one with all to gain, in a daunting basketball cathedral. Two teams, one game to win it all. Who’ll make the next lap in the NBA’s marathon, and who’ll run home?

Jeffrey Newholm
About Jeffrey Newholm 203 Articles
Hey there! I’m Jeff Newholm and depending on your point of view I’m blessed or cursed that my two favorite sports are outside the limelight. Being a UW-Whitewater grad (winter 2013) my first love was d3 college football, but over the last few years I have picked up a huge interest in woman’s basketball (Uconn being my favorite team as their 90 game winning streak helped show me how good a team can get in the woman’s game). I like all the sports everyone else likes (NFL, NBA, MLB, NCAA basketball and football) but those two sports are where I really have a passion.
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4 Comments on Bucks Force Game Seven: Win or Go Home

  1. So close to next round I can taste it now; I’d like to see more of the bench and more balanced scoring rather than another big name

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