By: Jeffrey Newholm
After Sunday’s game four between the Bucks and Celtics, Giannis Antetokounmpo reportedly wasn’t served at a local taco restaurant. But that’s ok, because the Greek Freak had just served up 27 points and a game winning tip-in as the Bucks evened the series 2-2. Most importantly, Giannis served the reeling Celtics his famous mean-mug face as Boston suddenly must confront the reality of lesser play without its injured stars.
The Celtics started Sunday’s game playing with a stronger focus and quickly lead 12-5. But fueled by a four point play to end the first (capped by the scoop and score of a ball sillily rolled up the court), the Bucks took a 16 point lead into the locker room and still lead comfortably by 20 in the third. But comfortable is often very bad in basketball. The fans seemed content and satiated, in contrast with the crazed rancor of game three. The Celtics chipped away and actually had the lead and the ball in the last minute. But Kris Middleton blocked a shot to save the game. Malcolm Brogdon and Giannis followed with shots of their own to give the Bucks the lead. After Marcus Morris missed a jumper tightly contested by Middleton and the refs carefully reviewed….something…the Bucks had officially tied the series.
Game five now looms as pivotal for both teams, and perhaps both franchises. The Celtics could face an offseason full of questions with a quick exit. Kyrie Irving would have to clean up an act his replacements now threaten to exit through the trapdoor. A series win by the Bucks would come with perfect timing. The franchise is trying to hawk tickets for the new arena and is slowly gaining respect and esteem. Either the Celtics will return to Milwaukee aiming to survive and advance to the second round, or the Bucks will attempt to finally give credence to marketing too focused on forgotten glory. The Bucks now have identifiable stars in Antetokounmpo, Middleton, and Jabari Parker. Can someone step up for Boston?