Huge bucks send a vacation to Boston Celtics

Partidazo of the Bucks, who will play their first conference final since 2001 after winning four straight games to a sad Celtics.


First, of course, the flattery to the winner and right now an aspiring as legitimate as anyone who is alive at this point, May 9, to the ring of NBA champion. Or more. Milwaukee Bucks had not won a playoff series since 2001, the last time he also played a conference final (he lost 4-3 against Allen Iverson's Sixers). And despite his 60 wins in a fascinating season in which Mike Budenholzer has made them jump at space speed and Giannis Antetokounmpo can (should) win the MVP, it seemed that the doubts were still accompanying them, that not a few analysts were waiting to write his "these Bucks yes but no ...". It was never as clear as on April 28, when after the bath and massage against the Pistons in the first round, the Celtics devastated them in their Fiserv Forum (90-112) in the first semifinal match. Then, with 0-1, it was unthinkable that this could be the first series to finish, only 10 days later. And it was even more unthinkable that this outcome at the speed of sound would cause four consecutive wins of the Bucks ...

But here we are, on the morning of May 9 ruminating another triumph by crushing the Bucks (116-91), those who did not shake the pulse in the first match ball. Now it seems obvious that after that first game, the problems of Antetokounmpo and the Al Horford master class, everyone had doubts ... except them. With more than 8 minutes to play (and +21 on the scoreboard), Budenholzer was already dosing farewells to provoke the ovations of an audience in ecstasy when, just after the game and the series, in the pavilion were issued the already famous images of Paul Pierce saying that the thing was "liquidated" after that 0-1 that seems already a thing of prehistory. Only eleven days have passed, and the Bucks return to a conference final on the shoulders of Antetokounmpo (this time 20 + 8 + 8 because it did not take more), Middleton (15 + 8 + 5) and Bledsoe (18 + 6 + two). With a decisive contribution from the secondary, to head George Hill, Brogdon finally back (10 points in 17 minutes) and Niko Mirotic starter, this time with 10 points and 11 rebounds on the way to his first conference final. Will be the fifth for Pau Gasol, who has been almost two months without playing for an ankle problem and who already played three with the Lakers and one with the Spurs.

Sounded failure of the Celtics

Gloria for the winner. But today, while the Bucks have the best of the way ahead, it is impossible that many looks do not go in the first place to the spicious failure of the Celtics, who did not even have the courage to fight. There is no worse symptom, for a franchise with so much history and so much pride, that to lose followed the two parties of the Garden after arriving at its sanctuary with the court factor recovered (1-1). The fourth game sounded at the end of the journey and the fifth game, if anyone thought there was a last redeeming turn, confirmed it with a roar. A broken team, unstitched, without ideas or force, without union or automatism, without an apex of green pride and shaken every time we tried to approach: from 22-19 at the end of the first quarter to 31-19 in four minutes of the second. From 65-55 at the equator to 80-62 at the close of the third set. At that time there was no match, nor series nor season for a Celtics who have played the last two conference finals and have now crashed unequivocally, unquestionable even for those who (and were very few) still thought it was a team that He had a fierce competitor inside that would eventually appear sooner or later. Finally he never did, and the Celtics say goodbye as the first team to open the playoffs with five wins and then chained four losses to fall eliminated.

This was a course that began after reaching the seventh of the East end of 2018, against LeBron and without Kyrie Irving or Gordon Hayward, injured. With them back and the King in the West, the Celtics were in September the consensus favorite to reach the Finals ... and give war in them. But the season never started, at every moment of good tuning a bad spell, every attempt to have peace, a rumor about the future of Kyrie Irving or an annoyed statement of this, which ends up marked as a leader, after so much wanting to play without LeBron, con a 6/21 in the fifth game (15 points, only 1 assistance) and a 25/83 in the last four, all defeats. Uncomfortable as a manager and visible face of the locker room, the base, and it costs to write it He may have played his last game with the Celtics jersey. Or not, because that is what is coming now: no certainty, many rumors, accusing fingers and search for solutions for what has been an absolutely failed project that no one knows what formwill end when the next season starts. With Kyrie or without him, with Anthony Davis or without him, with Tatum and Brown in the Garden or in New Orleans ...

It was not the year of Brad Stevens, it was not the year of Kyrie and neither Jayson Tatum nor Jaylen Brown have grown at the anticipated pace and have left some doubts that did not exist in summer. Hayward has returned to play after his terrible injury but it has not been Hayward, and what looked like a Playstation quintet, with Horford as anchor, has finally been a great failure, an aspirant that never was, a project that has happened to him finally over (and maybe not only in this tie) Antetokounmpo and his Bucks, who won the fifth game with an admirable authority, without trait of apprehension or nerves, and position themselves as the favorite to be the first king of the East without LeBron. That, the conference final, the Celtics will see on television between, I fear, fierce criticism from the Boston press and constant rumors about their future ... Finally, there was no playoff mode or saving time: The Celtics fell by being the team without identity or will that have been for almost the entire season. Avanzan, with four consecutive wins that are a matter of pure justice, the Bucks of Antetokounmpo. Beware of them.



Photos from as.com

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