Apr 30, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; An official holds back Milwaukee Bucks guard Michael Carter-Williams (5) following a foul against Chicago Bulls forward Mike Dunleavy (34) (not pictured) during the third quarter in game six of the first round of the NBA Playoffs. at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Well, it was a good run while it lasted. It’s tough to think about right now, but even making it to a Game 6 in a postseason series is a pretty incredible accomplishment for these Young Bucks. This team wasn’t supposed to be as good as it was in Game 4 or Game 5 of this series, and as nice as it was to win those two I think everyone knew that right now the Chicago Bulls are the better basketball team.
That being said, there is no excuse for how poorly Milwaukee played on Thursday evening. Losing is one thing, but the Bucks broke down both physically and mentally and were essentially out of the game after the first ten minutes. This wasn’t just a loss, it was one of the most spectacular blowouts in recent memory.
The Bucks scored 66 points in this game; the Bulls had 65 at the end of the first half. There wasn’t one Buck that obviously struggled more than the rest either, it was a team-wide 48 minute slump. Every Buck played significant minutes in this game, partly due to the obvious huge score deficit and partly because Milwaukee lost Giannis Antetokounmpo in the first half after he was ejected for doing this.
Did Mike Dunleavy deserve that for cheap shots on both Giannis and Michael Carter-Williams earlier in this game? Maybe. Is Dunleavy a dirty player? Probably. Should Giannis have done that? No.
Not at all. That’s a bush league play, no matter what happened earlier. It doesn’t matter that Dunleavy had been doing similar (if more discrete) kinds of uncalled fouls earlier, you can’t lose your cool like that in the playoffs.
Giannis is young and emotional, especially when he himself and his teammates are being antagonized like that. He will learn from this (hopefully). But that doesn’t make that kind of cheap shot okay.
That being said, Mike Dunleavy is now my least-favorite player in the NBA.
The game was effectively over by that point anyway, you can’t pin the loss on Giannis or any Buck for that matter. It’s just unfortunate Milwaukee’s season had to end on such a down note, both from the blowout loss and the ugliness that occurred during the game.
Let’s get to the reactions and grades of this blowout Chicago win so we can get them over with…sigh. You might notice I use no nicknames throughout this post: these Bucks don’t really deserve them after that outing. Tomorrow (or five years from now) when I get over this one, the nicknames will return.
Next: Reactions: The Good