14. Delly steals in and beats the buzzer
The first of a number of more recent moments that make their way into the back end of this list, Matthew Dellavedova‘s defining moment during a disappointing spell in Milwaukee seems symbolic of something much bigger.
The Bucks were widely fancied as a potential upset pick in their first-round series against the Boston Celtics in 2018, yet having returned home from the first two games of the series with nothing to show for their good play, a much more pessimistic outlook wouldn’t have been unreasonable.
Returning for what could have been their Bradley Center swan-song, the Bucks produced a definitive response with a 24-point win in Game 3. That set-up an incredibly competitive Game 4, and one that Milwaukee would ultimately win by just two points.
With that narrow margin established, Dellavedova’s finish to the first quarter becomes all the more noteworthy. As the clock ticked down, Khris Middleton used a spin move to shake Shane Larkin out of his shoes, before demonstrating a feather soft touch by kissing in the layup off the glass.
Milwaukee led 22-17, and with just 1.2 seconds remaining in the quarter, almost everyone switched off on the Boston inbounds pass. I say almost everyone, as Dellavedova was ready and waiting to slide in and steal the pass off the floor ahead of Larkin, before extending his arm and delicately looping in a high-arching layup to beat the buzzer.
The Bradley Center was home to a lot more misery than joy over the years, but that moment marked one of the loudest outbursts the building, and the franchise, had known for quite some time.
It’s the kind of moment that fills a young team with newfound energy and confidence. That proved to be enough to help the Bucks to victory in this instance, but also provided a moment of real playoff will and intensity that many of Milwaukee’s players will remember and look to channel in their upcoming postseason push too.