10. Bayless at the buzzer
Another moment that stands out as one of real significance to Milwaukee’s fans over the past decade or so, the Bucks’ 2014-15 playoff run capped off an unlikely and speedy turnaround from the worst season in franchise history.
After winning just 15 games the season prior, the Bucks entered the 2014-15 season with a new ownership group and a new head coach. The result was a young Bucks team, helped by heady veterans, outperforming all expectations, thriving defensively, and setting up a tantalizing first-round series with the neighboring Chicago Bulls.
Were the Bucks set to pull off a major upset? After routine wins for Chicago through the series’ first three games, it certainly didn’t seem likely.
Then, in Game 4, the Bucks found some real fight. A game that was neck and neck throughout most of its duration, remained deadlocked as the Bucks had a chance to inbounds for one last shot with just 1.3 seconds remaining.
Flubbed execution would have sent the game to overtime and given the Bulls another chance to close out the series with a sweep. But, as two of Milwaukee’s key veterans combined, there were no mistakes.
As Jerryd Bayless feinted behind Derrick Rose under the rim, Jared Dudley found him with a perfect pass. With a quick toss high off the glass, Bayless’ shot went through the net and confetti fell from the Bradley Center rafters.
It had been four years since the Bucks had last won a playoff game, and even longer since a young core suggested greater things were on the horizon for Milwaukee.
In a must-read, incredibly detailed piece on this moment and the game as a whole, our own Ben Rauman shared how that feeling manifested itself among the Bradley Center faithful.
"“In that moment, as the confetti flew through the air in the Bradley Center and the Bucks bench rushed the court, it felt like anything was possible for this team.”"
The players carried that same energy into Game 5 in Chicago, where yet another Bucks win provided real hope that a historic comeback could be on the cards. Unfortunately, only a historic blowout actually lay in wait for the Bucks in Game 6.
Still, there was a clear symbolic worth to the team’s playoff play, and this particular moment. In the offseason that followed, the Bucks rebranded and Greg Monroe opted to sign in Milwaukee rather than Los Angeles or New York. In other words, a new era of Bucks basketball had begun.