9. Glenn and Ray see off Charlotte
Having overcome a feisty young Orlando Magic squad in the first round, the Bucks were tasked with a tough series against the Charlotte Hornets on their way to the Conference Finals in 2001.
The series would go the full seven games, with the Bucks falling under real pressure and showing their ability to deliver under that particularly bright spotlight.
With the first four games in the series having been won by the home team, Milwaukee’s Game 5 loss at the Bradley Center left George Karl‘s team staring a playoff exit in the face.
To the Bucks’ great credit, in Game 6, they instantly grabbed a road win of their own to cancel out Charlotte’s break of serve, setting up an epic Game 7 decider, with the Philadelphia 76ers lying in wait.
With outstanding play from Jamal Mashburn, David Wesley and Baron Davis throughout the series, the Hornets were well-placed to give the Bucks everything they could handle in the winner takes all matchup. As a result, Milwaukee needed their own stars to come to the fore.
After Sam Cassell dropped 33 points in Game 6, it was the turn of the other two members of Milwaukee’s Big 3 to deliver. Ray Allen stepped up with 28 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists on 10-of-18 shooting, while Glenn Robinson went even better as he poured in 29 points and 5 rebounds on 10-of-17 shooting.
With a 104-95 win meaning a place in the Conference Finals was secured, this was a moment of great catharsis for the people of Milwaukee, and the team’s leading scorer on that night similarly shared in that feeling.
Speaking to Sports Illustrated’s Ian Thomsen amidst the adulation that followed the conclusion of this game, Robinson revealed:
"“I’ve looked at [Michael] Jordan, Magic [Johnson] and [Larry] Bird, knowing they played their whole careers for one team. They took their team to the next level, and that’s what I’ve always wanted to do.”"
As Thomsen noted, the Dog had finally had its day, and Milwaukee was able to begin dreaming of a trip to the Finals as a result.