The Milwaukee Bucks get swept in four games by the Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals
By this point in their illustrious run during the 1980’s, the veteran-laden Bucks were on the verge of entering a new era. Second-year head coach Del Harris continued to steward the ship to a 49-win season that year, but the wear and tear of the Bucks’ experienced core came to the fore with players being on the downhill of their career and on the verge of retirement (Sidney Moncrief, Paul Pressey, Jack Sikma).
With that said, the Bucks mustered up what would be their final playoff series victory of the century in their first round meeting with the Atlanta Hawks going the full tilt and winning 96-92 in Game 5 on the road at Omni Arena.
The Pistons, on the other hand, were only entering the peak of their powers. Notching a league-leading 63 wins, the Pistons had built on their trip to the Finals the previous year building an incredibly deep team around their leader, veteran point guard and Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas, and assuming the “Bad Boys” moniker that they are fondly remembered by to this day.
Detroit breezed through the first round matchup in the Boston Celtics, sweeping them in three games, to set up their Eastern Conference Semifinals matchup with the Bucks. In the end, the Pistons ended up giving the Bucks the same treatment as they also swept them in four in the Conference Semis.
The Bucks were dealt a serious blow heading into the series as Cummings suffered a serious ankle injury the previous round, and although he would return in Game 3 against the Pistons, the team’s leading scorer and lone All-Star was severely limited and missed the series closing contest.
Of course, it was just a stepping stone for the Pistons as they went on to defeat the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls in six games during the Conference Finals and exact their revenge on the Los Angeles Lakers by sweeping them in four games to win their first title in franchise history.