Bucks Gaming fall back in playoff race after another mixed week

LONG ISLAND CITY, NY - AUGUST 10: (Photo by Michelle Farsi/NBAE via Getty Images)
LONG ISLAND CITY, NY - AUGUST 10: (Photo by Michelle Farsi/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Bucks Gaming’s playoff hopes took a major blow as they were unable to pick up two wins with games against the Jazz and Cavs Legion in Gameweek 10.

Facing a crucial double header for their prospects of making the NBA 2K League playoffs, Bucks Gaming couldn’t quite deliver the goods on Friday night.

The Bucks have generally retained some level of consistency across the course of the season, but their gradual slide as the season has gone on is largely attributable to their inability to string win streaks together.

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That came to the fore once again on Friday, as Milwaukee could only manage to split through their matchups with Cavs Legion and Jazz Gaming, two teams who entered those games close behind the Bucks in the standings.

As such, two wins could have created some distance between the Bucks and the chasing pack behind them in the playoff race, but instead the Bucks allowed another rival to enter into an already crowded field.

Starting off first with a matchup against Cavs Legion, and former Bucks GG star oLarry, Milwaukee continued to lean into the starting lineup that has been a constant for over weeks now, meaning BigMeek remained inactive.

In many ways, the game with Cavs Legion set the table for the night as the Bucks struggled to get much scoring out of anyone other than Plondo, still found themselves within very hotly contested games, and turned the ball over all too often.

In the end that last element proved to be their downfall, as the Bucks had 15 turnovers to just four from the Cavs.

That undid an incredible performance from Plondo, who scored 32 points on 13-of-21 shooting, while also chipping in with five rebounds and five assists. Some more help would also have been useful yet only ARooks managed to cross the double-digit mark among other Bucks, and with only 11 points he wasn’t at close to his usual level.

Still, the Bucks had every chance to win this game, entering the fourth quarter with a six-point lead. Execution would ultimately prove to be Milwaukee’s undoing, though, as a well-rounded team effort from the Cavs allowed them to steal away with a 64-61 win.

There was no time to feel down for Bucks Gaming as they were back in action against Jazz Gaming just over an hour after their loss to the Cavs was finalized. Having already dropped one game on the night, a loss to the Jazz would effectively have killed off any playoff hopes for Milwaukee.

Playing under that kind of pressure, the Bucks got off to a perfect start as they ran out to an 18-9 lead at the end of the first quarter, and further extended that lead to 11 points at half time.

What was set up to be a comfortable win quickly became something much more precarious as the Jazz cut the gap to one point following a 20-11 outburst in the third quarter. As Milwaukee ultimately found a way to pull through and secure a victory, Plondo was again the man to thank.

ARooks mustered up an uncharacteristically low seven points, while Chaddynick was the only non-Plondo Buck to register in double digits.

Plondo continued to build a stellar case for Rookie of the Year as he dropped 30 points on 14-of-24 from the field. Over the second half of the Bucks’ season, he has emerged as the team’s real leading light and undoubtedly its most consistent performer.

Bucks Gaming fail to make ground in playoff race on busy night of action. dark. Next

If the Bucks are to work their way into the playoffs, they’ll face an uphill battle over the final two gameweeks. The Bucks are off next week, and will return for their final game of the regular season on July 17 against Knicks Gaming. To make the postseason, they will need a lot of help from those around them and they’ll undoubtedly need Plondo to continue in peak form too.