Milwaukee Bucks continue to rise with backs against wall this postseason

Jul 14, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 14, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

With the Milwaukee Bucks coming back to even the NBA Finals at 2 games a piece following their comeback victory in Game 4 over the Phoenix Suns, this team has proven a key aspect that has gone rather unnoticed.

This Bucks team continues to find ways to win and often have done it with their backs against the wall all throughout their playoff run. Looking back to last year where the Bucks were as dominant than the year prior, which coincided with Mike Budenholzer’s first season in Milwaukee, they have clearly left something to be desired in the playoffs.

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This year, though, has been a far different story and they have been a better team when they have been pressured to come away with victories as Wednesday night clearly showed.

Milwaukee has exacted revenge against the Miami Heat in a convincing first round sweep, outworked the Brooklyn Nets in an epic seven-game series and knocked off Atlanta without Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The Milwaukee Bucks continue to find ways to win these NBA Playoffs

After losing to the Heat in the Eastern Conference Semifinals last year down in the bubble, Milwaukee stood up to the challenge of facing against Miami and promptly swept them and shut down Jimmy Butler in the process.

In this year’s Conference Semifinals, Milwaukee was down in the series 2-0 after losing by 39 in Game 2 against the Nets. After battling back with a pair of home victories to even up the series at 2-2, the Bucks collapsed in the fourth quarter of Game 5, which saw Kevin Durant completely take over en route to 49 points. Still, the Bucks fought against the odds and got the job done in an epic Game 7 win over Brooklyn, giving them their first Game 7 victory on the road in franchise history.

Finally, last round in Conference Finals against the Hawks, Milwaukee won Games 5 and 6 without Antetokounmpo in action after having suffered his hyperextended knee midway through Game 4. With the likes of Brook Lopez and Bobby Portis stepping up and Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton steering the ship, the Bucks booked their first trip to the NBA Finals in 47 years without their leading superstar.

Now, after having trailed 2-0 against Phoenix in the Finals and their backs firmly against the wall, they won both games at home, which included 40-point nights from both Antetokounmpo (in Game 3) and Middleton (in Game 4). They’ve done so despite poor 3-point shooting, but continuously winning in the margins like the rebounding and turnover battle.

No matter the situation and the circumstances, the Bucks have learned to win in different ways and more than we have been accustomed to over the Budenholzer era, just as Middleton talked about after Game 4 with the Associated Press:

"“That’s what it’s all about – learning, learning how to win different types of ballgames, different styles,” said Middleton, who scored 10 of the Bucks’ last 12 points. “And that’s what that was moment was about, finding a way to win a game where it seemed like we weren’t going to win, and give us a chance to still have a life, going to Phoenix with a little bit of confidence, with a little bit of momentum.”"

Next. Trusting Khris Middleton in clutch time pays off in NBA Finals. dark

These next three games are arguably the biggest in franchise history. It’s time for Milwaukee to show they play their best with their backs against the wall, just like they have in every playoff series this season.