For the first time in 50 years, the Milwaukee Bucks are NBA champions, which still feels utterly unreal to think about.
Throughout the 23 games that the Bucks played in the 2021 NBA Playoffs, they felt just about every emotion in the book. There was sorrow, tragedy, hopelessness, but also times where there was hope, potential, and ultimately, the utmost joy as they hoised the Larry O’Brien trophy for the first time since 1971, having snapped the long-awaited drought. It was an eventful stretch that will never be forgotten, and fans certainly have their share of memories from the run. Winning the title in six games, here are the six best moments from Milwaukee’s title run.
Top moments from Milwaukee Bucks’ title run: Khris Middleton’s game-winner extinguishes the Miami Heat in Game 1
The Bucks kicked off the playoffs with a rematch against the Miami Heat, who beat them down in the previous postseason. It was a hard-fought battle from start to finish, with each team throwing punches back-and-forth as these two went down the stretch. When it looked like the Bucks might have the win, Heat forward Jimmy Butler drove past Giannis Antetokounmpo and made a layup to tie the game and send it to overtime.
With the game knotted up at 107 with less than 10 seconds left to play, the Bucks did not give the ball to Antetokounmpo, but Khris Middleton. The forward surveyed the floor before driving in and shooting over Heat forward Duncan Robinson to connect on a mid-range jumper with 0.5 seconds remaining to put the Bucks up by two. The Heat did not force another overtime, which allowed the Bucks to earn the victory on their home floor.
The hard-fought victory truly helped set the tone for the rest of the series. The Bucks would win the next three games with little resistance, outright dominating the competition as they avenged the previous season’s defeat. Without Middleton’s game-winning jump shot in overtime, who knows how things would have played out in the rest of that series. It was a great way to kick things off, but it would only get better from there.