The Milwaukee Bucks have been straight up bullied by the Boston Celtics in two games. They simply can’t allow that to happen.
The Milwaukee Bucks find themselves down two games to none in their first-round playoff matchup with the Boston Celtics. After playing the first two games at the TD Garden in Boston, however, they get to come home to the friendly confines of the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
This might be just the spark the team needs, as they’ve been battered, beaten and bruised during the first two games in every way imaginable. Frankly, the Celtics have straight bullied the Bucks and are treating them as if they were little brothers who can’t stand up for themselves.
Between passionate screams after fast break dunks, staring down the opposing bench after a three-pointer in the corner or staring down an opposing player and talking some trash after hitting a shot in their face, the Celtics have done it all.
And the worst part about it is; the Bucks have simply taken it.
They haven’t fought back. They haven’t stepped up their game. They haven’t even seemed to care. They continue to take demoralizing blow after demoralizing blow in stride like they don’t have any say about it.
Of course, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton are somewhat excluded from this conversation, as they’re the only two Bucks’ players who have shown up this series. If I were them, I’d take my teammates to task for two abysmal performances in a row.
Basketball is an emotional sport and can get the best of everyone at the wrong time. Showing those emotions is okay though because it shows you really care about the game. So far, the Bucks body language has shown they aren’t investing very much energy and emotion into this series and what we’ve seen so far is the outcome they’ve expected.
That’s extremely frustrating for a fan base who sees all the individual talent on the team despite their inability to put it together collectively. If the Bucks aren’t careful the rest of the series, they will quickly become the laughing stock of the NBA playoffs if they aren’t already.
There’s hope the Bradley Center faithful can pump the energy back into the players they’ve been sorely lacking the first two games of the series. However, that’s not enough.
Milwaukee needs to rally as a team INSIDE the locker room, harness that energy and bring it onto the court. It begins with their emotional leaders, whomever that may be. Milwaukee then needs to send a message to Boston they aren’t to be walked all over.
That isn’t code for they go out and smack the Celtics in a physical and literal sense. More so in a basketball sense. Go out there and have fun playing the game you love. Knockdown some shots and talk some trash along the way. The Celtics know they’re inside the Bucks’ head, but that can change ever so quickly.
It starts one possession at a time. And then another possession. And another. Suddenly, Milwaukee has strung together a whole quarter of positive basketball which can quickly turn into two quarters and then a whole game. After that, who knows what can happen.
If the Bucks are serious about competing, they need to find their swagger back. And hopefully, that’s in the form of an Antetokounmpo mean mug after dunking all over Marcus Morris’ fake-tough guy act.