Milwaukee Bucks’ role players come up huge in Game 3 win

MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 20: Eric Bledsoe
MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 20: Eric Bledsoe /

Trailing 2-0, the Milwaukee Bucks needed to win Game 3 to turn the series around. It was their role players lead by Thon Maker who brought the physicality.

I’ll admit, I wasn’t very interested in watching the Milwaukee Bucks vs Boston Celtics Game 3 on Friday night. I turned it on to see the beginning of a playoff game at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. A venue that I have great memories of watching basketball at when I was a kid. With drama surrounding the Bucks this past week, I didn’t give them much of a chance. Boy, was I wrong! This team came out with energy and a sense of urgency to get back into a playoff series that many pundits said they could win.

From the opening tip, the crowd was in the game and the Bucks did everything they could to keep the fans in the game. In the past, the Bradley Center has been criticized for not being a loud venue, but maybe fans just haven’t had anything to cheer about.

On Friday night, the ol’ BC was a rockin’! Make no mistake about it, this was a game both the fans and team needed to bring their ‘A’ games. It was a must win. Going down 0-3 would’ve been devastating, but being down 2-1 brings new life to the series.

The Bucks were lead by Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, but it was Eric Bledsoe, Jabari Parker and Thon Maker who came up huge. Bledsoe had a quiet 17 points, as it was Parker and Maker who were making the most noise.

Maker, who played one minute in the first two games, brought energy off the bench and displayed the talent we hoped would be there throughout the season. He was extremely active, blocking shots, trash talking, and bumping chests with the Celtics players as they battled down low.  He was the embodiment of the Bucks aggressive play that was lacking in the first two games. Each of his five block shots drew loud cheers from the raucous crowd on hand.

Parker, who has struggled so far on and off the court, was engaged and active in the offense. He even picked up his defensive intensity, an area that he lacks in. It was a pleasant surprise to see him more involved as a teammate. If the Bucks are going to advance in the playoffs, they’re going to need a productive Parker.

Keys to another Bucks win in Game 4

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens is going to make adjustments based on what he saw from the Bucks on Friday night. For the Bucks, their keys to evening up the series at two games a piece is simple. They need to bring the same energy and intensity they brought on Friday night. Bledsoe, Parker, and Maker each have to be as effective as they were in Game 3. Their offense needs to share the basketball and keep it moving.

On defense, they need to be physical, aggressive and help each other out. It was no doubt their best defensive performance this series, but also one of the season’s best performances.

Next: Bucks most roll with their starting unit

For this team to advance they’re going to need to play exactly like they did on Friday night. Can they do it? Sure they can, this team has all the talent to win a playoff series and make a run. We’ve been hearing about “Own the Future” and “The Future is here” for a while now from the Bucks marketing department. While, guess what, it’s time this team plays up to their potential and starts “Owning the Future”.