Milwaukee Bucks: Game 7 preview vs Boston Celtics

MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 26: Giannis Antetokounmpo
MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 26: Giannis Antetokounmpo /

There is no bigger moment in sports than Game 7 in the playoffs. The Milwaukee Bucks have the odds stacked against them so let’s preview the game.

Game 7! Whether it is the NBA Playoffs or the MLB Playoffs, there is nothing like it. With the BMO Harris Bradley Center rocking for what could be the final time in Game 6, Giannis Antetokounmpo took over like the superstar he needs to be and lead the team with 31 points and 14 rebounds to force a Game 7. The biggest game of the season for the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics lies ahead.

During this series, the home team is 6-0. If the Bucks want to pull off the upset they’re going to have to win on the road. Something that we’ve all known since the series has started. This will definitely be no easy task. It’s one thing to play aggressively in front of your home crowd of 18,000 screaming fans. It will be completely different on the road at the TD Garden with the season on the line.

Only Jason Terry and Al Horford have played in a playoff Game 7 so this is a totally new experience for both of these teams. The Bucks have never won a Game 7 on the road in the franchise’s history. Their most recent experience came in 2010 when they lost to the Atlanta Hawks.

For the Bucks to advance to the second round of the NBA Playoffs they are going to have to play aggressive, and with a drive to want it more than the Celtics, like they did in Game 6. Can they win on the road at Boston? Sure, they can. In Game 5 they shot 37 percent, that is not going to happen again.

Here are keys to Game 7 for the Bucks:

It’s Giannis Time 

For the Bucks to advance, Antetokounmpo can’t play like an All-Star, he has to play like an MVP. Great players show up in big games.

If Giannis wants to be considered among the league’s best with LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and James Harden, he needs to have a monster game. Not just scoring wise, but grabbing rebounds and making his teammates better. The only player in this series who is transformational and can take over a game is Antetokounmpo.

He’s going to need to do that in order for the Bucks to win. In Game 6,  we saw an aggressive Giannis, who took more shots than he did in Game 5, who attacked the hoop, hustled for rebounds and distributed the basketball on offense. Superstars put their team on their back and carry them, it’s time he takes another step in his development.

Thon Maker and Jabari Parker

Both players are huge components to the Bucks advancing to face to the second round of the playoffs. Thon needs to be playoff Thon like he was in Game 3. He needs to bring energy, block shots and man the middle. The stronger he can be in the interior of the defense the better the chance the Bucks have at creating turnovers.

The energy also needs to come from Jabari Parker. He needs to grab rebounds, hustle down the court on fast breaks and play tough defense. Parker is looking for a deal this summer, so teams have been watching, there is no bigger moment than Game 7 in the playoffs for him to make some money. He needs to be involved in the offense,  engaged with his teammates and most importantly knock down shots.

Play Defense

When the Bucks are hustling on defense, rotating well and putting a hand in the face of their opponents. The Bucks have been called for more fouls in this series than the Celtics have, but that can’t stop them from being aggressive. They need to play with a toughness and set the tone early.

The Bucks have gone through lapses of bad habits, which they leave guys wide open and grabbing loose rebounds. Those types of things can’t happen if you want to keep playing in the NBA playoffs.

Yes, the TD Garden will be a hostile environment, but these teams have been evenly matched. The Bucks have the best player in the series, Antetokounmpo. It’s game 7, it’s when the best players rise up and lead their teams to victory.

It not only comes down to execution but who wants it more. How badly do the Bucks want to advance to the second round of the playoffs? We will find out tonight at 7 pm CT.