The Milwaukee Bucks finished the season with a bang. One of the great candidates for the ring came out the back door in the Playoffs (1-4). Further losses at home (two) that victories in the first round against Miami Heatwho got the classification after beating the Chicago Bulls in the play-in. The punishment for the project in Wisconsin has been as cruel as it was unexpected. Hard setback to the past and to the future, to what has been built and what is to come. “There is no failure in sport, only good and bad days.”, he commented Giannis antetokounmpo after the meeting. There is bad luck, but also great failures, as in this case.
This elimination changes everything in Milwaukee. what before seemed untouchable now he is back on the exit ramp. The pieces that, being practically separated before the 2021 ring, and who joined with the achievement of the title are once again miles away. It is doubtful what, until just a few weeks ago, was unquestionable. The first to take note of this has been budenholzer. The coach who led the team to glory was fired last Thursday May 4th.
The way could not be more exciting. One of the best players in the world in your ranks, a middleton who finished the regular season in good shape, holidayswho has had one of his best campaigns at the individual level at the age of 32 and Brook Lopezwho continues to exploit his virtues and is essential for the success of the team, invited to believe.
It’s hard to think that, the team with best regular season record (58-24), I was not going to even pass the first round. Barely competing in the series, the Bucks have shown a apathy hardly recognizable since budenholzer came to command. The philosophy that this was the year, that the roster was deeper and more talented than ever, has evaporated.
A tie that will go down in history not only because of the legendary performances of Jimmy Butlerwhich has averaged 36.7 points during it, self-proclaimed in the last week as one of the best players to have worn the Miami Heat jersey, but for the inability of a team called to fight for the championship.
The Heat were the sixth team en the entire history of the championship to win, being 8th in his conference, first qualified in the first round. The definition of upset You can’t fit better in this situation. And all this without tyler herro from the first game and without Oladipo from the third.
The Florida team joins Denver in 1994which eliminated the supersonicsto the knicks of the 1999who beat Miami Heat and later they would arrive at finals of the NBA. Also on this list are warriors of the 2007of the We Believewho left some on the road Dallas Mavericks who were runners-up the previous season, the grizzlies of the 2011 which ended with Saint Antony and, lastly, the 76ers of the 2012 who beat Chicago in a tie marked by the serious injury of Derrick Rose.
The feeling that the elimination left in the Fiserv Forum was similar to the one that flew over the offices of the Bucks after the catastrophe of 2020, when they were eliminated precisely against the Miami Heat. The minute variation tactic, the one that seemed to have changed for get the ring and trying to repeat it this year, has once again shaken the system offense and defense for Milwaukee.
The inability to find a plan B if plan A fails, the bad perception of doing tactical changes according to what the party demands or try Giannis in the paintsomething that has worked in recent months, but that seems to have been of no use, has served as the reason to fire Mike Budenholzer after five seasons.
The market on the benches seems hotter than ever. As he could report Adrian Wojnarowski, of ESPNthe final candidates for this position would be Nick Nursefavorite among the fans, a coach who changed the history of the Raptors, Kenny Atkinsonwho from his stage in the D’Angelo Russell nets has not taken command of a team again and Adrian Griffin, assistant coach in Toronto.
Failures and self-criticism
Despite the news that the elimination supposes, the glances and the comments have gone to the answers of Giannis Antetokounmpo in the press conference after this game 5. The Greek wanted to respond to a journalist about the failure in sport and the way to face life.
“Do you get promoted every year at work? No. So every year at your job is a failure? It’s not a failure, it’s steps to success”, declared the 28-year-old forward. “Michael Jordan played 15 seasons and won six championships. The other nine was a flop?”he explained.
“There is no failure in sport. There is good and bad days”, the Bucks star continued. “Sometimes you can succeed, sometimes you can’t. you don’t always win. Sometimes others win, and this year another will win”, he responded emphatically in an appearance that remained for history.
He random decide the fate of things you cannot control. Not every year you can win. Nobody has done it or will get it, but the expectations were big and the disappointment it has been even more so. To fall the way you have fallen implies a self-criticism that has not been carried out.
Being one of the favorites, having the best record in the NBA and just win a game in the first round of the Playoffs against the eighth-ranked team, it may have been a matter of chance, of external issues, but the word failure comes to mind for obvious reasons. It is no longer just losing, but the manner and the attitude on the track.
Considering the contractual level, the changes, in part, seem obligatory. brook lopez contract ends and he is a free agent Without restrictions. No news, at the moment, of the possible continuation of him in the Bucks. The center, who has become a mainstay of the team since his arrival in 2018, he can face his last months with the Wisconsin jersey except for surprise in the final minutes. His more than possible exit conditions completely a system that has led to success in the last five years.
The 35-year-old center is joined by Jae Crowder, Joe English, Wesley Matthews, Goran Dragic and Thanasis Antetokounmpo as players who, on paper, will prove in the free agency in the summer months. The signing of Crowder for the important moments of the Playoffs did not leave a good feeling and that, in four games, he played 40 minutes in total.
As for the player options (those they have the power to execute), Middleton has one of 40 million dollars that seems impossible to put aside. Jevon Cartera key piece of the defensive framework, could charge just over 2 million the next season. It is in his hands to decide his future.
Months of transformation are ahead, of transition towards a new project leaving behind how successful the previous one was. He change on the bench mark this, but the possible departure of important pieces this season (Lopez, Matthews) influences when designing the systems for an Antetokounmpo who will want to modifications after the setback of the last Playoffs.
Looking at free agency, several names pop up or have been linked to Milwaukee in recent months. PJ Washington (restricted free agent) from Charlotte, Jordan Clarksonin Utah, also with player option, Torrey Craig, former Bucks player, are some of the names that seem to be on the agenda of a Jon Horst You have work ahead of you this summer.