So, Bucks made the History on Game 6!

Milwaukee Bucks are the 2020-21 NBA Champs! It’s all over the media! And lots of histories were made:

  1. Giannis Antetokounmpo (GA) and the Milwaukee Bucks finally made history; in 50 years!!
  2. And what an amazing way to make it happen with Giannis’s 50 points game night!!!
  3. And Giannis being the first international NBA Finals MVP
  4. And Bucks, as Mantange asked, became the fifth Team in NBA history to comeback from a 2-0 deficit and win the Championship.

All that, including winning the Finals MVP for the third time!!!

GA was all teary emotional. It was an emotional night for me as well watching him, the Team, owners, fans, and all. Perseverance, faith, humility, resilience, hardwork all in action.

Undoubtedly, the Phoenix Suns put up a great fight, but …

It was a well deserved win for Giannis and the Team. And they (Team, town, and fans) all need to celebrate and enjoy the WIN.

I’ll forget the negatives observed and leave you to enjoy the video clips and photos.

Thanks for an awesome NBA season that will forever go down in history.

Thank goodness also for some Olympics basketball which starts on Monday. Till next season,

History in the Making! Will it happen today?

Have you been watching the NBA 2020-21 Championship between Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns, like I have? What a ball it has been!

Game 6 will be played today, at 9:00 P.M. EST in ABC. That’s in approximately three hours. It is the game NBA Analyst, Steve Aschburner, has tagged Desperation versus Discipline. I cannot agree more.

Desperation or Discipline?

Both Teams are indeed desperate to win today for obvious reasons. For Suns, it’s win or go home. The desperation is hardest on them such that some Phoenix lawyer(s) will pay for a billboard to be mounted in Milwaukee! Read about it here. Whether to support the Suns or troll the Bucks, it seems an act of desperation. The law firm should have used the money to fly all its staff and family members to Fiserv Forum to cheer Phoenix Sun if it really wanted to support. Well …

For Bucks, it’s win, clinch the Larry O’Brien Cup, or return to Phoenix for another grueling game.

Also, both Teams haven’t won a Finals in at least fifty (50) years.

Both Teams also have to indeed exercise discipline; a much better one than they had done and particularly did for Game 5 in order to mitigate the foul calls and avoid technicals and injuries.

Whether it is desperation or discipline, I hope it’s all clean, good, and fun game with no fatal injuries.

Background and Series thus far

As you may or may not know, NBA Playoffs and Championships are a series of seven games. The Season’s Championship began on Tuesday, July 6th at the home court of Phoenix Suns (PS). The Series started with Games 1 and 2 at Phoenix, Games 3 and 4 in Milwaukee, Game 5 – Phoenix, Game 6 – Milwaukee (today), and Game 7, if necessary, back in Phoenix.

As expected, PS clinched the first two games of the Series utilizing home court and fan base to their advantage, setting everyone, viewers and analysts, wondering what was going on with the Bucks, and thus putting Team Giannis in the hole 2-0! Phoenix’s fan base loudly roasted (or booed) Giannis Antetokounmpo (GA) non-stop at the free-throw line – a mental torture, in my opinion.

However, at Buck’s homecourt, GA appeared to get mentally tougher, better, and of course, fewer or non-existence of the Phoenix fans helped eased his composure at the free throw line. With some superb leadership caliber plays, Bucks won the next two games; also utilizing the fan base-home court to its advantage.

Though Game 5 was at PS’s, Bucks clinched the game; now leading series by 3-2. Spectacular was the steal by Jrue Holiday (JH) (from Sun’s Devin Booker) at the last few minutes, GA’s dunk, and Khris Middleton’s back-to-back three-pointers, including free-throws from fouls all helped put Bucks in the lead and cemented the win.

All games featured superb 40+ points each by three players; Devin Booker (PS), GA, and Khris Middleton (KM); thus making the Finals MVP a hard choice. Also notable were stunning steals in the last two games, including blocks and dunks throughout.

The Desperation continues

The Phoenix Suns franchise, established in 1968, has never won an NBA Championship. Per Jason Schandl, “the last time they even made the NBA finals was the 1992-93 season, when Charles Barkley and company lost to Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls. Their only other championship appearances came in the 1975-76 season.”

Bucks’ slogan is “History in the Making.” It’s the first time the team reached the Finals in fifty (50) years.

“The last time the Bucks were in The Finals, legends Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson were their stars. Current coach Mike Budenholzer was only four years old. Some of the 2021 players’ parents weren’t even born yet.”

Steve Aschburner

“Only four teams have ever bounced back from a 2-0 series deficit in the NBA Finals. Can the 2021 Milwaukee Bucks team become the fifth?” – Yash Mantange

The four teams, he wrote, were:

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016
  2. Miami Heat in 2006
  3. Portland Trail Blazers in 1977, and
  4. Boston Celtics in 1969.

I believe Mantange made the above statement simply because Milwaukee Bucks is closer to clinching the Series’ win than Phoenix Suns. But, it will be interesting to see the outcome tonight. Yours truly will definitely be watching, cheering, and taking notes. [smile]. I hope you will be too.

Know the key players and coaches leading their Teams to the NBA Finals

Today is the first of the BIG Game basketball lovers have been waiting for. The 2020-21 NBA Finals between Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns is led by Giannis Antetokounmpo and Chris Paul respectively. Seven more games to excite fans, if it gets to the wires. We don’t know if Giannis Antetokounmpo will return today or not. (this was the paragraph I wrote earlier and chose to keep it …)

Well, Game 1 has been played and the Suns won. The win though is not enough to use as a predictor of the Series. We know the Suns ended their Western Conference Final (WCF) two days earlier than the Bucks. We can deduce that Bucks is still fatigued from the travel and jubilation of their Eastern Conference Final (ECF). And though Giannis played, it will be unfair to expect a top shape body and game from him having missed almost three games. It was obvious, in my opinion though that Khris Middleton was fatigued. Understandably so having carried Bucks on his back the last two games and to the ECF. Here’s hoping that Bucks bounces back soon from the exhaustion.

I thought to blog on the key players and their coaches. I found some articles, Ten things to know about the player, from NBA.com, to share. Click on each name to find out more.

  1. Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo
  2. Bucks’ Khris Middleton
  3. Phoenix’s Chris Paul
  4. Phoenix’s Devin Booker

The Coaches

Mike Budenholzer is the current Bucks head coach, since 2018. The team was formed in 1968, and there have been 15 head coaches for the Bucks franchise. The franchise won its only NBA championship in the 1971 NBA Finals under the leadership of its first coach, Larry Costello.
Don Nelson was the head coach for the Milwaukee Bucks from 1976–1987. Terry Porter was the head coach of the Bucks for two seasons. Jason Kidd served as the Bucks head coach from 2014–2018.

Founded in 1968, the Suns are chronologically the second-oldest team in the Western Conference. The Suns are also chronologically the third-oldest team in the NBA to have never won an NBA Championship while having played in the NBA Finals at least once

Former Pelicans coach Monty Williams was hired to coach the team on May 3, 2019. The Phoenix Suns franchise has had 20 head coaches. John MacLeod is the franchise’s all-time leader in coaching years and games won, winning the most regular-season and playoff games. Cotton Fitzsimmons, Mike D’Antoni and Monty Williams are the only coaches to have won the NBA Coach of the Year Award with the Suns. The Suns never have been coached by a Basketball Hall of Fame inductee.

Now you know why the Finals game is important to both teams. Who would win the Championship? We’ll keep watching and I hope you’ll watch along.

References:

  • NBA.com
  • Wikipedia.org
  • Factsnippet.org

All Hail Milwaukee Bucks, the Eastern Conference Champion!!!

What a game! What a series!! I had to watch Game 6 all over again.
But now it’s over and on to the next challenge, the Real Finals.

Milwaukee Bucks are the NBA 2020-21 Eastern Conference Champs. The #3 Eastern Conference seed defeated the young and feisty #5 Atlanta Hawks in an incredibly underestimated 4-2 run.

Milwaukee home fans

I hope that Bucks learned a lesson or two from this Series which started with underrating Atlanta in Game 1 of the series The “hungry” Hawks quickly stated that they showed up to play and behold won the Game.

I had thought that it would be an easy win or a sweep, but Atlanta Hawks proved me wrong.

Of course the Series was not without its share of injuries. Both Teams’ key leaders were sidelined for two and three games each respectively. First, it was Trae Young, then it was Giannis Antetokounmpo. Both Teams survived and won at least a game each without their key players.

Giannis, who left Game 4 and missed Games 5 and 6, humbly stepped aside to allow his deserving teammates; Middleton, Holiday, Lopez, Turcker, Portis, and Connaughton, to enjoy the exhilaration of holding the Larry O’Brien cup. They all elevated their games to cover Giannis’ absence and thus are taking the trophy back home to Milwaukee.

Bucks will face the Western Conference Champs, Phoenix Suns, starting on Tuesday, July 6. It sure will be another spectacular Series as it is Bucks Final qualifier since 1974 and Suns’ since 1993. Both Teams also entered the NBA in the same year. Surely, I’m not about to miss any of the games.

Hope you’ll be watching, too.

Congrats again to Milwaukee Bucks being the superior team in the Series.

Thanks to Team Trae Young for giving Bucks a hard-earned game. Till next season, rest, rest, rest!!!

The NBA Finals begin on Tuesday, July 6. Oh how I wish the Bucks have more time between games to recoup and reenergize. Phoenix Suns has been “resting” since Thursday. I’m sure they will all be fine. 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾

Did you watch it?

Game 7 was phenomenal as expected. It could have passed for the NBA Finals, rather than the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals that it was. And for the Milwaukee Bucks, no other game going forward, could be as challenging as the one today against Brooklyn Nets. For sure!

So, Team Giannis won having narrowly missed a last minute three-pointer that could have ended the regulation with Kevin Durant’s (KD) shot, but for his (KD) foot on the line. Thus it was a two-point shot. It tied the game and went into overtime.

KD’s three/two pointer shot

The overtime (OT) started with Nets early shot, while Bucks’ shots refused to hit the basket until almost the fourth minute (of the five-minute OT).

A game with KD is not over until the clock times out because he is such a great player and shooter who can shoot from any angle. Unfortunately his last shot for the Game 7 OT was an air ball. As Giannis always says, a win is a win, whether by one or ten points. KD’s miss clenched the win for Team Giannis.

I have watched both Giannis Antetokounmpo (GA) and KD played each other times without number, both during regular seasons, Playoffs, and Finals, but still none compared to 2021 Game 7 nor have I ever seen both key players as exhausted as they both were for this Game. Everyone, that is the NBA village, was watching.

Bucks was the underdog, but with injuries plaguing the Nets, they had a chance. And chance they not only had, but took, and snatched the win from the Big Two (or shall I say, Big One-and-a-Half since Harden, who surprisingly made more shots (3s) than he did for Games 5 and 6) was not totally healthy. He stepped up immensely though to aid KD and the Team.

The key players on both Teams were glaringly and excruciatingly exhausted not surprisingly since both KD and Giannis played about 50 minutes each and had 40+ points. Giannis played with a limp towards the end having suffered pains from being hit. So did P. J. Tucker at some point. Giannis was also ridiculed at the free throw line for taking too long and missing the shots anyways, which he finally overcame and made a total of I think five out of the eight free throws. Middleton was hit in the eye. And there was also foul troubles; P.J. Tucker, who was doing a tremendous job guarding KD and frustrating his efforts, eventually fouled out during the OT.

Great Sportsmanship

KD gave his respect to the Milwaukee Bucks for all they did tonight, during the Series, and had done throughout the Season.
See the after-game video courtesy of NBA.

Congrats. Congrats. Congrats.

Congratulations to the Milwaukee Bucks. They get two days of rest, (excluding travel back to their home base) while waiting on the winner of Sixers and Atlanta, before the start of the Eastern Conference Finals Series.

Bucks-Nets Game 7 was the Game of the Season and one to remember for years!

It Is A Must-Watch Game 7!

You probably already heard about Brooklyn Nets-Milwaukee Bucks’ Games 5 and 6. If you thought those were spectacular, today’s Game 7 will definitely be much more. It is a MUST WATCH! This is the finale that determines who advances to the Eastern Conference Finals. The fight of the titans. An African adage says: “when two elephants battle, it is the ground (where the fight is taking place) that suffers.” We don’t interpret ethnic adages (aka proverbs) literally because they are so weighted that no literal translation can suffice. In the above adage, imagine the ground being wet and muddy, then imagine if the ground was dry and concrete. [laugh] Get the picture?

when two elephants battle, it is the ground (where the fight is taking place) that suffers.”

An African Adage

Anyways, and seriously, I am so excited that the game extended to Game 7. It was what it was supposed to be. The first two games of the series were a sham indeed. Bucks finally awoke and tied the game, only to lose Game 5 in the last few minutes of the fourth quarter though they had led throughout. It was unbelievable with Giannis’ fumble at the critical moments and the Team being in foul trouble. But Game 6 was better making it look like a ping-ponging series between the two teams. The ping-ponging is the sign of an equal team natch. But now this is it. Today at 8:30 P.M. ET.

Both Teams have utilized their respective court advantages. So, if courts- and fans-advantages have played a role, though I believe that Bucks could have won Game 5 on Nets’ ground, how will it play out today?

We will surely find out. Make sure you watch it if you can.

Congratulations

Congrats to the Los Angeles (LA) Clippers for making it to the Western Conference Finals. They defeated Utah Jazz’s Team Mitchell yesterday winning the series 4-2. It’s the first time ever for the Clippers to advance to the Conference Finals despite their key player, Kawahi Leonard, being injured and missing their last two games.

Congratulations also to the Phoenix Suns and their determined Team Devin Booker, Chris Paul, Deandre Ayton, Cameron Payne, and Mikal Bridges for making it to the Western Conference Finals. The Western Finals start on Sunday. Doubtful if Chris Paul will be playing the first two games since he’s on protocol watch.

It has been fun and exhilarating watching the games so far. It gets even better going forward till the Grand Finale.

Are you watching? Why or why not?

Loving Basketball: Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets’ Game 4 was super-electrifying. Did you watch it?

Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets’ Game 4 was super-electrifying. Did you watch it?

It was very physical. Which is okay for a Playoff game, right, but when intentional hurt, harm, and injuries overshadow the games, it takes the fun away. I felt such happened during the game, but overall it was just what was expected of two elephants on the court. To some, it’s a part of what Playoffs and Finals are made of. Does it have to be though?

Unfortunately, Brooklyn Net’s Kyrie Irving, the Team’s indomitable point guard accidentally stepped on Giannis of Milwaukee Bucks, thought he twisted his ankle, had to leave Game 4, and won’t be available for Game 5. We learned later that Kyrie only suffered a sprain.

Also, Milwaukee Bucks’ Guard, Pat Connaughton, got hit in the brow and had to be stitched. Was his hurt/injury, a retaliatory action?

Yet, there was the unflinching recently-acquired-from-Houston Rockets Guard, P.J. Tucker, who superbly defended and restricted my awesome KD such that KD was frustrated and had a too-close-for-comfort-facial court encounter that necessitated KD’s bodyguard running to his side. It was dramatic and scary for me to watch. For a second I thought it was about to turn into a scuffle. Thank goodness that the swift actions of the referees and coaches averted one. [sigh]

All said and done, the Bucks put up a superb and superior game to equalize the Series; now 2-2.

Kudos to all for a tremendous Game 4 worth watch.

Today is Game 5. Nets’ James Harden, who left Game 1 with a hamstring injury and missed Games 2-4, might return to aid the lone star of the Big Three.

Will Bucks continue with the tight defense and fearless pursuit? We’ll see tonight.

Hope you’ll be watching too.

.

Bucks-Nets’ Game 3 was electrifying!

Absolutely electrifying. It was the game that had been expected of the duo. From start to finish with Giannis Antetokounmpo scoring nine points, and Kris Middleton scoring six, in the first few minutes, it proved to be just what every basketball lover was waiting for.

Team Milwaukee got a mouthful from Sports Analysts and fans for their Game 2 performance where they allowed Brooklyn to dominate unchallenged. But they showed up tonight with their best and strong defensive feet, setting the tone early till the end.

Bucks led the first quarter at 30-11. But Nets returned to the second quarter and took the lead at some points, ending the quarter with 42-45. A few ties in the third quarter and a 67-65 end. Fourth quarter was a ball-for-ball possession game till the last stretching minutes.

Game was very physical with lots of contacts and unnecessary floppings. Must be Playoffs, right?

Also, how does one explain fearless Greek Freak Giannis spending thirteen seconds at the free-throw line? He timed out again. Just shows that the best of us has a struggle (aka weakness) in at least one area.

It was scary watching Kevin Durant (KD) take the last shot in an attempt to tie the game and send it to overtime. Noted for his snipe-like deadly shots, KD narrowly missed the basket making Team Bucks a winner for the night’s Game 3. Would have been terribly disappointing otherwise.

Giannis and Kris Middleton combined for 68 of the total 86 Milwaukee points. Jrue Holiday made the shot that gave Bucks the critical edge while P.J. Tucker and Brook Lopez were the effective defensive sports on KD and the rim. Overall all players contributed and gave fans what they expected.

Nets players admitted that they just didn’t make the necessary shots. Unbelievably though, Nets Coach said that “it was a hostile environment.” Hostile? Um. I’d say that it was a home court advantage. What do you think if you watched the game?

Would we see James Harden return as a helping hand for Nets for Game 4 and will Team Bucks be able to repeat the performance? Leave your comment if you please.

Loving Basketball: The Big Three are Nasty!

Excusez-moi, monsieurs! Qu’est-ce qui se passe?

What I envisioned to be a game of the titans is turning out to be an embarrassing game of mismatch to watch. Pardon me, but it appears that Giannis and Team Milwaukee are proving to be no match for Brooklyn Nets’ Big Three of Kevin Durant (KD), Kyrie Irving (KI), and James Hardin (JH); Big Two for Games 1 and 2 since Harden exited at the onset of the series. I can only imagine if he was playing.

The Nets rout Bucks, without resistance, in the second game leading by almost 40-points. Game 1 was sort of a sampler. I had thought that Bucks will resist and show up for Game 2. But was I wrong? Glad that I didn’t bet on it because I could have lost money big time.

I love to watch a game of equals and I had thought that there wasn’t much difference in NBA’s 2020-21 #2 Team Durant/Brooklyn Nets and #3 Team Giannis/Milwaukee Bucks. But watching Games 1 and 2 of Round 2 of the Playoffs, and particularly Game 2, proved that the difference and disparity goes beyond the numbers and thus me wrong.

I’ve always loved Kevin Durant (KD). The boy’s got style on the court. He’s so slick and plays the game with such unbelievable ease. So when he was acquired by Golden State Warriors (my favorite Team), I was elated. And he proved his worth earning the back-to-back MVPs. KD’s on-court countenance also changed compared to his time with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Too bad that we (GSW/fans) couldn’t keep him longer.

Anyhow, KD seems to be on a roll for a championship as it appears that this might be a sweep if Milwaukee is unable to bring their A+ game on Thursday and fight back. I hope they will. In basketball nothing is impossible as we saw with the Dallas Mavericks and LA Clippers.

On edge waiting for this duo’s Game Three … till then

Love and Peace.

Loving Basketball: And Yes, Giannis-Bucks Won!

The game was over no sooner I submitted my last post. It is official that Milwaukee Bucks are the first team to win the first round of the 2020-21 NBA Playoffs. They defeated Miami Heat with a hard 4:0 sweep; 120-103. Game four actually started with Miami leading well into the second quarter. But you know, a 20-point lead or deficit in basketball is no longer new; it’s still can be any team’s game. Not that Heats led with that many points though; they led by ten in the first quarter at one point.

Anyway, it was a SWEEP. Bucks came with the broom, brush, RoboVac, and suctions for the cleaning business. The sweep seemed like a vengeance from the start till the finish. Hopefully, it was all ‘just basketball game’ though a few instances didn’t appear so. What with a Miami Heat’s player on Giannis, while lying on the court after he was fouled, whispering “__” to him that was caught on camera and got him a technical?! Some said that stuff like that comes with the territory especially in Playoffs or Finals games. Um, I don’t know about that. My take is that it does not have to resort to that.

Last season, too, had Giannis so provoked that he head-butted someone. I’ve never seen him lose his cool like that. They all trying to get under (or into) each other’s head and skin.

This time around, Giannis came with a renewed and recharged mental toughness fitting for the leader he truly is. He and teammates made a statement putting on the classic show.

Giannis and his team have ample time to rest between games while waiting for the next team and Round 2. Bucks will play the winner of Brooklyn Nets (Kevin Durant et al) and Boston Celtics (Jason Tatum et al). Will be another spectacular round.

Congratulations. I am so happy for the Bucks Team. ThinkTalk is cheering you all the way.

Loving Basketball: Will Giannis and Bucks be the First Winner of Round 1?

Credits: YahooSports

What a difference a year makes! Remember the two Eastern teams to face off in the second round of Playoffs last season? Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat?

They are at it again. Only this time, it’s a different ball game.

The two started this season’s Round of Playoffs. It’s been a Milwaukee dominant show since Game 1. As at now, Bucks is leading the fourth quarter (101:90) after a slow and momentary lead by the Heats. Will it be Heat being cooked and given their own dose of (fill-in-the-blanks). Can’t wait to find out. Please stay tuned.

Loving Basketball: What a Game, but Bucks is out!

Unbelievable! Milwaukee Bucks, the NBA Number One seed and East Conference leader, with a regular season record of 56:17, is out of the 2019-20 NBA Playoffs!! Bucks was edged out by an underdog, the East’s 5th ranking Miami Heat who had a regular season record of 44:29!!

First-time a lower-seed (5th) will oust the number one seed!

Miami is already the first No. 5 seed to hold a 3-0 playoff series lead over a No. 1 seed in league history.

Miami Heat, with the duo of Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, and their two three-point shooters of Tyler Herro (a rookie) and Goran Dragic, were phenomenal. They outscored the Bucks in the fourth quarter.

Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo (GA) had earlier sprained his ankle, the second time, during Game 4 of the series and had to leave the game. That was a damper, but his teammates successfully held the fort and won that game. Giannis showed up at Game 5 in a boot. I was optimistic that Milwaukee, without GA, will continue the streak. And they did till the fourth quarter. Though Khris Middleton and team played hard, too many turnovers and missed shots cost the leader team.

This is the second time that Milwaukee Bucks will lose the playoffs despite their team’s formidable season’s efforts. The first was the 2018-19 season during the finals against Toronto Raptors. Which brings me to wonder what’s going on with the team. Is’t exhaustion? But no, if the Golden State Warriors could hold up and win back-to-back championships, then Bucks could too. The question is “why aren’t they?” Did the Heat have the advantage of being well-rested since they finished the first round sooner than other teams and Bucks didn’t? Could there be internal affairs issues that the outside world/fans are unaware of? Your guess is as good as mine.

Well, well, well … Kudos really to the Miami Heat. They swept their first opponent, Indiana Pacers, in the first round of the playoffs and almost did it with the Bucks, too. They went 7:1! Now they have another opportunity to be well-rested for the semi-finals. Will it be Boston Celtics, who leads the series at 3:2, or the reigning champions Toronto Raptors?

Congratulations to Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat.

Like Charles Barkley said, we hope that Giannis will remain with the Bucks, figure out what the stumbler is that’s affecting them at critical moments and rectify it soonest, including hoping to win the NBA Championship soon.

Thanks for reading.

Loving Basketball: Landslide Victory for the Greek Freak!

Credits: CBS Sports

The media went agog on the announcement.

Congratulations is in order for Milwaukee Bucks Giannis Antetokoumpo on winning the 2019-20 KIA Defensive Player of the Year Award. An award with the best NBA defensive players gave Giannis a landslide victory of 432 points over candidates Anthony Davis of LA Lakers and Rudy Gobert of Utah Jazz who had 200 and 187 points respectively.

This is one of two awards the Nigerian-Greek player was nominated for this season. He was also nominated for the 2019-20 KIA MVP along with LeBron James of LA Lakers. The result and winner of the Kia NBA MVP Award will be announced during coverage of the ongoing 2019-20 NBA Playoffs.

Once again, congratulations to Giannis Antetokoumpo. We wish him very best!

For more on the award, click 1, 2, and 3.