Joe & Ebo Experience: It’s All Good

Recapping Game 3 (0:00)

Badgers Insider RJ Brachman (8:26)

WOZN Sports Reporter Cody Grant (20:01)

Was it a Travel? (33:53)

Jimmy Nelson Update (42:39)

Joe & Ebo Experience: Homer Glasses

Hiura Debut/ECF (0:00)

Homer Glasses (9:36)

WOZN Sports Reporter Cody Grant (25:42)

Fast v. Quick (36:32)

Throw It Back (50:25)

Joe & Ebo Experience: ECF Bound

Greek Party (0:00)

Watch Yo Girl (15:16)

Packers Insider Rob Reischel (32:07)

“Ryan Braun” Calls In (46:38)

Adult Entertainer Kenna James (56:59)

 

Bucks 123, Celtics 102: Last word

MILWAUKEE | Needing a win to avoid going to the east-coast down 2-0, the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Boston Celtics 123-102 on Tuesday.

Player of the game: Giannis Antetokounmpo

Coming off one of his worst performances this season, Giannis played terrific in Game 2. He led the Bucks with a game-high 29 points and 10 rebounds. It was his second game of the playoffs with 25+ points and 10+ rebounds, and the fifth such game of his career.

“Usually, after a [bad] game and a bad loss at home, you get a little bit fed up and start hesitating,” Giannis said. “All I can do is trust my teammates, go back and look at the tape to see what I did right and wrong. I just came into Game 2 with the mindset of being aggressive and making the right plays.

Giannis looked like a completely different player. He was aggressive and attacked the paint time and time again. The Celtics sent him to the line 18 times. Also, Giannis looked to feed his teammates more. When Boston collapsed on him inside, he was ready to kick it out to the open man.

Needing to play with more effort was the theme coming out of practice Monday afternoon and Giannis led the way.

Play of the game: Greek Freak shimmy

If there is a weakness in his game it’s the long-ball, but Giannis hit two of them tonight and was feeling it after. But what he did after knocking one down in the face of Celtics’ center Aron Baynes is what got him the play of the game.

https://twitter.com/SportsCenter/status/1123405614447833088

The good: Closing the third

Basketball is a game of runs. The Bucks went on their biggest run of the game to close the third quarter. They outscored Boston 24-4 in the final 7:41 of the frame. This is the stretch that really put the Celtics out of reach.

“To be honest with you, I thought we were competing and playing well defensively for the whole game,” Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer said. “The third quarter, maybe it was just a little bit of wearing them down or whatever it is, but we just stuck to what we were doing. Our guys were able to create some turnovers, create some misses, take care of the boards and get out and run. I thought the defense from the beginning was quality.”

Milwaukee did this a lot during the regular season. They can pull away late in games because their effort is usually there for a full 48 minutes. Boston looked worn down late in the third. The Celtics made careless passes which led to turnovers and missed several shots they normally make.

It all goes back to playing with effort and being themselves for the Bucks. They didn’t play hard enough in Game 1 according to every member of the team that was asked about it. That didn’t happen in Game 2.

The not so good: Slow start

The way Game 2 started was very similar to the way Game 1 started. Milwaukee had trouble knocking down their shots. They finished the quarter shooting 35% (7-20 FG). Giannis didn’t make a field goal but finished the frame with five points thanks to free throws.

Stat of the game: 20

All 12 members of the Bucks that saw action attempted at least one three-pointer. As a team they shot 47 of them, making an NBA Playoffs franchise-record 20.

Khris Middleton contributed the most from downtown as he hit seven of his 10 attempts from beyond the arc.

“We have to do it a lot better than we did,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said. “It’s tough, he is an All-Star. He is one of the 12 best players in the East this year. He has had a good year and he has started that in the playoffs last year against us. We have to do a better job on him. We did not do a good enough job on him. He still might make it, but he got too many looks.”

What they said:

Budenholzer on the win…

Obviously, I think that’s more what we’re accustomed to seeing. I liked our spirit, our activity and our competitiveness up and down the roster. Giannis, Khris and Eric really set the tone. We just need to kind of capture that, take it to Boston with us and play that way out there.

Stevens on the loss…

I thought they dominated a lot in the first half and we were lucky to be down by four. They owned their space on both ends of the court better than we did. I thought our reaction to that was to settle on offense and it led to some run outs. Then it just steamrolled on us. They were great tonight, deserved to win, and we need to look at what we can do better. We knew they were going to be really good tonight and we talked about matching their urgency, meeting their urgency, but we didn’t do that and even in the first half you could see.

In case you missed it:

*This was the fourth game of the playoffs that the Bucks have won by 20+ points. The 21-point win also marked Milwaukee’s largest victory in a Conference Semifinal game since 1983 (116-95, Game 1 vs BOS).

*Milwaukee hauled in 54 rebounds as a team, tallying their fourth 50-rebound playoff game this postseason.

*The Bucks held the Celtics to 39.5% shooting on the night. This is the third time this postseason that Milwaukee has held its opponent to under 40% shooting.

*Pat Connaughton grabbed a playoff-career-high 11 rebounds, marking the first playoff game of his career with double-digit rebounds.

*The Celtics were led by Marcus Morris who finished the night with 17 points and matched his playoff-career-high with three three-pointers. This was his third time scoring in double figures this postseason.

*Boston also had Jaylen Brown (16) and Al Horford (15) score in double figures.

What’s next?

Next up the Bucks (1-1) head out to Boston to play the Celtics (1-1) in Game 3 on Friday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00pm.

Bucks 119, Pistons 103: Last word

DETROIT | The Milwaukee Bucks took a 3-0 series lead over the Detroit Pistons with a 119-103 win Saturday in Detroit.

Player of the game: Khris Middleton

Middleton led the Bucks with a team-high 20 points (7-13 FG, 3-6 3PT), eight rebounds and four assists. “Khris did a great job of guiding the team and making the right plays,” Giannis said.

Often overshadowed by the MVP candidate, Middleton was an all-star this season and is capable of leading Milwaukee to victory. Fans will argue whether he’s worth or not worth a max-contract this offseason but one thing you can’t argue is how important he is to the success of this team.

Play of the game: Eric Bledsoe dances through two Pistons

Bledsoe has been a match-up nightmare for the Pistons. His quickness and strength have been difficult to stop. He showcased both with this play late in the second quarter.

The good: The balance

Milwaukee got contributions from almost everywhere. Seven players scored in double figures.

“Lots of different people stepping up and playing well,” head coach Mike Budenholzer said. “George off the bench, I just think Bled’s defense and Bled’s energy, Brook, Khris, all those guys. Just a really good overall team performance tonight.”

Ersan Ilyasova got Milwaukee going in the first knocking down three shots from beyond the arc to help withstand the strong start by the Pistons. “That’s what our bench was doing all year long, including this series,” Middleton discussed. “When they come in they’re ready to play. Ers did a great job of being ready. He got three great looks from three and he knocked all of them down. Just took a lot of pressure off us, allowed us to relax, play our game and play within the flow.”

Brook Lopez poured in 19 points (8-13 FG, 3-7 3PT), seven rebounds and five blocks, four of the blocks coming against Andre Drummond. “He’s 7’8”, isn’t he,” Pistons’ head coach Dwane Casey joked when discussing Drummond’s struggles with Lopez. “A lot of people struggle against him.”

Eric Bledsoe finished with 19 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals.

Nikola Mirotic had his best game of the series with 12 points (3-5 3PT) contributing to Milwaukee’s 42 bench points. George Hill added 11 points and five assists.

The not so good: Giannis Antetokounmpo

For his standards, Giannis had an off night. He finished with 14 points (5-13 FG), 10 rebounds and four turnovers in 28 minutes of play. He ended up with the worst +/- of the Milwaukee starters with a -7.

“It’s good to see my team doing really well out there without me,” Giannis said. “It means a lot to me. Even when I don’t play my best game, having the team playing such a good game and winning a playoff game – on the road – it makes me feel really good about this team. It shows the great character this team has and what a great team this team is. There’s going to be nights like this and I think my teammates did a great job picking me up.”

It says a lot about this team that they can win by double-digits on the road while their star struggles. Obviously, the Bucks need the very best from Giannis if they expect to go deep in the playoffs, but Saturday’s game reinforces the fact they are more than just Giannis. Giannis is surrounded by many capable players who can perform on both ends.

Stat of the game: 1

The Bucks are one win away from their first playoff series victory since 2001. They’ve been building to this point the last few years. Two seasons ago, they lost to the Raptors in six games. Last year, they fell to the Celtics in seven games. Now, they have a chance to sweep the Pistons and move on to the second round.

“We might be the No. 1 seed and the best team in the NBA, but at the end of the day we haven’t won a playoff series in a while and we’re hungry,” Giannis said. “I think everybody’s hungry. It starts from our coach, it starts from the leader setting the tone. We’re just going to keep fighting, we’re going to keep playing hard and try to win as many games as possible.”

What they said:

Lopez on the depth of the Bucks

They can’t sleep on anyone. Our depth is a huge boon for us, it’s a huge bonus we have. We just got to keep going to that. We’ve been putting trust in a lot of different people all season long and guys have been showing why we’ve been doing that.

Casey on the loss

We made some uncharacteristic mistakes. That’s what the playoffs are about – getting through that, understanding time-score-situation. We had situations where we’d make a mistake or miss a shot, now we go down to the defensive end and not carry out our assignments.

What’s next?

The Bucks will look for the series sweep of the Pistons Monday night in Detroit. Tip-off is scheduled for 8pm eastern time.

Bucks 120, Pistons 99: Last word

MILWAUKEE | The Milwaukee Bucks to a 2-0 series lead with a 120-99 win over the Detroit Pistons Wednesday.

Player of the game: Eric Bledsoe

Bledsoe scored a playoff-career-high 27 points on a playoff-career-high 11 made field goals (11-19 FG). Often the gritty defender for Milwaukee, Bledsoe was a go-to guy offensively Wednesday night. He always seems to be the player to score a big bucket or make a huge steal when they need it the most.

For someone who struggled in the playoffs last season, it’s great to see how much he’s turned it around this year. “I feel like for us as a team, we have players that have been on the team for a while,” Bledsoe stated. “We went through adversity, seven games last year. We know what it takes now. We are focused, so we’re trying to block everything out and focus on us, just do our job.”

Play of the game: Giannis gets back at Thon

Maker may have made the defensive play of his career stuffing Giannis at the rim. However, his glory wouldn’t last long as Giannis attacked Maker the very next play.

The two are the best of friends. Giannis even refers to Maker as his younger brother, but in the playoffs, Giannis is all business. He spoke about the sequence after the game.

I’m just trying to do my job, try to be aggressive. Obviously, Thon is 7’1”, 7’2”, long, he can block shots, that’s one of the things he does great. I tried to get him a little deeper in the paint and I was able to dunk on him. But I was just trying to do my job and make plays.

The good: Star-power at Fiserv

Several Wisconsin athletes came out to support the Bucks. Current Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers and David Bakhtiari were spotted in the crowd. Also, multiple members of the Milwaukee Brewers cheered on the Deer including last year’s NL MVP Christian Yelich, Ryan Braun and Craig Counsell.

https://twitter.com/Bucks/status/1118684195973468160

The not so good: 2nd quarter

Milwaukee failed to outscore Detroit in only one quarter, the second (32-20). The Pistons were clicking on all cylinders offensively and defensively. They knocked down four of their seven three-point attempts and forced the Bucks to commit seven turnovers leading to nine points.

“I thought Detroit came out in the second quarter and their energy exceeded ours,” Brook Lopez discussed. “At times, their focus exceeded ours.”

It was a tough stretch for Giannis as well. He was only able to score three points and had to come out early after picking up his third foul.

This was the first time in the series that the Pistons looked like they could compete with the Bucks. They were able to find multiple open looks from downtown on drive-and-kicks. It could be a good thing for Milwaukee. Maybe the second quarter will end up being a wake-up call that they can’t play down to the level of the competition, especially in the playoffs.

The weird: Pink panther

Giannis was decked out in pink as he entered the post-game press-conference media room humming the theme to ‘Pink Panther.’ I think it’s safe to say that this team is loose and loves to have fun.

Stat of the game: 31 minutes for Pat Connaughton

Connaughton scored a playoff-career-high 18 points (8-10 FG) and hauled in a playoff-career-high nine rebounds in his 31 minutes of play. He also added four blocks and was a spark plug off the bench for the second straight game.

“It’s great when you have a little bit of pop off your bench,” Mike Budenholzer said. “I love the pop he gives us defensively. How many blocked shots did he have? He covers a lot of ground. He gets some great contests even when he doesn’t make shots. I think he bothers shooters, and he’s really great chasing and staying with guys. He mixes in making some threes and he’s going to the basket and finishing. He and I were laughing that he’s turned into our best power forward with a jump hook. He’s doing a little bit of everything.”

Connaughton has been a huge boost off the bench, especially after the injuries to Malcolm Brogdon and Tony Snell. It will be interesting how Budenholzer figures out the minutes once the Bucks are completely healthy.

What they said:

Bledsoe on going on the road to Detroit

Giannis said it earlier. We took care of business like we should. Now we’re going on the road playing against a tough crowd and a tough team. We’re going to go in, practice, and see what we can do better. We’re looking forward to Game 3 in Detroit.

Casey on the Pistons’ performance tonight

I thought we set the tone in the second quarter. Against a team like Milwaukee you have to do it for a longer period of time. I think we extended it long enough. It showed in the third quarter. They scored 35 points to our 17. It was our Achilles heel tonight. Again, our challenge has been extending hard play, not getting bored with doing fundamentals, not getting bored kicking the ball out, doing those things offensively. Defensively, staying solid and making sure we execute what we need to do. That’s a discipline that has to be at the top of our charts going into next game and next year.

In case you missed it:

*The Bucks took a 2-0 series lead with Wednesday night’s 120-99 win over the Pistons. This is Milwaukee’s first 2-0 lead in a playoff series since it went up 2-0 over Charlotte in the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2001.

*This is the first time since 1974, and the fourth time in franchise-playoff-history, that Milwaukee has won consecutive playoff games by 20+ points.

*As a team the Bucks shot 52.2% from the field while holding the Pistons to just 37.4% shooting. This marks the 20th occasion in Bucks playoff history where Milwaukee has shot 50% or better while holding its opponent to under 40% shooting. The Bucks are 19-1 in such games.

*The Bucks hauled in 54 rebounds on the night, marking their second consecutive playoff game hauling in 50+ rebounds. This is just the fourth time in franchise-playoff-history that the Bucks have hauled in 50+ rebounds in back-to-back games (most recently in 2001).

*Giannis tallied just his fourth-career playoff game with 25+ points and 10+ rebounds, as he finished the night with 26 points and 12 rebounds.

*Middleton logged his 11th career playoff game with 20+ points as he poured in 24 points and dished out a team-high eight assists.

What’s next?

Two down, two to go as the Bucks will travel to Detroit for game three Saturday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00pm.

Bucks’ magic number at one after 131-121 win over Nets

Who would’ve thought before this season started that the best record in the NBA would belong to Milwaukee?

The Bucks’ magic number to clinch the best record in the NBA is down to one with four games to go. Giannis Antetokounmpo returned after missing Sunday’s game in Atlanta to help Milwaukee defeat the Nets in Brooklyn 131-121.

With their next win, or a Toronto Raptors loss, the Bucks will earn home-court advantage throughout the postseason.

Eric Bledsoe came up big dropping a game-high 29 points, five rebounds and seven assists. Giannis got off to a slow start but finished strong with 28 points and 11 rebounds. 14 of his 28 came in the fourth quarter.

D’Angelo Russell scored 28 points and hauled in 10 rebounds for the Nets. Brooklyn’s Caris Levert played a big role as well finishing with 24 points, four boards and six dimes.

Next up, the Bucks (58-20) will play the 76ers (49-28) in Philadelphia on Thursday.

Joe & Ebo Experience: New season. New facial hair.

MVP (0:00)

Rockin’ the soul patch (9:46)

Peter Wilt from Forward Madison FC (14:38)

Kyle Lesniewski from Brew Crew Ball (28:27)

Zone reporter Cody Grant  (39:42)

Cubs hate (53:36)

Bucks 108, Rockets 94: Last Word

MILWAUKEE | The Milwaukee Bucks ran away with a 108-94 win over the Houston Rockets at Fiserv Forum on Tuesday night.

Player of the game: Eric Bledsoe

The narrative heading into Tuesday night’s game was the battle for MVP between Giannis Antetokounmpo and James Harden. However, it was Bledsoe who was the best player on the floor. He scored a team-high 23 points, knocking down a season-high-tying four three-pointers (4-7, .571). 16 of his 23 came in the third quarter which included a 11-0 run from him alone.

He was even better on the defensive end. Bledsoe stepped up to the challenge defending Harden. He held him in check throughout the game and even blocked him at the rim, twice. Bledsoe talked about his performance against Harden.

Just try to run him off the three-point line. Credit to Giannis and Brook, they did a hell of a job tonight. They were blocking shots when I did get beat. It’s a team effort.

Always a spark plug, Bledsoe has ignited his team time after time this season with his energy and effort. Tuesday night’s game was a microcosm of what he has meant to the Bucks this season.

Play of the game: Bledsteal and smack-talk with Harden

Milwaukee came out a bit sluggish and had no momentum early on. They trailed by as many as 11 points in the second quarter. Their energy picked up after Bledsoe got a big steal and layup off an inbound pass that completely turned the game around. Then he got in the face of last year’s MVP.

The good: Defense

As a team, the Rockets average 113.1 points per game while shooting 44.8% from the field and 35.2% from beyond the arc. The Bucks held them to 94 points on 36.4% shooting and 30.8% from three-point range. The NBA’s leading scorer (36.4) was held to just 23 points. Head coach Mike Budenholzer talked about the impact of Giannis, Bledsoe and Brook Lopez together.

Without a doubt those guys are All-NBA, All-Defense guys. Certainly, we talked a little bit about before the game the focus on James [Harden] and the guy who is guarding him, mostly [Bledsoe]. Then the defense with Brook at the paint and could we be active with a third guy and everyone else. Giannis was a big part of that third prong. There is so much focus on the other two, but I think his activity and ability to cover ground. The three prongs were all working well together.

The not so good: 1st quarter

There wasn’t a whole lot you can look at as not good in Tuesday’s win but offensively the Bucks weren’t sharp in the first quarter. They converted on just eight of their 25 attempts leading to 20 points. The Bucks have been known for slow-starts this season and it’s something they need to work on.

Stat of the game: One

Harden made only one three-pointer on his nine attempts. He averages 4.9 makes a game from downtown. The Bucks defended him perfectly. Bledsoe and George Hill deserve a lot of credit for the way they played him. The game-plan was set up to force Harden to drive with his right hand. Defenders placed themselves on his left side all night and it bothered him. Harden had a lot of difficulty using his patented step back from beyond the arc. He was asked if there were any challenges when the Bucks defended him the way they did.

None. I still got my shots up. I was still aggressive. I still did what I was supposed to do. Obviously, some shots didn’t go in like every other game. As a team, we had our shots that we got. If they go in, it’s a different game. Credit to them. They made shots.

What they said:

Budenholzer on the win

I was just really pleased with the defensive effort, for all four quarters really. Particularly in the second half, it felt like we were really trying to make things as difficult as possible for all the guys on the court. It felt like the guys really put the effort in. There was a lot of effort and activity coming back and getting steals and loose balls and covering lots of ground. That just stands out to me. We had a stretch where we got hot, made some threes, and made some separation. That combined with good four quarters of defense made a good effort tonight.

Giannis on the MVP chant during the game

I definitely noticed that. I heard it. Having the greatest fans in the NBA is awesome. I really appreciate the fans supporting me and supporting the team. Nights like this we try to deliver with a win and give our fans a win. Like I said in the past, I don’t want to think about it.

Rockets’ head coach Mike D’Antoni

We didn’t shoot the ball very well. When James [Harden] and Eric [Gordon] are 2-for-23, we’re going to have a hard time winning games. They played good defense. We got sloppy in the first half. We turned the ball over, I think, four times in transition. There were passes that they capitalized on that’s how they got ahead of us. It’s just one of the games where we just weren’t thinking. We’ll be all right.

In case you missed it:

*The Bucks are now a season-high 37 games over .500 and improve their NBA-best record to 56-19. Milwaukee’s 31-6 home record is also tied with Denver for the best home record in the league.

*Tuesday night’s win secured a 2-0 season series win for the Bucks over the Rockets, marking their first season series sweep of Houston since the 1999-00.

*This is Milwaukee’s 18th series win of the season and its eighth season series sweep of an opponent.

*This was the Bucks’ NBA-high 43rd win of the season by double digits, and their 14th double-digit win over a team with a .500 or better record.

*The Bucks hauled in 60 rebounds as a team, marking their second 60-rebound game of the season. Milwaukee entered the game averaging an NBA-high 49.4 rebounds per game this season.

What’s next?

The Bucks (56-19) will host the red-hot Los Angeles Clippers (45-30) on Thursday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00pm.

Deer Milwaukee: March 9, 2019

On this week’s episode of Deer Milwaukee, Cody Grant shared his thoughts on Eric Bledsoe’s contract extension. Plus, Cody talked about what Pau Gasol can bring to the Bucks. Also, Kane Pitman joined the podcast to discuss all the latest with the Bucks over the last week including their big win over the Pacers on Thursday and fan opinions of Khris Middleton.

0:53 | Bledsoe’s contract extension

5:00 | What Gasol brings to Milwaukee

9:57 | Kane Pitman interview

22:21 | Bucks ability to “flip the switch” and run away with games