Deer Milwaukee: April 19, 2019

On this week’s episode of Deer Milwaukee, Cody Grant shared his thoughts on the first two games of the Bucks/Pistons first round series. Plus, he talked about why the Bucks have enough playoff experience to have a deep run. Also, Justin Garcia of WTMJ-AM 620 stopped by to talk all things Bucks including a possible second-round match-up against the Celtics and how this season has all come together for Milwaukee.

1:56 | Bucks/Pistons Games 1 & 2

8:33 | Do the Bucks have the playoff experience to make a deep run?

12:06 | Justin Garcia

Subscribe:

iTunes

Google Play

Stitcher

Bucks 121, Pistons 86: Last word

MILWAUKEE | The Milwaukee Bucks dominated the Detroit Pistons in Game 1, winning 121 to 86.

Player of the game: Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis led the Bucks, scoring 24 points while hauling in a playoff-career-high 17 rebounds. This was his second 20-point/15-rebound playoff game of his career. His 17 rebounds are the most by a Buck in a playoff game since Ervin Johnson grabbed 17 boards on 5/28/01. Giannis did it in only 23 minutes of play.

He had a ‘take no prisoners’ approach from the get-go attacking the rim with ruthless aggression. Giannis was even seen saying “I’m f****** unstoppable,” after a take to the hole. Earlier this season he was caught saying “I’m the f****** MVP,” after throwing down a dunk on the 76ers’ Ben Simmons. It’s hard to argue with either one of those statements.

Head coach Mike Budenholzer shared his thoughts on Giannis having another big performance.

Its what we have been seeing from Giannis all year. I think he has prepared himself. He is ready, and he expects a lot of himself. He delivers a lot of the time.

Play of the game: He took off from where?!

Dunks are still the most exciting play in basketball. Giannis threw down a slam that had the entire Fiserv Forum crowd on their feet Sunday night. He took off from near the free-throw line.

Michael Jordan got a 50 in the Dunk Contest from his free-throw line dunk, but you don’t normally see that in a game, a playoff game for that matter.

The good: The focus

Focus has been one constant for Milwaukee this entire season and they didn’t lack any in Game 1. From the starters to the bench, the Bucks were determined to make a statement that they are here to dominate.

We all knew coming into this series that the Pistons can’t match-up with the talent-level of the Bucks. However, upsets can happen if the superior team takes the inferior team lightly. It happened to Philadelphia, Toronto and Denver on Saturday as they all fell in game one of their respective series.

Detroit didn’t match Milwaukee’s intensity and it showed. If the Pistons can’t up their competitiveness, there will be more of the same moving forward.

Budenholzer talked about the focus of his group.

I think the focus of the group and the defensive effort stands out. It’s not easy when you don’t get to play the last couple of games, the last game, or you don’t have a lot of time between games. So, I think the guys have built up a lot of readiness or whatever word you want to use. It’s a good win for us. Now, we just have to be humble and get ready for the second game and take the focus into game two.

The not so good: Was there any?

It’s hard to find areas of the game that the Bucks weren’t good in. However, one thing that wasn’t so good was Andre Drummond’s flagrant foul on Giannis. As the two were going for a rebound, Drummond shoved Giannis to the ground. He was ejected after being assigned a Flagrant 2.

The weird: Bucks vs Thon Maker

Maker described playing against his former team as “Weird,” prior to tip-off. Maker had a rough showing in the game as well. He had the assignment of defending his good friend and NBA MVP candidate, Giannis.

Giannis spoke about playing against his former teammate.

Of course it feels weird. Thon is my little brother. I’ve known him since he came to the league. We’ve been friends. At the end of the day, I know he’s a competitor. I know he’s going to come out here and do whatever it takes to help his team win. That’s what he did tonight. At the end of the day, both of us aren’t going to take anything for granted.

Stat of the game: 28

28 minutes was the team-high for the Bucks on Sunday and it was held by Pat Connaughton. Who would’ve thought that Connaughton would lead the Bucks in minutes, and they would win a playoff game by 35 points?

Budenholzer has done a terrific job all season long managing the minutes of his players. It goes to show you the amount of depth this team has.

Middleton talked about the minutes he and Giannis played and Connaughton being the minutes leader.

If we win like that, for sure. We’ve had a lot of games this year where we haven’t played a lot of minutes. That just means the team is doing their job, as a group. Guys are coming in off the bench, starters are doing their job. If Pat’s leading us in minutes and we’re winning these ball games, I don’t think anyone is going to complain, especially Pat.

What they said:

Khris Middleton on the offensive contributions form the whole team

It’s great. I think it’s been like that for most of the year. I know I can take tough shots and play with an offense. Tonight, the guys were great. Giannis did a great job of starting us off right and being in an aggressive attack mode. Everybody else, we just made plays and knocked down shots.

Giannis on if they sent the message they wanted to send in Game 1

I think we did a great job setting the tone, playing hard playing together. The Pistons are a really good team, but we knew we needed to set the tone, and we were able to get a win tonight.

Pistons head coach Dwane Casey on the game not going the Pistons’ way

They’re a great team. We didn’t meet the level of physicality. Then we got some cheap fouls, but we have to get up to their speed of the game. They’re averaging 117 [points per game]. We were all over the map defensively. We didn’t get anything done. We have another level we have to get to with our intensity and physicality, because they’re coming through with balance. We have to get our level of competitiveness up to start the game, because you can’t let a great team like this get that many points early and expect to get back into it.

In case you missed it:

*The Bucks took a 1-0 series lead with Sunday’s wire-to-wire 121-86 victory over the Pistons. Milwaukee’s 35-point win marks the third-largest playoff win in franchise history.

*Milwaukee’s 70 first-half points are the second-most first half points in Bucks playoff history (77 in Game 3 of the 1970 Eastern Division Semifinals at PHI) and were the most in any playoff half by the Bucks since the second half of Game 3 of the 1987 First Round at Philadelphia (73 points)

*As a team the Bucks hauled in 54 rebounds, marking just their third playoff game with 50 + rebounds since the 2000-01 season.

*The Bucks had seven players score in double figures Sunday night, their most in a playoff game in the last 20 seasons.

What’s next?

The Bucks will look to take a 2-0 series lead in Game 2 against the Pistons on Wednesday.

Deer Milwaukee: April 12, 2019

On this week’s episode of Deer Milwaukee, Cody Grant looked back at the best moments of the Milwaukee Bucks’ regular season. Also, he gave his predictions for the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

Plus, Bart Winkler of 105.7FM The Fan stopped by to share his thoughts on the Bucks’ chances in the playoffs, his least favorite Bucks’ takes and his favorite Bradley Center memory.

1:56 | Best moments of the regular season

5:01 | First round predictions

15:43 | Bart Winkler

Subscribe:

iTunes

Google Play

Stitcher

Thunder 127, Bucks 116: Last word

MILWAUKEE | The Milwaukee Bucks fell in their final regular season game to the Oklahoma City Thunder 127-116.

Player of the game: Aaron Rodgers

Green Bay Packers star QB Aaron Rodgers was in attendance for Milwaukee’s last regular season game. A minority owner of the Bucks, Rodgers shared his thoughts on the team’s regular season success, Giannis Antetokounmpo and the MVP, Fiserv Forum and the playoffs.

Giannis is the MVP. James has had a fantastic year. He went through an unbelievable stretch of offensive scoring every single night, 30-plus, 40-plus games but as in our sport it goes to the best player on the best team. We’re the best team and he’s by far the best player. When you compare him to other players, he does it on both ends and he’s leading us in basically all the major stat categories.

Play of the game: Let it Fly

The Bucks released a brand new hype video for the playoffs. We all remember their “Light It Up” hit from the early 2000s. This will certainly lead to a debate to which song is better. What do you think?

The good: First-round opponent revealed

Milwaukee will play the Detroit Pistons in the first-round of the NBA Playoffs. It’s been a long regular season, but post-season basketball is finally here. The Bucks had their way with the Pistons in their matchups this year winning all four of them. Khris Middleton spoke about the challenges Detroit poses for them in the playoffs.

Blake [Griffin], I don’t know how healthy Blake is. Whether he’s out there or not, he’s a big part of their team. Andre [Drummond] is a big part of their team. Reggie Jackson, Ish Smith, [Luke] Kennard, Langston Galloway, those guys can shoot the ball.

Thon Maker will also make his return to Fiserv Forum. He was traded to the Pistons in a three-team deal which brought forward Nikola Mirotic to Milwaukee.

Stat of the game: 8

Eight Bucks’ played during the final game of the season. Antetokounmpo, Eric Bledsoe, Brook Lopez and Tony Snell were all out to rest up for the playoffs. Milwaukee already clinched home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. Also, they will be the only team to win 60 games this year.

Budenholzer has found spots to rest his guys to make sure they’re fresh for a long post-season run. It’s also good to see the bench players get some run late in the season. They will need to be ready if their number is called upon. Bledsoe has been impressed with what he’s seen from the role players.

It’s huge. Tim has been around a little bit, so he’s a veteran and knows what to expect. He’s been playing phenomenal every time he gets the opportunity, Bonzie as well. Anything can happen. Their number could get called one of these times and they’re going to be ready for it.

What they said:

Budenholzer on the loss tonight

I think what Tim Frazier, D.J. [Wilson], and Bonzie [Colson] did tonight to log those kinds of minutes and play the way they did was really great for our group. I think we’re excited to finish up a great regular season and now start our prep and get ready for the playoffs.

Bledsoe on how it feels that the next game the team plays will be in the playoffs

We’re just trying to soak it all in right now. We went through a lot of adversity to get to this point. I’m really proud of this group. We’re going to soak it all in.

Middleton on the team’s next game being a playoff game

It’s a great feeling. It’s been a great season so far. I know guys have been itching to get to this first playoff game. Hopefully Saturday or Sunday whenever it comes, we’ll be ready for it.

In case you missed it:

*The Bucks closed out the 2018-19 regular season with the best record in the NBA at 60-22 and finished the season in a tie for the third-best record in franchise history (best since 1980-81).

*D.J. Wilson scored a career-high 18 points and hauled in a career-high 17 rebounds. This is Wilson’s first career game with 15+ points and 15+ rebounds, and just his second double-double of the season.

*Tim Frazier scored a career-high 29 points, knocking down a career-high four three-pointers, on 4-6 shooting from beyond the arc. He also dished out 13 assists, for his fourth double-double of the season and his second as a Buck.

*Bonzie Colson had a career-high 21 points with 10 rebounds, tallying his second double-double of the season. This was just his second game of the season scoring in double figures.

*Khris Middleton finished the night with 21 points (9-14 FG, .643), extending his season-long streak of scoring 20+ points to five games.

What’s next?

The No. 1 seeded Bucks will take on the No. 8 seeded Detroit Pistons in the first-round of the NBA Playoffs.

Giannis turns down role in ‘Space Jam 2’

‘The Greek Freak’ sounds like a movie superhero. However, we may never witness that character.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was recently approached about playing a role in Space Jam 2 with LeBron James. For Giannis to do this, he would have to be willing to give up a couple weeks of off-season workouts. That wasn’t going to happen.

I don’t like being Hollywood. I don’t like all this extra drama. I am just going to try to be me.

Basketball is the main focus for Giannis. He’s always looking for ways to improve his game and help his team. He avoids the limelight and keeps his eyes on the Milwaukee Bucks and leading them to the promise land.

This, without a doubt, is good news for the city of Milwaukee. Giannis continues to show us the type of competitor he is and what the city means to him.

Bucks pick up 60th win with 115-107 victory against Hawks

The Milwaukee Bucks will be the only team in the NBA this season to win 60 games. They defeated the Atlanta Hawks 115-107 on Sunday night. The last time the Bucks reached 60 wins was in 1981. Head coach Mike Budenholzer spoke about the accomplishment after the game.

We have bigger goals ahead of us. But it’s important for the group to enjoy it and celebrate it. Not a lot of people get to participate on a team that can win 60 in a season. It’s down our list of priorities, but it’s certainly something to be enjoyed.

Budenholzer joined Pat Riley, Phil Jackson, K.C. Jones, Mike D’Antoni, Don Nelson and Rick Adelman as the only coaches to win 60 games with more than one team.

Giannis Antetokounmpo only played 25 minutes but finished with a team-high 30 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.

The Bucks should absolutely be proud of what they’ve accomplished during the regular season but now it’s time to prove to the world what they can do in the playoffs.

Next up, the Bucks (60-21) will play their final regular season game when they host the Oklahoma City Thunder (47-33) on Wednesday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00pm.

Nets 133, Bucks 128: Last Word

MILWAUKEE | Playing without Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Milwaukee Bucks fell short at home against the Brooklyn Nets 133-128.

Player of the game: Eric Bledsoe

Despite the loss, Bledsoe was the best player on the floor Saturday. He finished with a game-high and his season-high 33 points, 11 assists and four rebounds. He was big down the stretch as well scoring nine points in the fourth quarter.

Play of the game: Middle-dime

Khris Middleton isn’t known for his play-making abilities but perhaps, he should be. He’s made some incredible passes during a season that he’s averaging a career-high in assists (4.3). Also, what was impressive about this play was how it started. Middleton was able to strip all-star D’Angelo Russell to start the fast-break.

The good: The fight

I’m not one for moral victories and this Bucks’ team certainly doesn’t need any but the way they battled back after being down 12 points at the start of the final frame was impressive. Never giving up has been a common theme for Milwaukee this season but to see it in a game they had nothing to play for against a team that is fighting for the playoffs is motivating.

I’m bored of the regular season and want to watch post-season basketball, but I was glued to the edge of my seat witnessing this finish. Nets’ guard Joe Harris spoke about the importance of the win.

Given the circumstances, playoff position and where everybody is at, it’s arguably one of our biggest wins of the season.

The not so good: The defense

Milwaukee gave up 133 points to a team that averages 112 points per game which is good for 15th in the NBA. They had trouble early on slowing down Russell who poured in 12 points (5-5 FG) in the first quarter.

Stat of the game: 12

Brooklyn crashed the offensive boards grabbing 12 of them leading to 14 second-chance points. Budenholzer said they allowed too many second-chance opportunities down the stretch. Net’s head coach Kenny Atkinson spoke about the team’s rebounding and doing the little things down the stretch.

That’s been an Achilles heel for us. I thought tonight we were excellent. On the offensive glass we got a bunch of big ones. I think the things we were missing against Toronto and the last Milwaukee game was that. Making those important winning plays. [Treveon Graham] got a big offensive rebound that helped us out. Huge plays, so many huge plays I can’t even remember them all. Guys stepped up big time.

What they said:

Budenholzer on the loss

Tough game today. A lot of credit to Brooklyn. A couple of guys shot it really well. [Caris] LeVert really stands out making a lot of threes. D’Angelo Russell to start the game making a lot of threes. I think we need to finish some of our defensive possessions. It was a problem a week ago when we played them and again tonight. There were too many second-chance opportunities down the stretch. It was a close game. We have to find a way to come up with those boards and I think we outshot them. We did a lot of things where we had the advantage, but the offensive boards were the difference, especially late.

D.J. Wilson on if the team would take great pride in getting 60 wins

I think that’s a great thing to accomplish. We secured the number one seed, but we want to get as many wins as we can, so hopefully we can get these next two games.

In case you missed it:

*Milwaukee has now knocked down 1,081 three-pointers this season. The Bucks’ 1,081 three-pointers now rank fourth for most three-pointers made in a season in NBA history.

*This was the Bucks’ 26th game shooting 50% or better this season. Milwaukee has outshot its opponent 58 times this year.

*Bledsoe scored a season-high 33 points (12-17 FG, 5-6 3PT). He also dished out 11 assists for his eighth double-double of the season.

*Middleton tallied his 29th game of the season scoring 20+ points as he finished the night with 24 points. Middleton has now scored 20+ points in his last three games played.

*George Hill scored 14 points (5-8 FG). Hill has now scored in double figures in his last four games played.

What’s next?

The Bucks (59-21) host the Atlanta Hawks (21-59) on Sunday. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:00pm.

Bucks’ legend Sidney Moncrief reportedly inducted into HOF

The Milwaukee Bucks have had a terrific season so far. They clinched the NBA’s best record on Thursday with a 128-122 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. Now, a part of their history is being honored.

Bucks’ legend Sidney Moncrief will join Bobby Jones, Paul Westphal, Vlade Divac, Al Attles and Chuck Cooper in the 2019 class to be elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

There will be a formal announcement on Saturday at the site of the NCAA Final Four in Minneapolis.

Moncrief played 10 of his 11 seasons in Milwaukee, averaging 15.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.2 steals. He was a five-time All-Star, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year and was chosen five times to an All-NBA team.

Finalists’ Marques Johnson, Chris Webber and Ben Wallace were not selected for enshrinement.

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.

Brewers rally late to beat Reds 4-3

The Brewers just find ways to win. They took down the Reds at Great American Ballpark 4-3 in the first of a three-game set.

Tied 3-3 going into the ninth inning, Yelich would come to the plate with two outs. He had been 0-4 until that point but came up with a double off Reds closer Raisel Iglesias. Ryan Braun followed with another double scoring Yelich to give Milwaukee a 4-3 lead.

Josh Hader picked up his third save of the season. After giving up a double to Curt Casali, the first batter he faced, Hader settled in and retired the next three hitters.

Zach Davies had a good outing in his first start of the season. He went five innings, gave up two earned runs on four hits and struck out six.

Next up, the Brewers (4-1) take on the Reds (1-2) Tuesday night. Jhoulys Chacin (1-0, 5.06 ERA) will take the bump for the crew opposite of Anthony DeSclafani. First pitch is scheduled for 5:40pm.