The long road to the final game is over and the Milwaukee Bucks are NBA Champions for the first time in fifty years.
Many different storylines came out of the playoffs this year, giving us a lot to talk about as we took a ride with the league from the start of the season back in December to the coronation of the Bucks on Tuesday night.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is the Finals MVP
Conversations around who should be the MVP were discussed after both Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo had excellent performances during this series. Giannis had the upper hand in this conversation with some of his signature plays during the series. This award was solidified after his performance in Game 6, which gave the Bucks the championship. Winning this award puts Giannis in select company with only a few other players to ever win multiple regular-season MVP awards, a championship, and Finals MVP.
Fifty is a Great Number for Giannis
During the final game, Giannis scored fifty points for the Milwaukee Bucks. It’s a good thing he did since the final score of the game was 105-98. Not only did he score fifty, but it’s been fifty years since the Bucks won the championship. At that time, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was going by his birth name of Lew Alcindor and he was a young player in the league. Another fifty nugget for you; Giannis went to a local Chik-fil-A store the morning after and ordered a fifty-piece of chicken nuggets with the trophies along for the ride. As you can see, he is on top of the world right now.
Resilience was Part of the Formula for the Milwaukee Bucks
Prior to the NBA Finals, Giannis hyperextended his knee and had to sit out a couple of games. This left the team without their superstar to try and claw their way to the finals. They did this in a six-game series against the Atlanta Hawks where both Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton had to step up in a big way. These games also left Brook Lopez to need to step into the center role in a bigger way. Thankfully, Lopez had help from Bobby Portis during these games to help get the team to the finals.
Comebacks Were Necessary
The Milwaukee Bucks faced a ton of adversity, whether in a single game or in a series. In both the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals and the NBA Finals, the Bucks were down 2-0 and could have been left for dead. In games four and five of the NBA Finals, the Bucks were down to the Suns by as much as 16 points after the first quarter of Game 4. They had to come back from deficits to win this championship.
A Road Win was Required
The NBA Finals featured only one win by a road team. That win came in Game 5 when the Bucks went to Phoenix and pulled out the win. This game didn’t look like it was going to go the way of Milwaukee because the Suns ran out to a 32-16 lead after the first quarter. With toughness and grit, the Bucks quickly came back to lead the game at halftime and then finish the deal by winning the game.
The Final Three Series Were More Interesting
This was the first time in recent memory when the big name teams were not part of the final four teams standing. While the Los Angeles Clippers can be considered a super team in some ways, they, along with the Atlanta Hawks, Phoenix Suns, and Milwaukee Bucks had never won a championship since the NBA and ABA merger. This gave us an interesting storyline to follow without the names we’re used to.
The Deer District Was On Fire
It’s a good thing the NBA Finals are played in the summer. Can you imagine 65,000 people standing out in the cold of Milwaukee in the middle of winter to watch their team play in the finals? Of course, if that were the situation, the Deer District would have been packed. The people in this area were there to support their team and enjoy the party of success afterward. Add this massive crowd to the nearly 20,000 people inside the arena and you’ve got a loud party celebrating a big win.
Class Shown and Champions Crowned
After the game had ended and the Milwaukee Bucks were celebrating in the locker room, Monty Williams, head coach of the Phoenix Suns, made his way to the Bucks’ locker room to congratulate the Bucks on a great series and a big win. This simple act shows the class of an excellent coach and an even better man.
The Milwaukee Bucks are NBA Champions and they deserve to celebrate until the start of the next NBA season.