Embarrassing loss raises questions about Milwaukee’s playoff chances

A loss to the woeful Washington Wizards has NBA pundits questioning the Milwaukee Bucks’ effort — and their playoff future.

Milwaukee lost to a Wizards team that had won only 14 games all season, but it looked like the Bucks underestimated them. They simply didn’t play hard, like when they left rookie Tristan Vukcevic wide open for an easy three-pointer.

The lack of effort really cost them at the end of the game, when Anthony Gill whiffed on a layup that would have put Washington up by four, but four Bucks didn’t run back. So Gill collected his own miss, made the layup on his second try and the upset was clinched.

The Bucks only need to win three of their final seven games to clinch the No. 2 seed in the East. But even that is no guarantee of safety, as their potential No. 7 seed opponents are dangerous. Their potential opponents are:

  • the Indiana Pacers, who are 4-1 against the Bucks this season
  • the Miami Heat, who beat Milwaukee in the first round last year, and in 2020
  • the Philadelphia 76ers, who just got MVP Joel Embiid back from injury.

On TNT’s postgame show Candace Parker questioned if the loss meant that Milwaukee was “going to a first-round exit.”

Hiring Doc Rivers was supposed to help the Bucks get the team ready for the playoffs. But he’s made some inexplicable decisions, like when he called a timeout with five seconds left in the first half and Giannis Antetokounmpo heading to the line.

Rivers ended up icing his star, who missed both free throws. Not only that, but his team allowed a buzzer-beating layup off the second miss, which calls into question what exactly the Bucks were talking about during the timeout if they were that unprepared.

When the Bucks fired head coach Adrian Griffin, they were 30-13. Under Rivers, they’ve gone 15-14. That’s not the record of a title contender. It’s more like the record of a first-round loser. 


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