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Bucks Advance In NBA Playoffs For The First Time Since 2001, Wipe Out Pistons In Four Straight Games

Bucks Make It To NBA Playoffs If you’re 18 years old, you’ve never seen the Milwaukee Bucks win a playoff series. Eighteen years. Time enough to grow up, graduate...

Bucks Make It To NBA Playoffs

If you’re 18 years old, you’ve never seen the Milwaukee Bucks win a playoff series.

Eighteen years. Time enough to grow up, graduate from high school, get a job. Eighteen years.

So, if you are that 18-year-old and you’re a fan of the NBA’s Bucks, welcome to a brand-new reality. The Bucks are moving on in the playoffs.

The league’s new darlings outlasted the Detroit Pistons 127-104 on Monday night to sweep their first-round playoff series and advance to play the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Celtics had previously taken out the Indiana Pacers in four.

The Bucks, who had the league’s best record during the regular season, rode their standout’s 41-point, 9-rebound performance to the decisive win over the Pistons. His name? Giannis Antetokounmpo. No, not kidding. For the most part, everyone around the NBA, including NBA.com, simply refers to him as Giannis (pronounced Yannis).

The 7-footer is from Greece, the son of Nigerian immigrants. He’s a big man with the skills of a guard. He can play anywhere on the floor. He is the Bucks’ difference-maker.

Since 2001, they had been in the playoffs eight times and ousted in the first round eight times. Now, with the talented Mr. A and first-year coach Mike Budenholzer (how does anyone write a headline in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel?), the Bucks are moving on. They struggled a bit early in the finale in Detroit, trailed by six at halftime, but blew the game open early in the fourth quarter.

When it was over, they had won each of their four playoff games by 15 points or more. The only other team to do that? The 1980 Celtics. A year ago it was the Celtics who eliminated the Bucks in a seven-game series to open the playoffs.

The date for that series’ opener is not yet set. So the Bucks can luxuriate and enjoy their newfound success.

“It’s a good night for Milwaukee,” Budenholzer said after the game. “It’s a good night for the Bucks.”

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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