Going along with the series of teams that have clinched playoff spots, the Milwaukee Bucks are now the sixth Eastern Conference team that has clinched a playoff spot. #7, and #8 spots are still up for grabs and many of those spots could be filled tonight.
According to ESPN.com, These are monday night’s playoff scenarios in the Eastern Conference:
- Cleveland clinches the best record in the East with a win and a Boston loss.
- Boston clinches the Atlantic Division title with a win.
- Indiana clinches a playoff spot with a win and a loss by either Miami or Chicago.
- Chicago clinches a playoff spot with a win and a Miami loss.
Miami is eliminated with a loss and with wins by both Indiana and Chicago.
With the Milwaukee Bucks grabbing the number six spot in the East, the fight for seventh and eighth is between the Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls, and the Miami Heat.
The Bucks have been playing some average basketball down the stretch to make their way into the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs. I spoke with Racine-Journal Times Milwaukee Bucks beat reporter Gery Woefel back at the beginning of May to speak about the Bucks current state heading into all star break and how they will fair going down the stretch of the season.
At that point, the Bucks had lost three straight games following the mid season tradition and were a #9 seed in the East. Tides have changed the past month and a half as Jason Kidd put it on his team to make a playoff run and they were able to do so.
Guys like Giannis Antetokenumpo, Khris Middleton, and Greg Monroe really stood out for the Bucks as they were able to make a run for the playoffs, but alot of the credit for the second half success has been given to rookie Malcolm Brogdon. As a top pick for rookie of the year in the NBA, Brogdon has really shown out for the Bucks in the second half of the season. Entering the starting lineup, Brogdon has been able to score as well as defend heavily for the Bucks when they need it in clutch moments.
The 6-feet-5-inch Brogdon, who spent four years at the University of Virginia is averaging 10.3 points per game and just over 4 assists per game in 73 games this season for the Bucks. A second-round pick of the Bucks in 2016, Brogdon has clearly had a chip on his shoulder the whole time and is most certainly hopeful in beating out many first round picks for the 2016-2017 NBA rookie of the year.
All Star Giannis Antetokenumpo has also played a key role in the Bucks success this season. The 6’10” Greek Freak is averaging over 20 points per game and is the leader in many statistical categories for the Bucks this season. Greg Monroe has stepped up on defense the second half of this season, which has proven to be a huge help for the Bucks down the stretch.
If the Bucks want to make a run in the playoffs, they dont have much experience, so talent will have to be key for the Bucks. Jason Kidd’s job is secure for now, so we will see what happens as the playoffs arrive on April 15th. It is still unsure who the Bucks will play first round, but make sure to check back soon, I will have full playoff coverage here on the #NBASTUDSNDUDS blog, so dont miss it.
Keep watching the NBA and make sure to tune in on April 15th when the playoff start!