The Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics are every able to successful the championship this season. Anybody invested of their second spherical collection within the 2022 NBA Playoffs intuitively understands this. The Celtics have been the most popular group in league since Feb. powered by a traditionally good protection. The Bucks’ core proved itself by successful final 12 months’s title. It feels flawed that considered one of these groups will see their season finish within the second spherical, but it surely solely helps make this matchup really feel much more seismic.
This was already probably the most compelling collection of the second spherical even earlier than Recreation 5, which traditionally looks like probably the most significant sport of any playoff collection — at the very least earlier than Recreation 7. When a collection is tied 2-2 within the NBA playoffs, the group that wins Recreation 5 wins the collection 83 p.c of the time. With the collection set to return to Milwaukee for Recreation 6, there’s was no denying that Wednesday night time’s matchup was going to be monumental.
Bucks-Celtics Recreation 5 didn’t simply ship on the hype — it gave us an instantaneous basic which will find yourself being remembered for years to return. Milwaukee’s 110-107 victory to take a decisive 3-2 collection lead featured the whole lot that an ideal playoff sport ought to have, plus a lot extra.
The Celtics led by 14 factors within the fourth quarter. Milwaukee had not held the lead since early within the second quarter, and simply didn’t appear to have sufficient offensive firepower to win the sport. Each second of the fourth quarter felt frozen in time, however by some means the defending champion Bucks made extra performs down the stretch to get it executed.
This sport might be a tipping level for the Giannis Period
Giannis Antetokounmpo stamped himself as one of the best participant on this planet throughout his run to the championship in 2021. Antetokounmpo suffered a scary knee damage in Recreation 4 of the Jap Convention Finals, however returned for the NBA Finals, and dragged his group out of an 0-2 collection gap to win the championship. Within the Bucks’ title-clinching Recreation 6 victory, Antetokounmpo put up 50 factors, 14 rebounds, and 5 blocks whereas conquering his private demons from the free throw line by going 17-of-19 on the night time. When it was over, he hit the drive-through at a quick meals place with the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
Giannis already had two MVPs and a Defensive Participant of the 12 months trophy to his identify earlier than final season, however watching him win a hoop felt prefer it formally cemented him as one of the best basketball participant alive. This actually looks like Giannis’ league proper now, however the margin error is small for even the all-time greats.
Boston is completely able to knocking out the Bucks — particularly with Milwaukee lacking considered one of its ‘large three’ with Khris Middleton sidelined by a knee damage. The Celtics can actually nonetheless win this collection, and it wouldn’t be a shock in any respect to see them win the title. However given how essential it has been traditionally to win Recreation 5, it actually feels just like the Bucks at the moment are in management.
The Celtics might have put a serious dent into the concept of this being The Giannis Period by successful Recreation 5. They’d the sport of their hand. One way or the other, the Bucks pulled off the comeback, with one of the best participant on Earth ending with 40 factors and 11 rebounds within the win.
The Celtics have felt like the higher group all through this collection, however there’s no denying Giannis is one of the best participant on the ground. At this level, it’s beginning to really feel like successful a championship means going via Giannis.
Jrue Vacation made 2 tremendous human performs to clinch the win
Vacation at all times felt like one of many extra under-appreciated stars of his technology earlier than final season. He’s arguably one of the best defensive guard of this period, and he’s additionally able to going off for 20 or 25 factors on any given night time. Vacation made some gigantic performs to key the Bucks’ title run final 12 months, and now he has one other shining second for his legacy.
With the Celtics trailing by one and inbounding the ball with 11 seconds left, Marcus Good acquired the inbounds cross and turned the nook searching for the go-ahead layup. He would have had it if not for Vacation, who darted to dam the shot from behind and by some means hold it inbounds earlier than throwing it off Good to make it Bucks ball. This actually is an all-timer.
After the Bucks made a pair of free throws to increase the result in three factors, Good acquired the inbounds cross and pushed the ball up the ground. Vacation was there to greet him and steal the ball to cement the win for Milwaukee.
That’s a legendary solution to win a large sport. What Vacation did was legitimately historic.
Jrue Vacation is the primary participant during the last 25 postseasons to document a block and a steal inside the ultimate 10 seconds of the 4th quarter of a playoff sport. pic.twitter.com/D9Mpu5jr9C
— ESPN Stats & Data (@ESPNStatsInfo) Might 12, 2022
There have been so many unimaginable performs on this sport
Vacation’s twin defensive gems will possible be the performs that stand the check of time from this Recreation 5, however there have been so many different game-changing moments.
How about this fourth quarter dunk from Jayson Tatum?
Then there was this ridiculous Al Horford tip dunk to place Boston up six with simply over two minutes remaining in regulation.
Giannis was 2-of-16 from three-point vary on this collection coming into Recreation 5. Normally Giannis threes are robust to abdomen for Bucks followers, however after Horford’s tip dunk he hit an enormous triple to chop the deficit to 3 with beneath two minutes remaining. Vacation adopted it up by hitting one other robust three to tie the sport on the subsequent possession.
Lastly, there was the Bobby Portis putback after a missed free throw from Giannis that gave the Bucks’ the lead for good. Milwaukee gashed Boston on the offensive glass all night time, and this was the one that basically damage.
Milwaukee gained the offensive rebound battle 17-5. The Bucks additionally shot 6-for-6 from three-point vary within the fourth quarter. Once more, the margin for error is simply so small for each of those groups.
Recreation 5 can be a turning level both approach.
If Milwaukee wins the collection — heck, if Milwaukee repeats as champions — we’ll look again at this sport as a real turning level. If Boston comes again to win this collection — and even the championship — we’ll level to this Recreation 5 and say the Celtics had been capable of choose themselves off the ground and rebound after such an emotional loss.
We had been fortunate to witness that as basketball followers. Recreation 6 is in Milwaukee on Friday. Don’t miss it.
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