“Uhhh I was 7 years old,” Giannis Antetokounmpo said as he tried to remember the last time the Bucks advanced from the first round of the playoffs.
It was 2001. Ray Allen and Glenn Robinson led the charge. That year, Milwaukee advanced to the Eastern Conference finals where they lost to Allen Iverson’s 76ers in an epic 7-game series.
Fast forward 18 years later and Giannis Antetokounmpo is now leading the Bucks into the second round of the playoffs.
The Greek Freak has lived up to his name.
On Monday night, Antetokounmpo came out in the first half on fire on both sides of the ball. With about 11 minutes left in the half, the Milwaukee superstar dunked over his former teammate Thon Maker. Then–about two minutes later–he flew for a rejection that left Piston fans stunned.
And if Detroit had not already “feared the deer,” the Greek Freak pulled a Micheal Jordan on a double pump.
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— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) April 23, 2019
Jaw-dropping is an understatement. Antetokounmpo left Detroit with 41 points and nine rebounds.
History has a funny way of repeating itself: the last Bucks player to score 41 points in an NBA Playoffs game was none other than #34 Ray Allen in June 2001.
Now with the first-round mission completed, Antetokounmpo says his team is celebrating.
“We’re going to keep enjoying the moment.You know, we’re going to try to stay in the moment. Hopefully, we can get better each day and achieve our goals.”
The Real Test
While the team is celebrating, they know the next series–against the Boston Celtics–will be a challenge. The Celtics also had a phenomenal sweep in the first round of the playoffs against the Indiana Pacers.
However, history is on Boston’s side. The Celtics defeated the Bucks last season in the first round, but the last time Milwaukee swept a 7-game series was in 1983 against the Boston Celtics.