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For the second year in a row, Milwaukee Bucks exit playoffs in first round



For the second year in a row, Milwaukee Bucks exit playoffs in first round

Earlier than the beginning of the season, tons of of excited Milwaukee Bucks followers waited hours outdoors of Fiserv Discussion board to welcome Damian Lillard — the latest member of the staff — to town.

Lillard’s arrival got here with excessive expectations for the Bucks to repeat what they achieved in 2021 after they received their first NBA Championship in 50 years. Thursday evening within the Deer District, round 100 followers watched on as Lillard and the Bucks misplaced to the Indiana Pacers in Sport 6 of the playoffs, ending these hopes.

It’s the second season in a row the Bucks exited the playoffs within the first spherical.

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Excited Milwaukee Bucks followers anticipate Damian Lillard to reach at Fiserv Discussion board for the primary time. Evan Casey/WPR

It was a playoff sequence the place Giannis Antetokounmpo didn’t play in any video games due to an harm. Lillard himself was injured and was solely capable of play 4 of the six video games within the sequence.

“Everyone gave it their all, it simply wasn’t ok,” Khris Middleton mentioned throughout a postgame press convention Thursday. 

Head coach Doc Rivers mentioned the accidents didn’t assist, however he praised the opposing staff.

“They’re (Pacers) only a powerful staff,” Rivers mentioned throughout a press convention. “Clearly, we had guys out and all that and that’s onerous, proper? However (I) simply give them credit score. I assumed they (Pacers) performed terrific.” 

Indiana Pacers guard Andrew Nembhard (2) shoots over Milwaukee Bucks guard Pat Connaughton (24) in the course of the second half in Sport 6 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff sequence, Thursday, Could 2, 2024, in Indianapolis. Michael Conroy/AP Picture

Rivers tried to deal with the positives on the finish of the season. The Bucks had been the primary staff in NBA historical past to win a playoff sport with their high two common season scorers not enjoying in that sport. That occurred when the Bucks beat the Pacers 115-92 Tuesday evening. 

“That’s historical past,” Rivers mentioned about that accomplishment. 

“It’s onerous to do,” he added. 

Despite the fact that they misplaced, Rivers mentioned he believes his staff battled onerous.

“Nobody wavered, not one man wavered. Each single man in that locker room thought even with out these guys (Antetokounmpo, Lillard), we had been nonetheless going to win this sequence. And that claims loads in regards to the character of your staff,” Rivers mentioned. 

LA Clippers head coach Doc Rivers.
LA Clippers head coach Doc Rivers watches in the course of the first half of an NBA basketball sport in opposition to the Milwaukee Bucks Wednesday, March 21, 2018, in Milwaukee. Morry Gash/AP Picture

The Bucks had been among the many high contenders picked to win the NBA Championship earlier than the beginning of the season. However their season was mired with “inconsistency,” in keeping with Ti Windisch, host of the Milwaukee Bucks centered “Gyro Step” podcast.

“I feel this season, it was actually a narrative of inconsistency,” Windisch mentioned. 

“My expectations had been sky excessive coming into this season,” he added. 

The franchise had excessive hopes for first-time head coach Adrian Griffin as effectively. However Griffin was fired 43 video games into the season. Normal Supervisor Jon Horst did say there wasn’t one “particular occasion” that led to Griffin’s firing, however experiences had been swirling for weeks a couple of rift between gamers and the coach.

Even so, Griffin led the staff to a 30-13 report, the second greatest report within the Jap Convention. Earlier than his firing, the Bucks had struggled defensively.

The Bucks employed veteran coach Doc Rivers after firing Griffin. Protection was one factor  Rivers centered his efforts on. However he wasn’t capable of flip issues round going into the playoffs, as his common season report with the staff was 17-19.

Bucks General Manager Jon Horst talks to the press.
Bucks Normal Supervisor Jon Horst talks to the press. Evan Casey/WPR

“It was a rollercoaster of a 12 months,” Lillard mentioned throughout a postgame press convention.

For Lillard, it was his first time enjoying with a corporation apart from the Portland Trailblazers, the place he was traded from. It was loads to get used to, he mentioned.

“For me personally, it was a 12 months of progress greater than something,” Lillard mentioned. “Quite a lot of progress, lots of getting used to new issues.”

After the loss, Rivers mentioned he’s specializing in subsequent 12 months already.

“Its uncommon — often proper after the 12 months, you need to go take a break. I can’t wait to get began, ” he mentioned.

“I’m going to do no matter I can for this franchise, I actually am. I feel we are able to win, I do,” he mentioned. “I’m going to do every thing I can to create that as a result of it means extra to me than I feel you assume.”

Milwaukee Bucks celebrate championship
On this July 20, 2021, file picture, the Milwaukee Bucks rejoice with the championship trophy after defeating the Phoenix Suns in Sport 6 of basketball’s NBA Finals in Milwaukee. Paul Sancya/AP Picture

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