If it wasn’t for the Chicago Bulls shocking the Boston Celtics right now, the NBA world would be talking about the young Milwaukee Bucks who are showing everyone that their rebuild process is far ahead of schedule.
The Bucks beat down, humiliated and manhandled the Raptors in Game 3, 104-77 and left many wondering if Toronto could rebound from such a devastating loss.
“We got our ass busted” Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry said after the game.
Milwaukee did all of this without a monster game from superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo who scored 19 points and pulled down 8 boards.
The Bucks, thanks in part to Tony Snell’s smothering defense, held DeMar DeRozan to an abysmal 0-8 shooting, making him the first 25-points-per-game scorer to go 0-for-3 or worse in an NBA playoff game in the same season.
“I still think we can win the series,” Lowry said. “It’s a terrible feeling, the way we got our ass beat. It’s a terrible feeling. [But] our confidence is not changed. We’ll be fine.”
Bucks coach Jason Kidd spoke about the team’s experience level in matching up with Toronto.
“I’m a young coach, so I think we all fit with the experience level,” said Kidd.
“The guys on the floor and on the bench support them, and the coaching staff has done everything to prepare them for this moment. It’s up to them to be basketball players, and they’re very comfortable with doing that. We try to keep things simple and have fun with it, and they do all the work.”
Toronto was held to 77 points, it’s lowest playoff score since they scored 63 against the Detroit Pistons in 2002.
“They ambushed us,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. “There was no aspect of our game that we executed whatsoever.”
“We’ll make changes … As a staff we have to do a better job of finding ways for openings and space for us to score” Casey said.
The Eastern Conference may have to prepare to be shocked, especially if both the Bulls and the Bucks can pull off the big 1st round upsets.
The NBA has been turned upside down. For the moment at least.