Most Memorable Bucks Games Of 2017–18
Now it is all looking forward and the new stadium and rightfully so. Yet there will be a time in the future when people (you, maybe) look back at the Bradley Center with a feeling of nostalgia. Not because it marked the best era of Bucks basketball, or even a good one, but because nostalgia comes about oddly. You really, really, really have to hope that something even better is about to happen for the Bucks. When it does, if it does, these early Giannis years will grow in legend, fondness.
When the Bucks, if the Bucks, get to the second round and then to the Eastern Conference Finals, and then to the Finals, this will be quaint little thing to look back on.
Here is how the last six years of memorable games have gone:
Honorable mentions for this season go to the the comeback home win over the Timberwolves, losses to teams playing beautiful basketball (at home to Houston, at home to Denver, on the road in Utah), Giannis hanging 41/13/7 on the Nets, the Game 1 loss in Boston when Middleton pulled up from a few steps inside halfcourt to force overtime, the MECCA game, the night Giannis jumped over Tim Hardaway Jr., and the home win against the Spurs when the Bucks looked about as good as they looked all season.
10. Bucks 124 Lakers 122 — March 30, 2018 — Staples Center
- Reminder: This is not a best games list.
- I was moving into my new apartment and watching, glancing at my laptop, and whenever I looked, something absurd was happening. For instance: The Bucks blew a 20-point lead to the likes of Josh Hart, Ivica Zubac, and Alex Caruso.
- Anyway, Eric Bledsoe hit seven threes, scored 39 points, scooped up four steals, and did not turn the ball over. The Bucks won in overtime.
9. Bucks 103 Blazers 91 — November 30, 2017 — Moda Center
- The Bucks wore black and the Blazers wore red and there was never a better-looking game this season, sartorially.
- In the fourth game of a four-game west coast road trip, the Bucks went into Portland and cruised.
- Giannis hunted a chasedown block at the halftime buzzer on Damian Lillard and did he ever get it. Favorite play of the year. He had three blocks and three steals and legitimate MVP talk.
8. Bucks 122 Raptors 119 — February 23, 2018 — Air Canada Centre
- Toronto lost exactly one game in more than a month and a half, spanning the beginning of February to mid-March. This was that one loss.
- It was the first game back after All-Star Weekend, a month after Jason Kidd had been fired. The Bucks had allowed a season-high 134 points in their last game (at home to the Nuggets) before All-Star Weekend, and the Raptors had the hottest offense in the world. No one was going to be dismayed when the Bucks lost.
- But they didn’t lose. The Bucks put up 42 points in the second quarter and led throughout, but the Raptors came back. Jonas Valanciunas drove for a buzzer-beating layup to force overtime. Toronto scored the first five points of overtime. Jason Terry hit 4–5 from deep though, including a big one in overtime. It was the unlikeliest win.
7. Bucks 94 Spurs 87— November 10, 2017 — AT&T Center
- The Bucks were on a four-game losing streak and had dropped five of six, including losses to the Hornets and Pistons, going in.
- They had also just traded for Eric Bledsoe. And although Bledsoe was not amazing, and although I am typing this as Terry Rozier is wearing a Drew Bledsoe jersey, this was November 10, 2017, and Bledsoe was tossing an alley-oop up to Giannis and it looked like the Bucks moved at a new speed.
- I have in my games notes that Thon set a good screen for Brogdon. Everything was good!
6. Bucks 97 Celtics 86 — April 26, 2018 — Bradley Center
- For anyone who thought it might be fitting for the Bucks to lose yet another Game 6 first round home game (like against the Hawks, Bulls, and Raptors), for the Bradley Center sendoff, you had a point but you were not on to something.
- Giannis euro-stepping past Semi Ojeleye might have gone down as the most memorable play of the series, if the Bucks had won the series. (The Bucks did not win the series.)
- Everyone did their thing. Good.
5. Bucks 118 Sixers 110— March 4, 2018 — Bradley Center
- In the first quarter, the 76ers looked like a team that was on the cusp of turning into the hottest team in the NBA. (They were.)
- After going down 41–21, the Bucks looked out of the game. After going down 81–62, the Bucks looked out of the game. Then the Bucks closed the game on a 56–29 run.
- Giannis was very good. The bench was very good. Before the game, and during most of the game, and then except the final part of the game, a group of 76ers fans was very good at chanting.
4. Bucks 113 Blazers 110 — October 21, 2017 — Bradley Center
- Giannis was brilliant, even for him. He scored 44 points on an absurd 17–23 shooting from the field along with eight rebounds, four assists, and a couple of blocks and steals.
- He also stole the ball from C.J. McCollum with 12 seconds left in the game and stormed down the court for the game-winning finish.
- Tony Snell had a night. He hit 7–8 shots including 3–4 threes. Don’t forget October! You forgot October, and that is understandable.
3. Bucks 104 Celtics 102 — April 22, 2018 — Bradley Center
- Thon blocked five shots (again), Jabari played the best defense of his life, Dellavedova did a Dellavedova thing (stole inbound pass and flipped in shot at end of first quarter), the bench was great.
- The Bucks tied the series 2–2. I was feeling good about my Bucks in 7 prediction.
- It felt all the Sunday like the Bucks day, but Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown — even more good than young — made it compelling. They hit some incredible, high-degree-of-difficulty shots late. Was stressful, memorable.
2. Bucks 119 Cavaliers 116 — December 19, 2018 — Bradley Center
- LeBron graced us with a classic LeBron performance, with 39 points, Dwyane Wade delivered a vintage Wade quarter to help bring the Cavaliers all the way back from a big deficit, and DeAndre Liggins played 16 minutes. The game had it all!
- Including one of the most efficient games Giannis has ever had (top player performances of the season is the next story), capped by him picking up the ball on the ground a moment before LeBron could, and going in for the game-clinching and-one. (Giannis started the game with an airball, by the way.)
- It clinched the game because it gave the Bucks a 118–113 lead with five seconds to go. But then LeBron hit a 27-footer to bring within 118–116. They fouled Middleton, who hit the first free throw to go up 119–16, then missed the second free throw with a second to play and LeBron got the board and threw a full-court shot straight-on, only short.
1. Bucks 116 Celtics 92 — April 20, 2018 — Bradley Center
- Playoff Thon. I don’t usually get into things like “Playoff Thon” or whatever. But with five quick blocks — after not having multiple blocks in a game in two and a half months — the guy had 9 blocks in his last 15 playoff minutes.
- Giannis smashed traditionally on Aron Baynes.
- The Bucks led 63–37 at one point. I sat next to Charles Gardner, and it was a fun Friday night, and I was in the mood to write about it.