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‘Yongdusamy’ Milwaukee ends PO first-round exit without a win

Milwaukee’s season is over.

The Milwaukee Bucks fell 98-120 to the Indiana Pacers in Game 1 of the 2023-2024 NBA Playoffs at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Wednesday (March 3).

Damian Lillard returned from injury, but the defense collapsed and the team was blown out.

It could have been the last game of the season, but Milwaukee’s players showed no fight. They struggled throughout the game, overwhelmed by the energy level of Indiana’s young players.

Despite Lillard’s 28 points and four assists, Brook Lopez’s 20 points and five rebounds, and Bobby Portis’ 20 points and 15 rebounds, they were overwhelmed.

It was a sobering look at the weight class difference in the game. Indiana didn’t even get a huge performance from its one-two punch of Tyreese Halliburton and Pascal Siakam, but the Pacers easily swept Milwaukee to advance to the second round of the playoffs.

For Milwaukee, it ended up being a bittersweet season. Milwaukee was looking for a superstar to back up Yanis Adetokunbo before the season, and Lillard, who was on the trade market, was the perfect fit. Milwaukee spent a lot of money to acquire Lillard, including Grayson Allen and Jrue Holiday.

Halladay, in particular, was a huge hole to fill. With Halladay gone, Milwaukee’s frontcourt defender, Lillard and Malik Beasley, a weakness on the perimeter, became the starting guards. The defense fell apart like a house of cards.

Adetokunbo, Lopez, and Middleton are all good defenders in the backcourt, but they can’t cover for the easy openings up front. Milwaukee added Patrick Beverley in a midseason trade to bolster the frontcourt, but Beverley wasn’t enough to carry the load for Milwaukee’s defense.

The hoped-for offensive synergy between Lillard and Adetokunbo didn’t work out. With Adetokunbo in the paint and Lillard on the perimeter, the offense was supposed to be a potent force, but the two didn’t work well together. In fact, the offense was smoother when both players played alone.

In other words, the Lillard-Adetokounmpo combination is a complete failure based on one season. However, it’s unlikely that Milwaukee will 메이저토토사이트 abandon the combination after one season. Both players have four or more years left on their long-term contracts, and injuries have limited the number of games they’ve played together this season.

Still, the future doesn’t look bright for Milwaukee. Adetokunbo is in his 30s, Lillard is another year older as he approaches his mid-30s, and Lopez, Middleton, and other key players are over 30. Milwaukee is a year down the road.

With the season over, offseason reinforcements are more important than ever. Milwaukee has a number of positions to address, including a backcourt partner for Lillard and bench help. Add to that the leadership of Doc Rivers, who was hired midseason. The team will need a major upgrade if they want to challenge for the title next season.

It’s a make-or-break season for Milwaukee. After being one of the favorites to win the title, Milwaukee’s season ended with a shocking first-round exit.

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