The NBA Playoffs are five hours old so the following is extremely impetuous. But it’s honest.
There is no hot take bathed in recency bias regarding the Milwaukee Bucks out there I won’t approach with an open mind. Want to say they are well on their way to crushing an entire country of basketball fans and facilitating another early-round upset for the Toronto Raptors?
Let me hold it in my hands.
Want to say Giannis Antetokounmpo and his crew present matchup problems galore for LeBron James and the strangely vincible Cleveland Cavaliers? Want to say that in a battle of heralded versus unknown, the non-household names might emerge victorious?
I’m all ears and not afraid of the heat radiating from that take.
Not after what the Bucks just did to the Raptors in hostile territory. Antetokounmpo scored 28 points, Greg Monroe had 14 to go with his 15 rebounds, and rookie Malcolm Brogdan added 16 in a 97-83 rout. Milwaukee has now stolen homecourt advantage and sent a loud signal that they won’t be rattled by the postseason pressure.
The folly of being distracted by the newest and shiniest thing is obvious. At the same time, it’s been a long time since a team had a national coming-out party like the Bucks just had. Casual NBA fans had to be wondering “who are these guys and how are they only the 6-seed in the East?”
The Bucks’ budding superstars were out in full bloom. The role payers executed their roles flawlessly. Heck, even Tony Snell and Matthew Dellavedova pitched in 11 points apiece.
The old saying that when a person shows you who they are, you should believe them, comes to mind — and it can be applied here. It was obvious the Bucks did everything in their power to show us that they are damn good. Maybe we should believe them.
Broad and dramatic narrative changes are coming in the take-osphere. By Monday morning, Milwaukee may be the favorite in the East on some drive-time shows. And usually I’d dismiss it as par-for-the-course hyperbole.
This time, I’ll listen and maybe even buy in. Not afraid to get burned.