The Milwaukee Bucks were knocked out of the NBA 2022 playoffs and lost their chance to defend their title. They won the 2021 title after six games against the Phoenix Suns.
Last season, the Bucks won their first title in 50 years (second in franchise history) and were seen as favorites to win a second title in a row. Unfortunately, they couldn’t get past the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks won their first game against the Chicago Bulls. Despite the Bulls being a key absentee, it’s hard to imagine them beating Milwaukee on a seven-game streak when fully fit.
However, the semi-final clash with Boston was a tougher endeavor. The Celtics took charge of eliminating Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving and repeating the same physical defense against Milwaukee.
While they were unsuccessful in slowing Antetokounmpo, they took a 3-2 lead in the series to claim their spot in the grand finals. For many, the Bucks were favorites as championship contenders from the East, but their season is over.
With that said, here are 3 reasons why the Milwaukee Bucks couldn’t win a second title in a row.
#1 Khris Middleton’s Injury
The Milwaukee Bucks lost Khris Middleton to a knee injury in Game 2 of their first-round game against the Chicago Bulls. The striker sprained his MCL after tripping while driving into the belt and was immediately dropped from the game.
Middleton is the Bucks’ second-best player, which makes it difficult for the team. Even though they won the next three games against the Bulls, it wouldn’t be the same without him.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had to do a lot of hard work. While he maintained his intensity even against the Celtics’ solid defense, his effort alone was not enough to keep Milwaukee in the competition.
#2 Bad triple shot
Three-point shooting is an important part of today’s game. This is even more true for a team with a force like Giannis Antetokounmpo.
In the first inning, Milwaukee put on a pretty good deep-shot performance, knocking out 70 of 184 three-point attempts in this series. Unfortunately, they couldn’t find their niche in the semifinals of the tournament.
The Bucks went 57-204 (27.9%) ahead of the Celtics, with one of their best AD carry, Grayson Allen, not appearing. They depended heavily on Antetokounmpo, who met a lot of bodies in the paint.
#3 Poor perimeter defense
The Milwaukee Bucks have paid more attention to protecting the paintwork and can sometimes leave a man open on the outside. Although the three-pointer wasn’t exactly a high percentage shot, they were punished because it was so heavy.
Boston set a franchise record with 22 pointers in game 7, led by Grant Williams. The forward was left open on many occasions, and he achieved a career-high seven three points in 18 attempts.
With that incredible shooting performance, he beat Steph Curry and Marcus Morris for the most three points in a knockout.
Basically, Grant won the game for the Celtics and got no response from the Bucks. Milwaukee won just four triples in 32 attempts, coming in from Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez and Bobby Portis.
https://www.sportskeeda.com/basketball/3-reasons-milwaukee-bucks-unable-defend-title-nba-playoffs-2022?utm_source=feed&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=sportskeeda 3 reasons why Milwaukee Bucks were unable to defend the title