When the Bucks returned to Milwaukee this weekend for Games 3 and 4 of their first-round playoff series against the Celtics, they were in a hole, down two games to none, looking defeated and desperately needing a win. Two games, and two impressive home victories later, the series is tied, 2-2, and now Milwaukee heads back to Boston for Game 5 on Tuesday night.
In both contests, Friday night and Sunday afternoon, the BMO Harris Bradley Center was bumping. Sellout crowds packed the arena, rocking the soon-to-be-replaced venue and making it as loud as it's ever been. The team reflected that excitement, too, responding to its two lackluster efforts in Boston with a pair of high-energy performances, which resulted in a blowout Game 3 win and a thrilling Game 4 triumph a couple days later.
From the phantasmagoric pregame shows to raucous chants of "Bucks in six!" and victory confetti falling from the ceiling; emphatic Giannis Antetokounmpo dunks to defiant Thon Maker blocks, silky Khris Middleton jumpers to Matthew Dellavedova defense; Jabari Parker aggressiveness, Eric Bledsoe pumping up the crowd, Malcolm Brogdon hitting three-pointers and much more, the Bucks made the Bradley Center the place to be in Milwaukee this weekend.
Here are our favorite photos from Games 3 and 4:
Game 5 is at TD Garden in Boston on Tuesday at 6 p.m. (NBA TV). Game 6 is back in Milwaukee on Thursday at the BMO Harris Bradley Center (time TBD).
Born in Milwaukee but a product of Shorewood High School (go ‘Hounds!) and Northwestern University (go ‘Cats!), Jimmy never knew the schoolboy bliss of cheering for a winning football, basketball or baseball team. So he ditched being a fan in order to cover sports professionally - occasionally objectively, always passionately. He's lived in Chicago, New York and Dallas, but now resides again in his beloved Brew City and is an ardent attacker of the notorious Milwaukee Inferiority Complex.
After interning at print publications like Birds and Blooms (official motto: "America's #1 backyard birding and gardening magazine!"), Sports Illustrated (unofficial motto: "Subscribe and save up to 90% off the cover price!") and The Dallas Morning News (a newspaper!), Jimmy worked for web outlets like CBSSports.com, where he was a Packers beat reporter, and FOX Sports Wisconsin, where he managed digital content. He's a proponent and frequent user of em dashes, parenthetical asides, descriptive appositives and, really, anything that makes his sentences longer and more needlessly complex.
Jimmy appreciates references to late '90s Brewers and Bucks players and is the curator of the unofficial John Jaha Hall of Fame. He also enjoys running, biking and soccer, but isn't too annoying about them. He writes about sports - both mainstream and unconventional - and non-sports, including history, music, food, art and even golf (just kidding!), and welcomes reader suggestions for off-the-beaten-path story ideas.