By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published May 01, 2024 at 10:11 AM Photography: Milwaukee Bucks

NBA, be warned: Now begins the Bucks postseason revenge tour. 

Giannis and company are back in the playoffs, and after leaving the party way too early last season thanks to Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat, the 2021 champs are hungry to hoist the trophy once again, prove all the doubters wrong and maybe even celebrate with another 50-piece.

To help fans both crazed and casual keep up with Milwaukee's run for another championship ring, here's a guide to the basics of the Bucks' current playoff push – from who they're currently playing to where the series stands and what could happen next. I'd call it an idiot's guide to the NBA playoffs – but if you're rooting for Giannis and the Bucks, you're far from an idiot. 

Here's everything you need to know about the Milwaukee's place in the NBA playoffs:

Who the Bucks are playing

It's a foe both familiar and new greeting the Bucks in the first round: the Indiana Pacers.

The two haven't met in the playoffs since Y2K times – and the Pacers themselves haven't made the postseason in years – but they've made the dramatic most of their run-ins this past season, laying the foundation for a potential rivalry these next several years. 

In case you forgot – and if so, fair enough; the NBA regular season is very long – the Bucks and Pacers previously got into a spat back in December when Giannis set the franchise's single-game scoring record, and while Indiana was in a giving mood on the court, they were less so after the game, allegedly taking the Greek Freak's game ball. It was all very confusing and strange ... and excellent rivalry material. And to make matters even spicier, the Pacers knocked the Bucks out of the In-Season Tournament – and were a little chatty about it, too.

So what will this latest meeting portend? Both teams struggled after pretty hot starts to the season, with the Pacers barely squeaking out of play-in tournament contention and the Bucks losing most of their games down the stretch – including to some of the league's worst squads. But it's a new season now ... 

Where the series currently stands

Dame Time struck in Game 1 – but unfortunately, injuries did too as after claiming the first game of the series, the Pacers took the next three, the latest without either Giannis or Dame on the court. But the Bucks refused to back down, keeping their season alive at Fiserv Forum on Tuesday night with a crucial team effort to claim a Game 5 victory and bring the best-of-seven series to 3-2 in favor of Indiana. They still need two more – including one on the road – or Bucks fans can call it a wrap on the 2023-24 season and start dreaming about how they can punk the Pacers next year. 

Where the Bucks are playing

As the higher seed in the matchup, Milwaukee has home court advantage in this first round tiff. As a result, after the Bucks scraped together a win and kept the series going on Tuesday night, the next game will head back to Indiana. There, if they can win again and force the series to go all seven rounds, the final battle will take place here in Milwaukee at Fiserv Forum.

When the Bucks are playing

It took a while thanks to the tight bunching amongst the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff standings, but here's Milwaukee's first-round slate (or at least a good chunk of it):

  • Game 6 – Thursday, May 2 at 5:30 p.m. in Indiana
  • Game 7 (if necessary) – Saturday, May 4 at TBD at Fiserv Forum

More details on the games – including the last one, which may end up being unnecessary if the best-of-seven series wraps up early – will be announced by the NBA as the playoffs continue. 

Where to watch the Bucks

For the postseason-opening first games, if you're not able to get into Fiserv Forum or Deer District, you'll be able to find the Bucks and Pacers duking it out on TNT for Game 6. For the first round, you'll also be able to still get the hometown call on Bally Sports Wisconsin. The rest of the series's broadcast schedule, if necessary, will be announced later. 

For a full guide of general tips and tricks on how to stream the playoffs, especially if you've cut the cord, check out our Bucks playoffs streaming guide. But in short: ESPN and TNT are available to stream on their respective website with the help of some cable sign-in info, as well as available on most live television streaming services like Sling TV, YouTube TV or Hulu with Live TV. While NBA TV is a little more complicated, the channel is also available with most live TV streaming services. And in the case of any future ABC broadcasts, fans can also access the games for free with the help of an old-school antenna or watching on ESPN's website.

If you'd like to avoid all of that nonsense, you could always watch elsewhere with your fellow Bucks fans! Just about any bar qualifies as a sports bar these days, but if you want some particular fan favorites, check out this sports bar guide. If you really want the full Bucks fandom experience, however, come down to Deer District during gametime for one of the Downtown hub's iconic viewing parties. For more information on Deer District's playoff plans, click here

What happens next

Hopefully the start of a glorious ending to a rather inglorious season for the Bucks, between surprising coach removals and even more surprising losses. If Milwaukee manages to wake up, avoid the upset and slow down the Pacers – potentially without Giannis or Dame – they'll play the winner of the first-round series between the second-seed New York Knicks and the seventh-seed Philadelphia 76ers, a seven-game bout that currently stands at 3-2 in favor of the Knickerbockers. For Bucks fans planning ahead, you'll want to keep an eye on that closely contested matchup. 

But before we start thinking to hard about any of that, first things first: Let's get past the Pacers. 

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.