The weather may be balmy in Brew City right now, but the hottest topic in Milwaukee right now is the Milwaukee Bucks, their return to the playoffs and their quest for an NBA Finals victory. To help fans both crazed and casual keep up with Milwaukee's run for a 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
The Bucks are facing off for the championship against the Phoenix Suns, the second seed from the Western Conference who finished the regular season at 51-21. Before battling Milwaukee in the NBA Finals, Chris Paul and the Suns knocked out the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers in six games in a tough first round test, before moving on to sweep the Denver Nuggets and conquering the Los Angeles Clippers in six games in the Western Conference Finals. They're now in their first Finals since 1993, with a chance to win their franchise's first title in its 50-year existence.
Where the series currently stands
After their dramatic Game 5 victory in Phoenix, the Bucks are currently one game away from claiming an NBA championship, holding a 3-2 lead in the series going into Game 6. Both teams won their first respective bouts at home (Games 1 and 2 for Phoenix, the latter two for Milwaukee) before the Bucks turned things into a series by claiming Game 5 on the road.
Where the Bucks are playing
After stealing Game 5 from the Suns on the home court, the Bucks return to Fiserv Forum for a chance to win Game 6 – and the NBA Finals – right in Brew City on Tuesday night.
However, thanks to the Phoenix Suns having home court advantage due to higher conference seeding, if the Bucks fall short on Tuesday and the series goes the full seven-game distance, Phoenix will host the final game.
When the Bucks are playing
The remaining NBA Finals schedule currently looks like this:
- Game 6 – 8 p.m. on Tuesday, July 20
- Game 7 (if necessary) – 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 22
Where to watch the Bucks
The Eastern Conference Finals will be shown on ABC, which is widely available over the air with a cheap antenna but also allows subscribers to also watch its games on its respective websites and apps. For advice, tips and tricks on how to stream the rest of the series – especially if you've cut the cord – check out our Bucks playoffs streaming guide.
If none of that works, 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. And if you want some outdoor options, here are eleven really solid open-air choices.
If you really want the full Milwaukee fandom experience, however, come down to Deer District during gametime for one of the Downtown hub's viewing parties, featuring the game, food, beverage and plenty of your Brew City brethren cheering in both the surrounding bars as well as outside in the open-air plaza space. For more information, click here.
What happens next
History – no matter who wins. If the Phoenix Suns (heaven forbid) win the Finals, it will be the franchise's first championship. Meanwhile, if the Bucks win, it'll be not only the franchise's first ring since 1971; it'll be the entire city of Milwaukee's first victory parade since then as well. (The Packers' Super Bowls don't entirely count.) And actually, it would be the city's first ever since the Bucks somehow never got a proper parade that year to celebrate their title. Fifty years later, we'd finally be able to rectify that – plus add a new banner to the rafters.
But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves ...
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.