By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published May 12, 2022 at 2:01 PM Photography: Milwaukee Bucks Facebook

NBA, be warned: The Bucks are back.

Giannis and company are back in the playoffs, and while they may have won the NBA Finals last season, the defending champs are no less hungry to hoist the trophy once again, prove all the doubters wrong and celebrate with another 50-piece.

To help fans both crazed and casual keep up with Milwaukee's run for a repeat 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

After making the Chicago Bulls see red in five games in the first round, the Bucks will continue their championship defense against the second-seeded Boston Celtics. After a slow and sloppy start to the season, the Celtics have turned into the hottest team in the entire NBA, only losing six games since the start of February – including a dominating four-game sweep against the once-feared Brooklyn Nets. And without Khris Middleton, the Bucks will be down one of their best players – particularly on offense – against one of the best defenses in the league. It should be an exemplary series – and perhaps, much like the Bucks-Nets battle last postseason, the true unofficial Eastern Conference finals. 

Where the series currently stands

After trading two games in both Boston and Milwaukee, the Bucks managed to swipe a Game 5 win on the road out of the Celtics' grasp, taking a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series. One more win over Boston, and the Bucks will make their return to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Where the Bucks are playing

After Tuesday night's dramatic Bucks victory on the East Coast, the series will now shift back to Brew City and Fiserv Forum for Game 6. The Bucks have a chance to end the series a game early at home Friday night – but if Giannis and company were to fail to finish the job, thanks to owning the home court advantage as the higher seed, if the series were to go the seven-game distance, the decisive final spat would unfortunately take place on the road in Boston. That being said, the Bucks have now won two games on the Celtics' home hardwood ...

When the Bucks are playing

Here's the schedule for the Bucks-Celtics series as it currently stands:

  • Game 6 – Friday, May 13 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Game 7 (if necessary) – Sunday, May 15 at 2:30 p.m. 

Game 7 is not technically necessary yet – but if the Celtics were to win Game 6 in Milwaukee on Friday night, the series would require the seventh meeting.

Where to watch the Bucks

For the critical, potentially-clinching Game 6, if you're not able to get into Fiserv Forum or Deer District, you'll be able to find the Bucks and Celtics duking it out on ESPN on Friday night.

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 is available to stream on its respective website with the help of some cable sign-in info, as well as available on most live television streaming services like Sling TV or Hulu with Live TV. In the case of any future ABC broadcasts, fans can also access the games for free with the help of an old-school antenna.

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 viewing parties. Opening two hours before tip-off, the watch parties feature 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. 

What happens next

If the Bucks manage to make the Celtics feel green and beat Boston (*knocks on all the wood in the area code*), Milwaukee would make their triumphant return to the Eastern Conference Finals. There, they would meet the winner of the Miami Heat versus the Embiid-less Philadelphia 76ers, a series which also currently stands at 3-2, in favor of the Heat. After losing the first two games in Miami, the Sixers rallied back to even the series ... only to get clobbered in Game 5 back on the Heat's home court. Game 6 in Philly tips off Thursday night at 6 p.m. on ESPN.

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

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.