The Milwaukee Bucks kicked off their frenzied final week of their 2020-21 regular season with a speed bump.
Being beaten by the San Antonio Spurs in a 146-125 loss on Monday night not only ended their five-game winning streak, but it resulted in their worst defensive performance this season. By NBA.com/stats, the 140.4 defensive rating the Bucks have given the Spurs is the highest rating they have set for a single game this season and the same goes for the opponent’s effective field goal percentage of 68.6, with the two marks lying by a wide margin.
If that was bad, the implications of what that loss might mean for the Bucks’ sowing odds appear to be even worse.
After winning their series of the season with the Brooklyn Nets last week, the Bucks stepped up their push and even eclipsed the Nets to briefly hold the second seed in the East over the weekend. With their tiebreaker in hand, the Bucks controlled their own destiny to hold the court at home against the prohibitive favorites to come out of the East.
Now, after the Nets returned to defeat the Denver Nuggets over the weekend and the Bucks’ loss to the Spurs, Milwaukee is holding a full game behind the Nets in third place ahead of Tuesday’s games. By basketball benchmark, Bucks have 64.8% chance of finishing as third seed in the East.
The Milwaukee Bucks’ push for second place was affected by their loss to Spurs
No longer in control of their own destiny when it comes to eclipsing the Nets for second seed once again, the Bucks have their slate full when it comes to ending their season on a high note. With fixtures against the Orlando Magic, Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls, the Bucks’ four games in the final six days of the season will certainly test them to end things on a high note and improve their positioning in the playoffs.
Brooklyn, meanwhile, has more of a cupcake schedule to end this 2020-2021 season, as they will face the Chicago Bulls twice, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the San Antonio Spurs over the next six days. More importantly, however, they are set to put the last player of their three-headed monster back into action as James Harden is reportedly set to return after being sidelined with a strained hamstring from a some time now.
This will surely be what the Nets need to make some final adjustments before they prepare for their own playoff series and Milwaukee stands straight in their path as the two sides are set to meet in the conference semifinals, if that comes to fruition. .
As has been the case as we near the end of the season, there will be plenty of scorecard to look at when it comes to the final Bucks rankings over the past few days. Of course, that wasn’t to be the case for the Bucks and time is running out to recoup what they can to further improve their playoff positioning.