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Milwaukee Bucks to Play at First NBA Finals in Almost 50 Years

Bucks NBA Finals
The Milwaukee Bucks celebrating their win against the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday. Credit: Milwaukee Bucks/Twitter

The Milwaukee Bucks have advanced to the team’s first NBA Finals since 1974 after they defeated the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday.

The Bucks took on the Hawks during game six of the Eastern Conference Finals at the State Farm Arena on Saturday, securing their spot in the Finals with a stunning 118 to 107 win.

Despite a late-game comeback by the Hawks, a series of fortuitous three-pointers scored by Jeff Teague, Jrue Holiday, and Brook Lopez helped push the Bucks to their win, and their first spot in NBA Finals in nearly 50 years.

The team will face off against the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the finals on Tuesday, July 6 at the Phoenix Suns Arena.

Antetokounmpo’s injury

Giannis Antetokounmpo, or the Greek Freak, cheered his team on from the sidelines after suffering a knee injury during Game four of the Conference Finals against the Hawks in late June.

After suffering the injury, the Greek Freak did not return to the game, provoking worry amongst fans about the extent of his injury.

Many feared that the Greek-born NBA player’s injury could prevent him from playing for Greece’s national basketball team, should they qualify, during the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo in late July.

Antetokounmpo’s knee injury is less serious than previously feared, however, according to medical scans he received shortly after the game.

His MRI results indicate that the structure of the star’s knee is fine, with no major damage to the joints or ligaments.

First NBA Finals for the Bucks in nearly 50 years

The last time the Milwaukee Bucks reached the NBA Finals was in 1974, when the team was defeated by the Boston Celtics.

This was just three years after the team, led by basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabar, won their first and only NBA Finals in 1971 against the Baltimore Bullets.

Players can feel their proximity to the win, which inspired them to give it their all in the last push against the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday.

Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer praised the team’s character and commitment to reaching the finals after the game on Saturday, stating that he is “just impressed with the resilience of the group, the character of the group…”

Although the team played very well, Budenholzer was hesitant to celebrate just yet, noting that there is still a ways to go before winning the Finals.

“They just have a focus and an edge that’s put us in a good place…to keep playing. And so you’ve got to deal with all those emotions, everything that goes into each round and this group has been able to do that. It’s impressive but we’ve got more to do,” Budenholzer stated.

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