Bucks-Celtics Game 5 was an instant classic that will define the NBA Playoffs

The Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics are every able to profitable the championship this season. Anyone invested of their second spherical sequence within the 2022 NBA Playoffs intuitively understands this. The Celtics have been the most popular staff in league since Feb. powered by a traditionally good protection. The Bucks’ core proved itself by profitable final 12 months’s title. It feels flawed that one in every of these groups will see their season finish within the second spherical, however it solely helps make this matchup really feel much more seismic.

This was already essentially the most compelling sequence of the second spherical even earlier than Game 5, which traditionally seems like essentially the most significant recreation of any playoff sequence — not less than earlier than Game 7. When a sequence is tied 2-2 within the NBA playoffs, the staff that wins Game 5 wins the sequence 83 p.c of the time. With the sequence set to return to Milwaukee for Game 6, there’s was no denying that Wednesday night time’s matchup was going to be monumental.

Bucks-Celtics Game 5 didn’t simply ship on the hype — it gave us an instantaneous traditional which will find yourself being remembered for years to come back. Milwaukee’s 110-107 victory to take a decisive 3-2 sequence lead featured every little thing that an amazing playoff recreation ought to have, plus a lot extra.

The Celtics led by 14 factors within the fourth quarter. Milwaukee had not held the lead since early within the second quarter, and simply didn’t appear to have sufficient offensive firepower to win the sport. Every second of the fourth quarter felt frozen in time, however someway the defending champion Bucks made extra performs down the stretch to get it achieved.

This recreation might be a tipping level for the Giannis Era

Giannis Antetokounmpo stamped himself as the most effective participant on the earth throughout his run to the championship in 2021. Antetokounmpo suffered a scary knee harm in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, however returned for the NBA Finals, and dragged his staff out of an 0-2 sequence gap to win the championship. In the Bucks’ title-clinching Game 6 victory, Antetokounmpo put up 50 factors, 14 rebounds, and 5 blocks whereas conquering his private demons from the free throw line by going 17-of-19 on the night time. When it was over, he hit the drive-through at a quick meals place with the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

Giannis already had two MVPs and a Defensive Player of the Year trophy to his identify earlier than final season, however watching him win a hoop felt prefer it formally cemented him as the most effective basketball participant alive. This actually seems like Giannis’ league proper now, however the margin error is small for even the all-time greats.

Boston is completely able to knocking out the Bucks — particularly with Milwaukee lacking one in every of its ‘big three’ with Khris Middleton sidelined by a knee harm. The Celtics can actually nonetheless win this sequence, and it wouldn’t be a shock in any respect to see them win the title. But given how vital it has been traditionally to win Game 5, it actually feels just like the Bucks are actually in management.

The Celtics might have put a significant dent into the concept of this being The Giannis Era by profitable Game 5. They had the sport of their hand. Somehow, the Bucks pulled off the comeback, with the most effective participant on Earth ending with 40 factors and 11 rebounds within the win.

The Celtics have felt like the higher staff all through this sequence, however there’s no denying Giannis is the most effective participant on the ground. At this level, it’s beginning to really feel like profitable a championship means going by way of Giannis.

Jrue Holiday made 2 tremendous human performs to clinch the win

Holiday at all times felt like one of many extra under-appreciated stars of his era earlier than final season. He’s arguably the most effective defensive guard of this period, and he’s additionally able to going off for 20 or 25 factors on any given night time. Holiday made some gigantic performs to key the Bucks’ title run final 12 months, and now he has one other shining second for his legacy.

With the Celtics trailing by one and inbounding the ball with 11 seconds left, Marcus Smart acquired the inbounds go and turned the nook in search of the go-ahead layup. He would have had it if not for Holiday, who darted to dam the shot from behind and someway preserve it inbounds earlier than throwing it off Smart to make it Bucks ball. This actually is an all-timer.

After the Bucks made a pair of free throws to increase the result in three factors, Smart acquired the inbounds go and pushed the ball up the ground. Holiday was there to greet him and steal the ball to cement the win for Milwaukee.

That’s a legendary method to win a large recreation. What Holiday did was legitimately historic.

There have been so many unbelievable performs on this recreation

Holiday’s twin defensive gems will possible be the performs that stand the check of time from this Game 5, however there have been so many different game-changing moments.

How about this fourth quarter dunk from Jayson Tatum?

Then there was this ridiculous Al Horford tip dunk to place Boston up six with simply over two minutes remaining in regulation.

Giannis was 2-of-16 from three-point vary on this sequence getting into Game 5. Usually Giannis threes are powerful to abdomen for Bucks followers, however after Horford’s tip dunk he hit an enormous triple to chop the deficit to a few with underneath two minutes remaining. Holiday adopted it up by hitting one other powerful three to tie the sport on the subsequent possession.

Finally, there was the Bobby Portis putback after a missed free throw from Giannis that gave the Bucks’ the lead for good. Milwaukee gashed Boston on the offensive glass all night time, and this was the one that actually harm.

Milwaukee gained the offensive rebound battle 17-5. The Bucks additionally shot 6-for-6 from three-point vary within the fourth quarter. Again, the margin for error is simply so small for each of those groups.

Game 5 will likely be a turning level both approach.

If Milwaukee wins the sequence — heck, if Milwaukee repeats as champions — we’ll look again at this recreation as a real turning level. If Boston comes again to win this sequence — and even the championship — we’ll level to this Game 5 and say the Celtics have been capable of decide themselves off the ground and rebound after such an emotional loss.

We have been fortunate to witness that as basketball followers. Game 6 is in Milwaukee on Friday. Don’t miss it.

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