Both the Milwaukee Bucks and the Boston Celtics are capable of winning titles this season. Anyone investing in the second-round series of the 2022 NBA playoffs understands this intuitively. The Celtics have been the hottest team in the league since February with a historic defense. The Bucks core proved itself by winning last year’s championship. It feels wrong for one of the teams to end their season in the second round, but that only makes this matchup even more shocking.
Even before Game 5, it was the most high-profile second-round series, and historically, the most meaningful game of any playoff series—at least in Game 7 before the game. When a series is tied 2-2 in the NBA playoffs, the person whose team wins Game 5 wins the series 83 percent of the time. With the series returning to Milwaukee for Game 6, there’s no denying that Wednesday night’s game will be immortal.
The Bucks-Celtics Game 5 wasn’t just hype — it gave us an instant classic that may finally be remembered for years to come. Milwaukee’s decisive 3-2 series lead at 110-107 has everything a great playoff game should have and more.
The Celtics led by 14 points in the fourth quarter. Milwaukee didn’t hold the lead from the second quarter and didn’t seem to have enough offensive firepower to win the game. Every moment of the fourth quarter felt frozen in time, but somehow the defending champion Bucks played more in the rest of the game to finish.
This game could be a turning point in Giannis’ era
Giannis Antetokounmpo has established himself as the best player in the world in the title race in 2021. Antetokounmpo suffered a horrific knee injury in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, but returned in the NBA Finals and dragged his team out of the 0-2 series hole to win the championship. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 50 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks in the Bucks’ sixth title win, and he conquered his personal demons at the free throw line on 17-for-19 shooting on the night. After the game, he drove through a fast food restaurant with the Larry O’Brien trophy.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had two MVPs and a Defensive Player of the Year trophy before last season, but watching him win a ring feels like officially cementing his status as the best living basketball player. It really feels like the Giannis League right now, but with even the greatest players of all time, the margin of error is very small.
Boston is definitely capable of beating the Bucks — especially with Milwaukee missing one of the “Big Three” with Khris Middleton out with a knee injury. The Celtics can certainly still win this series, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see them win a championship. But given the importance of winning Game 5 in history, the Bucks do have control now.
The Celtics could have undercut it considerably by winning Game 5. That’s the thinking of the Giannis era. They master the game. Somehow, the Bucks made a comeback with 40 points and 11 rebounds from the best player on the planet.
The Celtics felt like the better team throughout the series, but there’s no denying Giannis was the best player on the floor. At this point, it’s starting to feel like winning a championship means passing Giannis.
Jrue Holiday completes 2 Superman matches to win
Before last season, Holiday always felt like one of the most underrated stars of his generation. He’s arguably the best defensive back of this era, and he’s also capable of scoring 20 or 25 points on any given night. Holiday made some great contributions to the Bucks’ championship run last year, and now his legacy is seeing another shining moment.
With the Celtics trailing by a point, Marcus Smart received the foul with 11 seconds left and turned the corner for a go-ahead layup. He would have had it if it wasn’t for Holiday, he swooped from behind to block the shot and somehow kept it in bounds before throwing it off Smart for the Bucks to get ball. It really is an almighty.
After the Bucks made two free throws to extend their lead to three points, Smart received an inbounds pass and pushed the ball onto the court. Holiday was there to meet him and steal the ball to cement Milwaukee’s win.
This is the legendary way to win big games. What Holiday does has legitimate historical significance.
Jrue Holiday is the first player in the last 25 playoffs to block and steal within the final 10 seconds of the fourth quarter of the playoffs. pic.twitter.com/D9Mpu5jr9C
— ESPN stats and info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 12, 2022
This game has a lot of incredible games
Holiday’s double defensive gem will likely be the one that will stand the test of time in Game 5, but there are plenty of other game-changing moments.
How about Jayson Tatum’s fourth-quarter dunk?
Then there was this ridiculous Al Horford dunk that gave Boston a six-point lead with just over two minutes left.
Going into Game 5 of the series, Giannis went 2-for-16 from 3-point range. Usually, Giannis’ 3-pointer is hard to bear for Bucks fans, but after Horford’s tipped dunk, he made a huge 3-pointer to close the gap in less than two minutes. to three points. The remaining. Holiday followed, hitting another tough 3-pointer on the next possession to tie the game.
Finally, after Giannis missed a free throw, Bobby Portis put the Bucks ahead forever. Milwaukee scarred Boston on the offensive rebound all night, and this is the one that really hurts.
Milwaukee won the offensive rebounding battle 17-5. The Bucks also made 6 of 6 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. Again, both teams have very little room for error.
Either way, Game 5 will be a turning point.
If Milwaukee wins the series — oops, if Milwaukee wins again — we’ll see this game as a real turning point. If Boston comes back to win this series — or even a championship — we’ll mention this Game 5 and say the Celtics were able to pick themselves up off the floor and bounce back after such an emotional loss .
As basketball fans, we were fortunate enough to witness this. Game 6 is on Friday in Milwaukee. Don’t miss it.