The Milwaukee Bucks were an instant success when they joined the league, winning a championship in just their third season and reaching the finals again three years later.
Nearly 40 years later, they finally have a shot at another title.
The Milwaukee Bucks beat the Atlanta Hawks 118-107 Saturday in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals, sending the Bucks to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1974. Game 1 against the Phoenix Suns will take place Tuesday night in Phoenix. Incredibly, there were no lead changes over the final three games of the series.
Fortunately for the Bucks, the team didn’t even need Giannis Antetokounmpo to lock up their spot. The two-time MVP missed his second straight game with a knee injury, but Middleton & Co. had his back.
Jrue Holiday added 27 points and four other players scored in double figures to lead the Bucks to victory.
“These guys have put the work in all year. They deserve to go to the finals,” said Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer.
With a trip to the NBA Finals, the Bucks rekindled memories of the franchise’s early years when Milwaukee made a big splash led by two of the game’s greatest players, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson.
The duo led the team to its only NBA title in 1971. The Bucks returned to finals in ’74, only to lose to the Boston Celtics in seven games.
Robertson retired after that season and Abdul-Jabbar was dealt a year later to the Los Angeles Lakers, ending Milwaukee’s run as a glamour franchise.
Now, the Bucks are back in the finals with a whole new group of stars. As they proved in the last two games against the Hawks, they’re certainly more than the Greek Freak.