2021 NBA Eastern Conference Champions
Several popular summer events in Milwaukee were postponed or cancelled this year. However the Wisconsin sporting scene has provided its own fireworks. It seemed darkest just before dawn when Giannis Antetokounmpo went down with a hyperextended knee, but the rest of the Milwaukee Bucks stepped up over the next two games and claimed the NBA Eastern Conference Championship with a 118-107 Game 6 win in Atlanta.
The game was tight in the first half before fellow United States Olympians Kris Middleton and Jrue Holiday took over. With Trae Young active but far less than 100 percent, the Hawks still rallied in the fourth quarter before falling short. The Bucks open as decided underdogs against the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals. The series opens in Phoenix with games on Tuesday and Thursday. It will mark the first championship series involving a Milwaukee franchise since the 1982 World Series. Meanwhile the Milwaukee Brewers steamrolled to their 11th consecutive victory with an easy 11-2 win in Pittsburgh. The team nearly batted around six times, producing 16 hits and coaxing nine walks. The win streak marks the second longest in regular season franchise history. Taking advantage of a recent schedule featuring bottom-feeders Arizona, Colorado and Pittsburgh, the Brewers have seen their National League Central Division lead swell to eight games over the Cincinnati Reds, who have leapfrogged the Chicago Cubs for second place. The Bucks NBA Finals appearance culminates a decade of Wisconsin professional sports teams constantly knocking on the door, but falling short in the playoffs. Since 2011 the Green Bay Packers had dropped four conference title games, the Brewers had lost two National League Championship Series and the Bucks fell to the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 Eastern Conference Final. But for one glorious holiday weekend the curses of Brandon Bostick and Yasiel Puig have been gently laid to rest. The Brewers once famously extended a winning streak to 12 on Easter Sunday, can they do the same on the Fourth of July?