Bucks Reach In-Season Tournament Semifinals, Extend Home-Winning Streak to Nine

‣ The Milwaukee Bucks have reached the In-Season Tournament semifinals after defeating the New York Knicks 146 to 122, with significant contributions from Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard.
‣ The Bucks have extended their home-winning streak to nine games and achieved a season high in scoring, with a shooting percentage of over 60% both overall and from beyond the arc.
‣ NBA analyst Shaquille O’Neal has labeled the Bucks as his favorites to win the 2023/24 NBA title, emphasizing their potential to win the In-Season Tournament and their overall championship team structure.

Details

Milwaukee’s on the way to Vegas, folks. They’ve made it to the In-Season Tournament semifinals. How? By trouncing New York 146 to 122 on Tuesday night. It was a spectacle, with Giannis Antetokounmpo leading the charge with 35 points and 10 assists. Damian Lillard wasn’t far behind, contributing 28 points.

The Wisconsin franchise had a lot to cheer about. They extended their home-winning streak to nine games. But that’s not all. They also posted a season high in scoring. The stats? A whopping 60.5% (23 of 38) from beyond the arc, and 60.4% overall.

“Tonight was a huge step,” said coach Adrian Griffin. He’s got his eyes on Vegas, but he knows they’ve got work to do. “We’ve got two games to win there,” he reminded everyone. He was full of praise for his team, the bench, and the crowd. “It had all the makings of a playoff game,” he added.

Now, it’s Indiana Pacers up next on Thursday night. Griffin’s expecting a tough fight. “We expect their best, but when we are at our best, I love our chances,” he said confidently.

Lillard’s got a clear goal for Vegas. He’s aiming for the first-ever In-Season Tournament title. He believes it’ll set the tone for the rest of the campaign. “You come out of this thing on top, I think it’s a pretty strong statement,” he said.

But Lillard thinks they could’ve done even better on Tuesday. “We missed free throws. We missed some shots in the paint. It could have easily been a 165-point game,” he mused. He’s confident about their potential. “I do think that we have that type of explosiveness,” he added.

On the other side, Julius Randle scored a season-high 41 points for the Knicks. But it wasn’t enough. They lost their first game in four matches. Jalen Brunson, who scored 24, admitted they lacked defensive pressure. “They hit a lot of shots. They got comfortable. It’s on us to make them uncomfortable,” he said.

Shaquille O’Neal’s got his eyes on the Bucks too. He recently labelled Milwaukee as his favorites to win the 2023/24 NBA title. “This team right here is my favorite to win the championship,” he said during Tuesday night’s TNT pregame show.

He’s got high praise for the team. “This team is built for championships, you have a great big-man, you have a great closer—a guy who is a great free-throw shooter—and you have two others who can give you high point games in Middleton and Lopez,” he explained.

O’Neal’s advice to the Wisconsin franchise? Start “sending messages” by winning the NBA In-Season Tournament. “They should start sending the messages now,” he said. “If you can win the in-season tournament and then the Larry O’Brien that just shows everyone that you have really been focused all season. … They have the perfect championship team,” he concluded.

James Shotwell
James Shotwell
James, a dedicated writer for BasketballHour, holds a degree in English and Creative Writing. A genuine sports enthusiast and skilled betting advice provider, he writes engaging articles and valuable winning strategies for sports.

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