The Milwaukee Bucks have put the Boston Celtics out of their misery and won the Eastern Conference semifinal four games to one with a human 116 – 91 win.
The game was never in doubt, as the Bucks outscored the Celtics in every quarter.
Boston won their opening series with the Indiana Pacers, but Indiana was the worst fifth seed ever and objectively, below the top three in the Eastern Conference, the other five teams to qualify for the playoffs were borderline lottery candidates.
The Detroit Pistons were served as a sacrificial offering to Milwaukee in the first round. The Pistons qualified with a 41 – 41 regular season record.
Were we naïve, we would ask why a league with 30 franchises has playoffs with 16 teams.
The other three series, however, are dramatic in the extreme.
Toronto has taken a three games to two advantage over the Philadelphia 76ers. Denver is in a similar position against the Portland Trail Blazers, but we would be surprised if either Denver or Toronto can close out a series on their opponents’ home floors.
The Houston Rockets and the Golden State Warriors’ series is an epic in the making. Golden State has Houston of the brink with a three games to two advantage, but they seem to have developed a sense of mercy and fair play, as they jumped out to a big lead in the first quarter of game five before permitting Houston to earn a tie at the end of the third quarter.
Game six will be in Houston and the Warriors are actually seven-point underdogs in game six, which will be played in Houston.
Golden State has some stress over the availability of Kevin Durant. He left game five with a calf strain in the third quarter and given the closeness of the series, it is hard to imagine Golden State closing out the Rockets in Houston without a big performance by Durant.
Maybe Bogie can fill in for Durant…