Heading into the NBA playoffs there were a lot of intriguing matchups, but in my opinion the most intriguing of all the matchups in the Eastern Conference was the up and coming Milwaukee Bucks going head to head against the Atlanta Hawks.
Over the last few years, the Atlanta Hawks have gone from just another good team in the league to a possible title contender. With All-Star guard Joe Johnson, defensive beast Josh Smith and arguably the best sixth man in the league in sharp shooting Jamal Crawford, the Hawks have quickly been able to create some much needed team chemistry and a winning combination in Atlanta.
As for the Milwaukee Bucks, they have had arguably their most successful season in quite some time with some star players emerging to lead the struggling franchise in the future.
No player has had more of an impact for the Milwaukee Bucks this season than rookie point guard Brandon Jennings. Before Jennings was drafted by the Bucks in last year’s draft, the lightening quick point guard had to play in Italy in order to prepare for the NBA as he hadn’t reached to the age requirement just yet.
There was a lot of speculation on whether or not Jennings could be a force to be reckoned with in the NBA, but this season he is proved that he is exactly that with his dynamic scoring ability and veteran like leadership.
As a result of Brandon Jennings’ success in his rookie season, the Bucks have reemerged as one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference. Not only was Jennings’ contribution to the team huge to say the least, but he also had some help in the form of center Andrew Bogut and the newly acquired John Salmons from the Chicago Bulls.
Even though Brandon Jennings has gotten most of the credit for the Milwaukee Bucks impressive season, both Bogut and Salmons have had arguably their best seasons of their NBA career and have helped turn the franchise around.
When the Bucks were set to face the Hawks in the first round of the playoffs, Atlanta was the clear favorite to advance, but Milwaukee was not going to back down as they had every intention to give them a run for their money.
Unfortunately, the first two games of the series ended in two straight losses for the Milwaukee Bucks, but in game three they were able to get on the board with a convincing 18 point victory 107-89.
Even though the Atlanta Hawks are still favored to win this series, the Bucks will have a chance to even up the series in game four on their home floor before heading back to Atlanta.
The key to the game three victory for the Bucks was the inspired play of John Salmons who scored a team high 22 points and dished out seven assists. Not only was Salmons finally able to get going in this series against the Hawks, but he shot an impressive nine for 11 from the floor.
If Salmons can keep up this kind of production and Brandon Jennings can get going like he did in game one, the Milwaukee Bucks have a great chance of making this a competitive series and possibly pulling off the unlikely upset.