A strong second half gave the Milwaukee Bucks a 96-73 win over the Brooklyn Nets, clinching the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference in the process.
The Bucks–not a playoff team coming into the season in many eyes–will face either the Toronto Raptors or Chicago Bulls in the first round.
In Jason Kidd’s first year as head coach (second overall), the Bucks were thought to be rebuilding. While they are, they’re experiencing success at the same time.
Jabari Parker, the N0. 2 overall pick in the NBA draft this past season, missed much of the year with a torn ACL. The Bucks traded starting point guard and leading scorer Brandon Knight. Yet, the Bucks rebounded from a franchise-worst 67 loss season to something to actually watch on the court.
Milwaukee received balanced efforts all year from guys like Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo and O.J. Mayo. It’s hard to credit just one person, as eight players have a PER above the league average of 15.0.
A lot of the credit has to go to Kidd. The Bucks are third in defensive efficiency, taking advantage of a strength with all of the length the Bucks can put on the court. Kidd is the first coach to take two different teams to the NBA playoffs in his first two seasons as a head coach.