MILWAUKEE – The Bucks needed either one more win or one more Boston Celtics loss to wrap up the NBA’s Eastern Conference top seed for the upcoming playoffs.
Boston did not do their part Wednesday night in beating Toronto, 97-93, but their win was made moot by Milwaukee’s 105-92 win over Chicago.
Going into the game, coach Mike Budenholzer knew he would be shorthanded with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Grayson Allen both on the bench with maintenance injuries. What the Milwaukee bench boss did not count on was only having Khris Middleton available for just over eight minutes before leaving the game late in the first quarter.
"A re-aggravation of kind of something that we've been working with him on all year," Budenholzer characterized the injury when asked about it by reporters after the game.
Bobby Portis started in the place of Giannis, finishing the game with 27 points and 13 rebounds.
The good news for the Bucks is they have two essentially meaningless games to rest their starters before the playoffs begin. Budenholzer downplayed his plan for the rest of the regular season, but it would be hard to blame him for resting his key players after a long year.
"Now we get to take a breath," Budenholzer admitted. "I have no idea what we'll do Friday and Sunday, but we'll take a breath tonight. The guys have earned it.”