Milwaukee Bucks

Made to Chill presented by Coors Light: Milwaukee Bucks punch ticket to 2021 NBA Playoffs

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The Bucks are headed to the 2021 NBA Playoffs (NBA Illustration)

For the fifth straight year, the Milwaukee Bucks are heading to the NBA Playoffs.

Milwaukee punched its ticket to the postseason on Tuesday night when it earned a second-consecutive win over the Brooklyn Nets.

After a moment that's Made to Chill, the Bucks' focus can shift to the ultimate goal of an NBA title.

Time to show and prove

Two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is set to return to the postseason stage for the sixth time of his eight-year career.

Year after year, Giannis continues to improve his game in many ways, racking up accolade after accolade in the process. Last year, he became just the third player ever to win MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season and this year, he picked up All-Star MVP honours while crossing the 12,000-point plateau.

And while he continues to set himself apart with these achievements, Antetokounmpo's eyes are on the title.

It's important to note that while he's been one of the league's top players for years now, Giannis is still just 26 years old and the elusive title almost feels inevitable at some point. He might not have even entered his prime yet.

But with great accolades come great expectations, and Antetokounmpo will be looked upon to get his team to the next level this year. After coming up short in 2019 and 2020, Antetokounmpo will again be on a mission with his sights set on the main prize of an NBA title.

It'll be a sight to see.

The new additions

This isn't the same Bucks team that suffered disappointing postseason exits the past two seasons.

Milwaukee has added two key proven playoff performers in Jrue Holiday and P.J. Tucker, who each bring it on the defensive end, where championships are won. Offensively, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better corner shooter than Tucker, while Holiday is averaging over 17 points and just under six assists per contest for the Bucks this year.

When rotations get tighter and the stakes get higher, the Bucks will know they can rely on Holiday and Tucker. Don't be surprised when Holiday sways the outcome of a postseason series with his presence on both ends of the floor.

As for the extended rotation, Milwaukee has also benefitted from Bryn Forbes, Bobby Portis and Jeff Teague, three players that can make enough winning plays to impact a game, and they've all done it on the playoff stage before.

I won't go as far as to list the improved Donte DiVincenzo and Thanasis Antetokounmpo as new players but their respective improvements add a different dynamic than in years past.

50 years later…

Who doesn't appreciate a good storyline?

This season marks the 50th anniversary of the Bucks' first and only NBA title, powered by a trio of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Oscar Robertson and Bob Dandridge. 50 years later, a trio of Antetokounmpo, Holiday and Khris Middleton, look to repeat history by getting Milwaukee back to the NBA's mountaintop.

There's no time like the present for history to repeat itself.

In addition to making the necessary roster improvements, Milwaukee has encountered the postseason roadblocks that are seemingly a prerequisite to winning an NBA title. After two years of coming up short at the East's top seed, the Bucks might find that the third time as the charm, and potentially the third seed, too.

Regardless of where it finishes, Milwaukee has got its sight on an NBA title and the personnel to make it happen…

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