It’s always so abrupt. The moment a season with championship aspirations ends short of a title.
What happened to the Milwaukee Bucks had nothing to do with effort. It had everything to do with performance and philosophy.
Role players asked to carry a heavier load in the absence of Khris Middleton, struggled.
A defensive game plan that dared the Celtics to shoot open three-point shots, flopped.
A super-human, series-long effort from Giannis lacked the usual efficiency.
The minutes played without Giannis on the floor, were miserable.
Maybe the series would have been different with a healthy Middleton. Role players could have remained in their lane and the stars could be stars.
Minus Middleton, the Bucks missed a guy who could just go get a bucket. Minus Middleton, Mike Budenholzer was forced, at times, to have just one of their big three on the floor.
There is nothing easy about winning an NBA title, and luck was not on the Bucks side this post-season.
Timing is everything.