The Milwaukee Bucks know the playoffs await them, but now it’s just a matter of what seed they will get and who they will play in the first round.
Monday night helped clear up the picture a little bit, as they defeated the Charlotte Hornets 89-79 and clinched at least the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference.
Head coach Jason Kidd was pleased with the way his team played, shooting 57 percent from three, playing great defense and sharing the ball on offense.
“The shooting was great. (Jason Terry) was great,” Kidd said. “(Terry, Khris Middleton and Tony Snell) shoots together and it looks like they were at practice shooting together today. No one panicked and we got everyone in the game tonight. We came out of this with a win and healthy.”
Terry, Snell and Middleton combined for 46 points and shot 13-for-17 from distance.
Terry, an 18-year veteran, NBA champion and former teammate of Kidd, was brought in this offseason to help bring leadership to a young Bucks team.
“It just shows if you know how to play, you can play in this league,” Kidd said. “And if you take care of yourself and do all the right things, you can live in this league for a long time and have an impact, no matter what age. He’s helping the younger guys understand what it means to be successful and to be a pro in this league.”
Giannis Antetokounmpo had himself a pretty good night too, finishing with his third triple-double of the season. He scored 10 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out 10 assists.
“He has a triple-double, which is kind of cool,” Jason said. “He’s been hovering around nine assists of late. Jet (Terry) tried and then Khris steps up (with a three) and gets him that 10th assist. It just shows the maturity of our group and the awareness of what is happening around them.”
The Bucks entered the fourth quarter down 66-61, but got an 11-point outburst from Greg Monroe and outscored the Hornets by 15.
“It was kind of like the Philly game,” J-Kidd said. “We were never going to panic, no one was nervous or thought we were going to lose, we just needed to make a couple shots and Jet picked it up for us.”
It’s win number 42 for the Bucks, giving the team its first winning record since the 2009-10 season.
“Well that’s the big thing, no matter what seed you are we’re talking about the culture and having a winning record. That’s big, and we did that,” J-Kidd said. “This is the start of the process of trying to change the culture here and having a winning atmosphere and it started with our record but it also starts with that group in that locker room. They worked extremely hard to put themselves in this position and they’re deserving of everything they get right now.”
With the win, the Bucks secured themselves at least the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. They currently sit a half-game behind the Atlanta Hawks for the fifth seed. The Bucks will play either the Washington Wizards or Toronto Raptors in the first round of the playoffs.
However, first the Bucks will end the regular season on Wednesday night against the Boston Celtics.