So the Milwaukee Bucks are back in the postseason for the first time since 2010 and just the second time in the last eight years. It's unfamiliar territory for many of the players, although Marquis Daniels has played in 62 playoff games with Dallas and Boston and J.J. Redick has played in 44 during his time with Orlando. Monta Ellis' last playoff appearance - and only one - occurred in 2007 when he was a second-year pro with the Golden State Warriors. That was the eighth-seeded team that shocked top-seeded Dallas in the first round before losing to Utah in a second-round series. Brandon Jennings, Ersan llyasova and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute gained their only playoff experience in the Bucks' seven-game, first-round series against Atlanta in 2010, in the "Fear the Deer" year. Even veteran Mike Dunleavy has played in just one playoff series, in 2011 with the Indiana Pacers. Thanks to the Bucks' 100-83 victory over Toronto on Saturday night, the team has clinched its spot and has 12 days to prepare for what lies ahead. Milwaukee has six regular-season games left and begins a four-game trip at Miami on Tuesday night. It appears the Bucks will be seeded eighth in the Eastern Conference order and will face a formidable matchup against the defending league champion Miami Heat. There's still a slim chance Milwaukee (37-39) could catch Boston for the seventh spot, meaning a matchup against the New York Knicks or Indiana Pacers. The Bucks have not fared well against New York (0-3) this season and have struggled against the physical Pacers, although the teams split the season series, 2-2. "Those are all really, really good teams," Bucks coach Jim Boylan said. "We'll do what we have to do against whoever it is we play." Milwaukee trails the Celtics by 2 1/2 games after Boston defeated Washington, 107-96, on Sunday. The Bucks hold the tiebreaker with the Celtics by virtue of winning the season series. If the Celtics go 1-4 in their final five, the Bucks will have to go 4-2 to claim the No. 7 spot. "You never know what could happen," Redick said. "You could get hot and maybe some teams rest guys, you can win a few in a row. "But I think our concern would have to be getting better, no matter what happens. We're in the playoffs and we have to be playing our best basketball come April 20."
Inexperienced Bucks prepare for playoffs
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Apr 8