Eastern Notes: Bucks, Holiday, Bulls, Reddish

The job isn’t done yet for the Bucks, who reached the NBA Finals this weekend for the first time since 1974, Eric Nehm of The Athletic writes.

Milwaukee swept Miami in the first round, defeated Brooklyn 4-3 in the second round and most recently beat Atlanta 4-2, but the team remains four wins away from achieving its goal: winning the NBA title.

“As a head coach, I feel fortunate to have been through this experience and kind of have seen it from a different seat (as an assistant with San Antonio), but now to do it as a head coach is special,” Mike Budenholzer said of making the Finals for the first time as a head coach.

“But it’s the players that do it. I love our group. I love coaching them. I’m happy for them. When I take a second tonight, when we take a second tonight, it’s really just joy and happiness for your players; that they put the work in, the time to get to this place, and just be happy for them.”

There’s more from the Eastern Conference tonight:

  • The Jrue Holiday gamble yielded a jackpot for the Bucks, Sopan Deb of the New York Times writes. Holiday poured in 27 points, nine rebounds and nine assists in the team’s series-clinching victory on Saturday, making a strong impact in the absence of Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee). The Bucks had to pay a steep price to acquire the 31-year-old last November: Eric Bledsoe, George Hill, two first-round picks, first-round swap rights in two years, and the draft rights to R.J. Hampton. To this point, it’s paid off.
  • ESPN’s Bobby Marks previews the Bulls‘ offseason, which is set to include important decisions related to Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen and others. “We place expectations on our team about winning games,” executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas said. “We are certainly not satisfied. But we will learn from it, adjust and make sure what did not go well does not happen again. We will continue being aggressive in our efforts to make this team better, whether that’s through trades, free agency or the draft.”
  • Hawks second-year guard Cam Reddish will play for the team during summer league next month, Sarah Spencer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets. Reddish missed most of the 2020/21 season due to injury, but the 21-year-old did finish with 21 points, three rebounds and three assists in the team’s Game 6 loss.
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