Freeman Cebu Sports

Tale of two teams the 1971 Milwaukee Bucks

SPORTS EYE - Raffy Uytiepo - The Freeman

In 1968, the Milwaukee Bucks occupied the cellar of the NBA Eastern Conference with a 27 win 55 loss record (Phoenix was also dead last in the Western Division, winning only 16 games while losing 66.  After Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul Jabbar) graduated from UCLA in 1969, the Bucks signed him for a $1.4 million, four-year contract.  From last place, Alcindor lifted the Bucks into the playoffs with a 56-26 record. They went as far as the semifinals, but the New York Knicks knocked them off. Alcindor was named Rookie of the Year.  Before the start of the 1970-71 season, the Cincinnati Royals gifted the Bucks with Oscar Robertson, another Rookie of the Year, who  has never won a title. Milwaukee also got valuable support from Lucius Allen, Bob Dandridge, Robert Boozer, Greg Smith and Jin McGlocklin. Meanwhile, the Baltimore Bullets (now known as the Washington Wizards, were the leader in the Central Division and dispatched Philadelphia and ruled the Eastern Conference by beating New York, 4-3. The Bullets were led by Wes Enseld, John Tresvant, Kevin Loughery and team captain Gus Johnson.  When it was all over, Milwaukee was king of the NBA, sweeping the Bullets, 4-0. The Bucks held the Bullets to 88 points in Game One, 83 points in Game Two and massacred them 151-99 in Game 3. The Bucks then finished the Bullets 118-106 in Game 4. Alcindor was awarded a sports car after being voted the MVP in the play off but Baltimore Coach Gene Sue said it should have been Robertson. But Bucks Coach Larry Costello didn’t agree and said Lew and Oscar should have been co-MVPs. It was the first time in league history that two rookies of the year had played for a championship. The Bucks won the crown all because former Celtic great Bob Cousy, coach of the Cincinnati Royals, couldn’t get along with Oscar Robertson and shipped him to the Bucks. Alcindor averaged 27 ppg in the championship round while Robertson followed with 25.5 ppg.

The 2021 Milwaukee Bucks

It’s finally over except the yelling. The Bucks are champions again after 50 long years, defeating the Phoenix Suns in Game 6. The Bucks won the best-of- seven NBA Finals by becoming only the fifth team to win the title after losing the first two games. Giannis Antetokoumpo was unstoppable scoring 50 points, the only the seventh player in Finals history to do so. The Greek Freak, who was coming off from an injury but showed no signs of slowing down, hauled down 14 rebounds while blocking 5 shots, mostly on Suns’ star Devin Booker. Antetokounmpo was also the Finals MVP to match Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon as the only players to win MVP Finals and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season. Antetokounmpo, who is not a good free throw shooter, shot 17 of 19 from the stripe. Again, clutch shots by Khris Middleton, who scored 17points, helped the Bucks in the dying minutes. Jrue Holiday wasn’t too explosive, scoring only 12 points but was outstanding in defense. Bobby Portis also performed well as he tallied 16 points off the bench. It was a heart-breaking loss for Phoenix, especially Chris Paul who at 36, has yet to win an NBA ring. The Suns missed the chance to annex its first crown in their 53-year  history.  Paul scored 26 points while Booker and Jae Crowder tallied 19 and and 15 points, respectively in a losing effort. Congratulations to the Bucks and maybe the Suns will shine again next season.

Hasta la vista Bobit 

The last time Bobit Avila and I talked, he told me he has stopped biking (big bike) after his kidney transplant. A sports buff himself being a  big supporter of the PADS Dragon Boat Racing Team, he was updated with my sport, marathon. Being also in the entertainment world, he was also updated with my Elvisaya gigs. We also talked about food since he managed Chika-an while I managed Casa Ilongga. Hasta La Vista Bobit, Rest In Peace.  Condolence to the family of my nephew Toki Uytiepo who was buried Sunday in Iloilo City and my deepest sympathies to Kit Matus for the sudden demise of Rey Cortes, may he get justice. It seems a lot of people are dying these days, so be careful everyone. Stay safe and healthy.

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