The Milwaukee Bucks have the second-best record in the Eastern Conference. The 2021 NBA Finals champions currently sit at 25-10, but the Indiana Pacers are responsible for four of their 10 defeats.
Milwaukee’s most recent loss to Indiana happened on Wednesday. The Pacers scored 47 points in the third quarter to pull away and ultimately secured the 142-130 victory. The game also marked the final time the Eastern Conference foes would match up in the 2023-24 regular season.
Despite the team’s recent struggles against the Pacers, Bucks guard Malik Beasley boldly predicted that “it’s not gonna be pretty for” Indiana if they match up with Milwaukee in the postseason.
During an interview with TNT’s and Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes, Beasley said the Pacers team was “unorthodox” but admitted that the Pacers have “had their number” this season.
“Their whole team to me is unorthodox. Even the way [Tyrese] Haliburton shoots, how he plays. He’s not your average point guard. He’s [6-foot-6] almost, at the point guard position, doing what he’s doing. Then you got guys like Buddy Hield. T.J. McConnell, man, he comes in and kills the game. It’s honestly crazy how much of an impact he is.
“I think it comes down to, for us, how they got our number, there’s certain teams that just [have] your number. We’re still trying to figure that out, because I know we’re gonna play them in the playoffs and, boy, it’s not gonna be pretty. It’s not gonna be pretty for them.”
Beasley is in his first season with the Bucks. He spent the 2022-23 season with the Lakers. Prior to his run with Los Angeles, Beasley enjoyed a three-year stint with the Timberwolves.
He recalled a couple of playoff showdowns from his time with the Timberwolves and Lakers.
“This reminds me of Memphis-Minnesota, Lakers-Memphis, we played them four, five times a year, and then we played them in the playoffs. The way the league’s shaping up right now, I think we’re gonna play them in the playoffs at 2-7 or 1-8. So we’ll see.”
The inaugural NBA In-Season tournament allowed the Pacers and Bucks to face off a total of five times this season. The two teams battled in the tournament semifinals, with the Pacers ultimately prevailing.
After the game, Haliburton started doing Damian Lillard’s signature “Dame Time” celebration. A brawl then nearly erupted when Bucks players attempted to chase down the Pacers as they searched for the game ball for Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The Pacers and Bucks also met on New Year’s Day and again on January 3.
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