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One step closer to Bucks-Warriors Final


MILWAUKEE Bucks today joined reigning champion Golden State Warriors with a 1-0 lead in their Conference Finals to move the clubs within three wins apiece of a landmark NBA Finals for Don Nelson and Andrew Bogut.

Golden State went 1-0 up on Portland with a comfortable 116-94 home win in the Western Conference, and did it without Kevin Durant (calf injury) while Milwaukee today came from behind to hold off Toronto 108-100 in the East.

Nelson, who turned 79 yesterday, coached Milwaukee from 1976 to 1987, an 11-year run in which they missed the playoffs twice.

Compiling a 540-344 record at Milwaukee, "Nellie" had players such as Sidney Moncrief, Bob Lanier, Marques Johnson, Harvey Catchings, Junior Bridgeman and Ricky Pierce, among other greats during his watch.

Unfortunately for him though, during that same period, Boston Celtic had guys such as Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Dennis Johnson and Co, Philadelphia 76ers boasted Dr J (Julius Erving), Moses Malone, Andrew Toney, Bobby Jones, Maurice Cheeks, while the New York Knicks had a handy forward named Bernard King.

TWO REASONS NELSON'S BUCKS DIDN'T GET OUT OF THE EAST: Larry Bird and Julius Erving.

From 1988 to 1995, Nelson helmed the ship at Golden State Warriors, installing a run-and-gun style  using an unconventional lineup featuring three guards - Mitch Richmond, Tim Hardaway and Lithuanian superstar Sarunas Marciulionis - with two forwards, namely Chris Mullin and the 202cm Rod Higgins at centre.

The Warriors enjoyed a 23-game turnaround from their previous season, marched back into the playoffs and his lineup became universally identified as "Run TMC". He was named NBA Coach of the Year a third time in the 1991-92 season.

Nelson had a second stint as GSW head coach from 2006-2010, with a crew of Baron Davis, Monta Ellis, Matt Barnes, Jason Richardson, and Latvian superstar Andris Biedri?š, trading for Al Harrington and Stephen Jackson.

SECOND STINT: Don Nelson with Monta Ellis at GSW. Ellis was traded for Andrew Bogut.

In 11 years as Golden State coach, Nelson's record is 422-443. His overall record as an NBA head coach is 1335-1063, giving him the most wins in the league's history.

Both Harrington (2015) and Jackson (1998) played NBL for Sydney Kings, just as Bogut did in the 2018-19 season, scoring league MVP honours.

Now concluding this NBA season back with Golden State, Bogut in 2005 became Australia's first No.1 NBA Draft Pick when he was selected by ... Milwaukee Bucks.

He was a star with the Bucks for seven years before being traded to the Warriors for Ellis, who had built his own cult following in Oakland by that time.

Bogut was a big part of the GSW rebuild which saw the club win the first of its recent run of championships in the 2014-15 season and the emergence of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green as stars.

GIVING SOME CURRY: Andrew Bogut and Steph Curry celebrate another Warriors win.

Traded after the 2015-16 season so the Warriors could accommodate Durant, Bogut's return there this season post-NBL makes him synonymous with the club.

And with Milwaukee.

Just like Nelson.

Sure, Nellie also coached at Dallas Mavericks and New York Knicks, while Bogut also was on the Dallas Mavericks roster before the abortive one-game at Cleveland Cavaliers and brief time at the LA Lakers.

NELLIE AND CURRY: Don Nelson with young Stephen Curry before the latter changed the game.

A Milwaukee Bucks-Golden State Warriors NBA Finals would be something partricularly special for these two international basketball identities.

Of course, there's a lot of water to flow under those bridges in Toronto and Portland yet.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

FIRST ROUND
MILWAUKEE BUCKS (1) v DETROIT PISTONS (8)

Game 1: Bucks 121, Pistons 86
Game 2: Bucks 120, Pistons 99
Game 3: Bucks 119, Pistons 103
Game 4: Bucks 127, Pistons 104
Bucks sweep series 4-0
BOSTON CELTICS (4) v INDIANA PACERS (5)
Game 1: Celtics 84, Pacers 74
Game 2: Celtics 99, Pacers 91
Game 3: Celtics 104, Pacers 96
Game 4: Celtics 110, Pacers 106
Celtics sweep series 4-0
TORONTO RAPTORS (2) v ORLANDO MAGIC (7)

Game 1: Magic 104, Raptors 101
Game 2: Raptors 111, Magic 82
Game 3: Raptors 98, Magic 93
Game 4: Raptors 107, Magic 84
Game 5: Raptors 115, Magic 96
Raptors win series 4-1
PHILADELPHIA 76ERS (3) v BROOKLYN NETS (6)

Game 1: Nets 111, 76ers 102
Game 2: 76ers 145, Nets 123
Game 3: 76ers 131, Nets 115
Game 4: 76ers 112, Nets 108
Game 5: 76ers 122, Nets 100
76ers win series 4-1

SEMI FINALS
MILWAUKEE BUCKS v BOSTON CELTICS

Game 1: Celtics 112, Bucks 90
Game 2: Bucks 123, Celtics 102
Game 3: Bucks 123, Celtics 116
Game 4: Bucks 113, Celtics 101
Game 5: Bucks 116, Celtics 91
Bucks win series 4-1
TORONTO RAPTORS v PHILADELPHIA 76ERS
Game 1: Raptors 108, 76ers 95
Game 2: 76ers 94, Raptors 89
Game 3: 76ers 116, Raptors 95
Game 4: Raptors 101, 76ers 96
Game 5: Raptors 125, 76ers 89
Game 6: 76ers 112, Raptors 101
Game 7: Raptors 92, 76ers 90
Raptors win series 4-3

FINAL
MILWAUKEE BUCKS v TORONTO RAPTORS
Game 1: Bucks 108, Raptors 100
Bucks lead 1-0

 

WESTERN CONFERENCE

FIRST ROUND
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (1) v LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS (8)

Game 1: Warriors 121, Clippers 104
Game 2: Clippers 135, Warriors 131
Game 3: Warriors 132, Clippers 105
Game 4: Warriors 113, Clippers 105
Game 5: Warriors 129, Clippers 110
Warriors win series 4-1
HOUSTON ROCKETS (4) v UTAH JAZZ (5)

Game 1: Rockets 122, Jazz 90
Game 2: Rockets 118, Jazz 98
Game 3: Rockets 104, Jazz 101
Game 4: Jazz 107, Rockets 91
Game 5: Rockets 100, Jazz 93
Rockets win series 4-1
DENVER NUGGETS (2) v SAN ANTONIO SPURS (7)
Game 1: Spurs 101, Nuggets 96
Game 2: Nuggets 114, Spurs 105
Game 3: Spurs 118, Nuggets 108
Game 4: Nuggets 117, Spurs 103
Game 5: Nuggets 108, Spurs 90
Game 6: Spurs 120, Nuggets 103
Game 7: Nuggets 90, Spurs 86
Nuggets win series 4-3
PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS (3) v OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER (6)
Game 1: Trail Blazers 104, Thunder 99
Game 2: Trail Blazers 114, Thunder 94
Game 3: Thunder 120, Trail Blazers 108
Game 4: Trail Blazers 111, Thunder 98
Game 5: Trail Blazers 118, Thunder 115
Blazers win series 4-1

SEMI FINALS
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS v HOUSTON ROCKETS

Game 1: Warriors 104, Rockets 100
Game 2: Warriors 115, Rockets 109
Game 3: Rockets 126, Warriors 121
Game 4: Rockets 112, Warriors 108
Game 5: Warriors 104, Rockets 99
Game 6: Warriors 118, Rockets 113
Warriors win series 4-2
DENVER NUGGETS v PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS
Game 1: Nuggets 121, Trail Blazers 113
Game 2: Trail Blazers 97, Nuggets 90
Game 3: Trail Blazers 140, Nuggets 137 (4OT)
Game 4: Nuggets 116, Trail Blazers 112
Game 5: Nuggets 124, Trail Blazers 98
Game 6: Trail Blazers 119, Nuggets 108
Game 7: Trail Blazers 100, Nuggets 96
Trail Blazers win series 4-3

FINAL
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS v PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS
Game 1: Warriors 116, Trail Blazers 94
Warriors lead 1-0

TOMORROW: Joey Wright on why the 36ers will be better in the 2019-20 NBL season.

May 16

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