Very predictably, the Milwaukee Bucks were swept by the Miami Heat in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Bucks were clearly not on the same level as Miami, and they were just lucky to get into the playoffs.
Reportedly, there are bigger problems for the Bucks than losing to the Heat. Monta Ellis and Larry Sanders, two of the team’s lead players, had to be separated from exchanging blows after a Game 3 loss. Via CBS:
Monta Ellis and Larry Sanders nearly came to blows in the locker room after Game 3 of Milwaukee’s first-round sweep at the hands of defending champion Miami, four people with knowledge of the confrontation told CBSSports.com.
Though the players had to be separated, the dust-up didn’t get serious enough to trigger disciplinary action for either player. One source described the confrontation as “just words between teammates in the locker room.” But the incident offered a glimpse into some troubling team dynamics as the Bucks navigate a critical offseason for the franchise.
After the Bucks lost 104-91 to the Heat in Milwaukee on April 25, Sanders vented in the locker room and said in a fiery speech, “We need to start playing together as a team and stop worrying about next year,” according to one of the people briefed on the confrontation. “We need to stop being selfish and start worrying about right now.”
Ellis “took umbrage,” according to another person with knowledge of the situation. Correctly assuming that Sanders’ comments were directed primarily at him and backcourt mate Brandon Jennings, who both are prospective free agents, Ellis approached Sanders and squared off with him, sources said. A teammate got between the two players and separated them before the conflict became physical.
Well, this is good news. I guess.
The Milwaukee roster needs some serious renovations, and this backs it up. When two of the players you’re trying to build around are about to fight, something should probably change.
For the Bucks sake, they need to keep Sanders and move on from Ellis.
–Mark Evans, Assistant Manager/Editor of Content
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