14 Jan

Bucks’ Malik Beasley says it will ‘not be pretty’ for Pacers if the two teams meet in the playoffs

The regular season series between the Milwaukee Bucks and Indiana Pacers concluded on Wednesday, but Malik Beasley has ensured that the feud between them will continue. During an interview with Chris Haynes on Friday, Beasley predicted a playoff showdown, which will “not be pretty” for the Pacers.

Beasley’s full comments:

“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. TJ 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. 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.”

Because they met in the inaugural In-Season Tournament semifinals, the Bucks and Pacers played five times this season, all within a two-month span.

Along the way, they developed a budding rivalry, which started in earnest when Haliburton sent them home in the IST and did Damian Lillard’s signature “Dame Time” celebration, and escalated to a near-brawl over a missing basketball and handshakes on Dec. 13. When they faced off again on Jan. 1 and 3, the Pacers won both contests to improve to 4-1 against the Bucks this season.

Styles make fights as the old boxing saying goes, and the Pacers’ fast-paced, high-powered offense has caused all sorts of problems for the Bucks’ beleagured defense. It would be fun to see how the elevated stakes of the playoffs change the matchup, and as Beasley noted, there’s a decent chance they meet in the first round.

The Bucks, as the more talented and experienced team, would certainly be favorites in that scenario, regardless of what we’ve seen so far, which makes Beasley’s comments confusing. There’s absolutely no upside to making them. Either the Bucks win a series they’re supposed to, or the Pacers pull off the upset, and this interview gets dug up and you get dunked on social media relentlessly.

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