High atop the outside of Fiserv Forum, way above even a leaping Giannis Antetokounmpo's reach, blares the Bucks' postseason motto.
“HISTORY IN THE MAKING” it reads, a sign and a situation that's now impossible to ignore. And yet, that's exactly what the Bucks are trying to do.
They can indeed make history Tuesday night at 7 p.m. ET as Milwaukee's first NBA champion since 1971. But the Bucks have to resist thinking about what happens if they beat the Phoenix Suns in Game 6.
“It’s hard because you work so hard to be in that moment, which is tomorrow,” Antetokounmpo said Monday. “It’s hard not to get ahead of yourself. But this is the time that you've got to be the most disciplined.”
The Bucks have won the last three games to set up a potential party 50 years in the making.
Around 17,000 fans are expected inside the arena and the Bucks announced Monday that the Deer District has been expanded to allow up to 65,000 fans to stand shoulder-to-shoulder outside.
Barricades line the sidewalks around the arena and restaurants within walking distance were contemplating how to get employees into and back home from work through the anticipated crowds.
It's a scene that couldn't have happened for much of this season that has been played during the coronavirus pandemic. The Bucks only began permitting a limited number of fans at games in February, nearly two months after the season began.
Even when postseason play started in May, capacity was capped at 9,100, a little above 50%.
If the Suns do win Tuesday, they would bring the series back to Phoenix for Game 7 on Thursday.
"And we get a chance to determine the outcome," Suns star Chris Paul said. "It’s not like the game is going to be simulated or somebody else's got to play. We get a chance. We control our own destiny. So I think that’s the exciting part about it.”
This story was originally published by Jay Strubberg at Newsy, with contributions from The Associated Press.