BucksCap: Antetokounmpo & Middleton Come Up Big Late & Beat the Celtics
While there are many unknowns about Milwaukee’s baseball team, the basketball team took center stage on Friday night. Milwaukee Bucks, the top team in the NBA, returned to the hardwood in Orlando. Milwaukee faced off against the Boston Celtics, a budding rival. Milwaukee and Boston battled down to the wire in the final quarter until Bucks took control late when it mattered the most. Giannis finished with 16 points in the fourth quarter and helped close out the Celtics. Bucks inched closer to clinching the overall number one spot in the Eastern Conference.
Player of the Game: Giannis Antetokounmpo – I’m not surprised that Giannis gets the POG spot for the first game back. He scored 36 points, 15 rebounds, and 7 assists. Without Al Horford, Giannis is no match for Boston. He dominated the lane and got whatever he wanted last night. Giannis looked like he had not lost a step during the quarantine and looks primed for the playoffs.
Honorable Mention: Brook Lopez – I liked what Khris Middleton did down the stretch, but Lopez had a nice game that should not be lost in the shuffle. Lopez scored 14 points with six blocks and two made threes. Lopez’s defense was the real star for this game. He could not be moved from the middle of the paint. Also, the three-point stroke from Lopez looks very good and could be a huge x-factor come playoff time.
One Thing to Know: Bucks’ depth was lacking last night – Without Eric Bledsoe, Pat Connaughton, and Marvin Williams, Bucks did not look sharp as a second unit. Bledsoe is a starter, but it elevated Donte DiVencenzo to the starting lineup thus taking away from his work with the second unit. It sounds like all three players should be back at some point in the restart. If the Bucks get injury issues during the playoffs, they go from a dominant team to a great team.
Next up: Bucks’ pseudo revenge tour continues with Houston on Sunday night. James Harden and Giannis is a great rivalry that should be heating up on Sunday. Rockets played an overtime thriller after Bucks, so, I imagined there will be a little bit of fatigue.