BucksCap: Milwaukee Mows Down Orlando In Best Bubble Performance
Milwaukee Bucks knew they needed to come out and make a statement. They did just that. In the first quarter, Milwaukee held Orlando to 13 points and Orlando missed 21 of their first 24 shots. Orlando went over seven minutes with a basket. Magic are not a good offensive team and it showed early on. While the Magic did try to scrap back into this game, Milwaukee shut them down. Bucks were able to be victorious in this one winning 111-96. Despite the late efforts from the Magic, Milwaukee found enough daggers to close it out.
Player of the Game: Giannis Antetokounmpo – What a night for the Greek Freak. He scored 28 points and pulled down 20 rebounds. He played with a sense of urgency from the jump. Mitch, my podcast co-host, criticized him for going too fast at one point in the first half, and to me, I wanted him to go 1000 miles a minute. The guy looked completely dialed in. As I noted on my podcast on Wednesday, it was good for Milwaukee to lose because it woke the collective team up. They looked like the bunch that was pushing 70 wins and Giannis played a large part of that.
Honorable Mention: Eric Bledsoe – This could go to Pat Connaughton, who was out of his head today, but Eric Bledsoe is getting the honors. He played at another level defensively first then it translated to him making shots on the offensive end. Bled was ready to roll and showed it at the same level as Antetokounmpo. Bledsoe finished with 13 points and seven assists. The impact was felt in the first half when Milwaukee needed him to get going.
One Thing to Discuss: Khris Middleton’s struggles continue – We are headed towards Middleton’s postseason issues being a topic nationally. Locally, it will be tomorrow, but nationally, it might one of the biggest headlines out of yesterday. A supposed top 20 player scored two points last night. He made five shots in total through two games. I’m not giving up on Middleton, but this is a troubling start for him. Milwaukee needs to make him a key piece of the game plan on Saturday afternoon.
Another Thing to Discuss: Did Bud adjust to the way we wanted him to? – Yes and no. Yes, in that the defense was much different in Game Two. They switched more. Go out on shooters, Bledsoe hounded Markelle Fultz. The only thing missing was the Nikola Vuvevic part. Giannis might need to guard him. No, because he played eleven guys again. But to Bud’s defense, the bench played well last night. Connaughton had 15, Donte DiVencenzo had eleven, and Kyle Korver added 9. If the Bucks shortened their rotations, would these guys have that sort of night?
Next up: Milwaukee and Orlando will switch courts as they play in ‘Orlando’ in another day game setting. Giannis talked about how this affects his routine, but hopefully, Milwaukee comes out with the same sense of urgency. It is one thing to do it once, it’s another thing to be consistent about it.