BucksCap: Milwaukee Survives a Sweep Without Giannis Antetokounmpo
Milwaukee Bucks are still alive in the NBA season. Bucks will no go down in infamy as one of the best teams in the regular season to get swept. Instead, Milwaukee will live to fight another day on Tuesday night and try to do the unthinkable. Come back from 3-0. These games continued their intense nature as Milwaukee needed overtime to beat Miami yesterday afternoon, 118-115. They did it without their superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo who reinjured his ankle in the second quarter and did not return to the game.
One thing I liked: Bucks played with a lot of heart – No one can ever say that Milwaukee didn’t gut this out. They could have easily raised the white flag and went back to Milwaukee. Instead, Giannis’ injury made them flip the switch on everything. Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe each picked up their play. Brook Lopez was terrific in the fourth quarter. The Bucks played with this sense of urgency we haven’t seen in this playoff series.
One thing I still don’t get: Why is Pat Connaughton getting fourth quarter – Look, I love Planet Pat. We are a Planet Pat blog and podcast network. But he cannot be getting fourth quarter minutes. He is out of his element right now. It is like Mike Budenholzer took the tape from the bubble game wherein the second half Connaughton shut down Duncan Robinson, and Budenholzer think that is still the way to do things.
Player of the Game: Khris Middleton – What a game from Khris. Yes, he struggled in the fourth quarter, but he made it up with a big overtime performance. Middleton scored 36 points, eight rebounds, eight assists. It was a defining game for Middleton who deals with so much shit from the fans about how he cannot be the guy. Middleton showed last night, he can be the guy.
Honorable Mention: Giannis Antetokounmpo – This sounds crazy, but hear me out. Giannis had a great game in the first eleven minutes of playing hoops last night. He had 19 points in 11 minutes with four rebounds. Giannis played with such a purpose and determination to ensure that they were not going home this afternoon.
Next up: How does Milwaukee force a Game 6? Part of me feels like they need one blowout win. If they could blow out Miami, they can start to freshen up and recuperate. Looking at how the Red Sox did it, they went into the 14th inning before winning the game. Bucks and Heat will both be sluggish early, and it’s up to the Bucks to set the tone.
Why not us?