BucksCap: Milwaukee’s Huge Second Half Sends Warning Message to NBA
Milwaukee Bucks looked dead in the water on Thursday afternoon. Miami Heat had a 23-point lead in the first half and was in full control. The narratives around the Bucks were going to be so spicy today you’d start sweating upon seeing them. Headlines on Get Up like “Are we sure the Bucks are good?” forgetting the fact that Los Angeles Lakers are treating these eight games like exhibitions. Bucks flipped the switch in the second half. They absolutely dominated the Miami Heat and won the game, 130-116. In the second half, Milwaukee beat Miami by a score of 74-43.
Player of the Game: Khris Middleton – What a game from Midds. He was in his bag on Thursday. Middleton finished with 33 points, eight rebounds, and six assists. Bucks wing only missed five shots the entire game. He carried the load for Milwaukee at multiple points of this game with Giannis Antetokounmpo in foul trouble. Middleton found his stroke early and never lost his confidence in the rest of the game.
Honorable Mention: Giannis Antetokounmpo – While Middleton was more valuable, Giannis deserved to be talked about as well. The guy battled foul trouble all game long and still found a way to be a top scorer. He finished with 33 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 assists. The thing that stood out to me is he scored 13 of 17 from the field. All of his misses were from the three-point line. If Bam Abedayo is a Giannis stopper, I want to know how he lets Antetokounmpo score all 13 times. That’s a tough look for the Bam guys out there.
One Thing to Discuss: Are we going to not talk about the first half? – Look, the first half was awful, but Mike Budenholzer made a smart in-game adjustment with this defense. It changed everything. Is that the adjustment he will use the rest of the bubble? Unsure. But they figured out how to slow down Miami. The first half still matters, but the Bucks solved the Heat’s puzzle.
One Thing To Know: Pat Connaughton did a great job on Duncan Robinson – Planet Pat deserves a shoutout for his work on Duncan Robinson. After the sharpshooter got rolling early on, Budenholzer moved Connaughton on him which paid off. Robinson didn’t get many shots off with Connaughton on him.
Next up: Milwaukee will face off against Dallas on Saturday night. It is unknown if the Bucks will put guys on ice for the remainder of the bubble. Part of me wants to see one more good game out of Milwaukee before they call it, but who knows. I trust Budenholzer has a plan. If each team is at full strength, Bucks will have to slow down Dallas’ shooting and Luka Doncic. Kristaps Porzingis cannot handle Antetokounmpo so that favors Milwaukee.