Bucks Buzz: Giannis & Defense Take Game 1
Playoff jitters were alive and well in Milwaukee on Saturday afternoon. People didn’t know what to think of the potential of Milwaukee-Toronto series. Everyone knew Bucks were very bad against Raptors the last two years losing 13 of their last 15 against them. Everyone also knew Raptors were a terrible team in Game 1 of the NBA Playoffs. They’re now 1-11 in Game 1 after Milwaukee ran through Toronto in the second half like a hot knife through butter leading to a 97-83 w
Player of the Game (Bucks): Giannis Antetokounmpo – Everyone expected Giannis to come through with a big game then he delivered that and then some. Everyone is waking up this morning with stories about how Giannis is the next great superstar. It’s happening, and I’m not sure if I’m ready to handle it. All eyes are officially on Giannis and Bucks. He dropped 28 points, eight rebounds and three assists. Raptors have no answer for Giannis and Bucks transition game.
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) April 16, 2017
(Not) Player of the Game (Bucks): Spencer Hawes – Let’s not try the Spencer Hawes experiment in the playoffs again, shall we? Jason Kidd played such a tight rotation in the second half and wouldn’t you know it, Bucks were awesome. Hawes didn’t contribute much in the second quarter. Same with Mirza Teletovic. Thon Maker needs more minutes out there. He looked great in spurts. Same goes for a little John Henson action versus those guys.
Player of the Game (Raptors): Serge Ibaka – Toronto’s midseason acquisition of Serge Ibaka did not yield a great return in the second half. But in the first game of the playoffs, he showed up in a major way. Ibaka finished with 19 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks. He’s a bad matchup for Bucks because the team doesn’t have a stretch four minus Thon really. We shall see how they handle Ibaka in the coming games.
Positive: Bucks were careful with the ball – When Milwaukee lost games this season, it had to do with either no offense production by guys not named Giannis or turnovers upon turnovers. That did not happen in Milwaukee’s first playoff game. Bucks had a two live-ball turnovers and four total for the game. Will this happen again? Probably not. But the fact Milwaukee is able to be that clean with the ball is beautiful.
Negative: Khris Middleton needs more offense – Let’s be clear, Khris Middleton played a fine game when it came to not shooting the ball. He had nine assists and played great defense yet his shot was completely broke. He went 4-for-15 from the field with two missed threes. Middleton needs to be more on offensive end. My optimistic view is he still put up 15 shots in a game where he couldn’t hit anything, and those are going to start falling in.
Next up: Game 2 on Tuesday night happens again in the Air Canada Centre. Story lines are how Raptors will stop Giannis and if Kyle Lowry shows up.