After Game 1 where the Bucks played one of their worst playoff games of the season and still won, they knew that wouldn’t be the case in Game 2. From the tip-off, Giannis and the Bucks looked poised for a big game. Milwaukee got off to a 14-3 lead within the first few minutes thanks to quick starts from Antetokounmpo and Mirotic. Speaking of Mirotic, Game 2 was his best game as a Buck considering it was his most efficient. He shot the ball well and seemed to seamlessly flow throughout the offense. Malcolm Brogdon came off the bench in Game 2 the same way he finished Game 1. On fire. At the end of the first, the Bucks were up 35-21 and according to ESPN they had a 91.5% win probability. Giannis, Mirotic, and Brogdon combined for 25 points on 66% shooting in the opening quarter. The second quarter was more of the same for the Bucks but they actually played even better and extended their lead to 25 by the half. Ersan Ilyasova, out of all players, broke out in the second quarter and decided to be the best basketball player in the league. He finished the first half with 15 points on 6-9 shooting even after having an uneventful first quarter. At the end of the first half, Nikola Mirotic had 15 points, 5 rebounds, and Giannis almost had a first half double-double with 11 points and 9 rebounds. The President chipped in with 12 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists.
The Raptors did what they could to make the third quarter interesting, they even got the score within 13, but Milwaukee stayed too consistent. They finished the third with a lead of 20 points. The Bucks entered the fourth quarter with a run out the clock mentality and won the game 125-103. The win made it their 6th consecutive playoff win, which is the most for Milwaukee since 1974 when the team was led by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Milwaukee’s MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo, finished Game 2 with 30 points, 17 rebounds, and 5 assists. Ilyasova added 17 points, Mirotic had 15, and Brogdon ended with 14. George Hill had another solid performance off the bench with 13 points and 5 rebounds. As a team Milwaukee shot 46.7% from the field and made 13 threes. Toronto was never able to keep up with the Bucks throughout the entire game. Game 2 was a demolition through and through.
What The Bucks Have To Do Moving Forward
If the Bucks want to close out this series efficiently, two of their best players from the regular season will have to become more consistent. Brook Lopez and Eric Bledsoe are the two players for Milwaukee that if they are clicking on all cylinders, even the Warriors cannot stop them. The problem is, both of them are very inconsistent and seem to only show up for spurts in games. Lopez was the hero in Game 1, he had 29 points and 11 rebounds. He was unable to hit a shot early in the game, but was able to adjust and be efficient for Milwaukee. Instead of hanging around the perimeter, Lopez went inside the paint and did what he did in Brooklyn that made him an All-Star. This helped him get going to the point where he was confident enough to hit big threes late in that game. Game 2 was a different story for Brook. He was not able to hit shots consistently but instead of doing what he did in Game 1, Lopez just disappeared. He finished with only 6 points on 1-7 shooting. After what he did in the first game, it was disappointing to see how he followed it up. Eric Bledsoe has been the same way. Instead of being aggressive throughout the whole series, he seems to just pick and choose when he wants to dominate. When Bledsoe is rocking, nobody can stop him and it is incredibly fun to watch. If Bledsoe and Lopez step up in Game 3 and 4 like they have shown they can do, the Bucks will sweep Toronto.
The Bucks came out in Game 2 with a different energy than they did in Game 1. In Game 2, they looked like they wanted to prove something, like they had way more in the tank than what they showed in the first game. Once Milwaukee started with a 14-3 lead, it already looked like Toronto’s spirits were drowned. I want to see the Bucks come out with that same kind of energy in Game 3. If they do that, there is no way the Raptors will be able to keep up with Giannis and the troops.
Let Marc Gasol Keep Shooting:
Milwaukee has done a pretty solid job stopping Kawhi Leonard and making other players beat them. Kawhi has got his but he has not been able to impact the offensive end the way the Raptors have hoped. One of the guys Milwaukee has dared to beat them is former Defensive Player of the Year, Marc Gasol. At this rate, I want the Bucks to keep daring Gasol to shoot considering he has had a combined 8 points on 3-20 shooting in the first two games. Gasol will shoot if he’s open but I’d rather him be open than Leonard. Let Marc shoot and not Kawhi and the Bucks will be good.
Game 3 will be on Sunday night at 6:00 p.m. The Raptors will be at home for the first time in this series and they are even 3-point favorites according to ESPN. I’m sure Giannis will have something to say about that…