What went right: The Bucks got off to a shaky start after dismantling the Celtics 116-92 on Friday. The Celtics the past two games have been having a hard time stopping the Bucks quick fast breaks which Giannis usually finishes with dunking in someones face. The Bucks were getting stops and defensive boards leading to the fastbreaks and no time for Boston to set up their defense.
One of the biggest keys to this game was the production of all of the players surrounding Giannis. Early in the game, it looked like an average Bucks game we have seen a couple times where Giannis is carrying the load of everyone on the team. Todays game really showed how dangerous this team could be in the playoffs if role players like Thon Maker and Matthew Dellavedova can keep excelling in the minutes off the bench and who knows? Maybe starting Thon can give this bucks team the energy it needs to win this series.
Another positive takeaway was the play of the forwards Jabari Parker and Khris Middleton. Jabari added 16 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 2 steals while coming off the bench. Middleton dumped a complimentary 23 and solid defense.
The last positive takeaway from this game is of course, Giannis Antetokounmpo. 5 assists away from a triple double. But Giannis’s 27 points and 7 boards weren’t drawing eyes. It was the last second tip in after a missed layup attempt from Brogdon with 5 seconds left. That tip in brought Milwaukee to its feet.
What went wrong: The Celtics could not stop going on long energized runs. Every time you thought the Bucks had a comfortable lead, Jaylen Brown and Al Horford proved you wrong ending the third quarter on a 22-10 run.
The Bucks this game looked very inconsistent at times. At some times they looked like they could beat any team in the NBA with the length they possession and the number of shots that were falling. At other times they could not get shots to fall and had a hard time getting boards. Having a 20-point lead cut down is not the direction they want to go.
My final negative takeaway from this game is that the Bucks need to get the bench players out there more. Players like Dellavedova (+12) and Jabari (+10) are showing up and bring it every time their number is called.
The poor play of Bledsoe lead to a solid outing from Malcolm Brogdon who racked up 10 point and 4 boards. This defense needs Bledsoes defense first mentality to lock down the stud Boston guards like Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier.
Key factor: Thon Maker was a key factor in today’s game. Watching the game, every player looked like they were playing better with #7 on the floor. Thon brings energy and a very heavy defensive presence racking up 5 blocks. Since Maker has joined the bucks he has been very important to the roster in the playoffs and always seems to play better in the post season.
Looking forward: The Bucks have 3 days to rest before they head to a crazy TD Garden to face off the Celtics in a crucial game 5. Joe Prunty outcoached Brad Stevens today, which is not an easy task. In game 5, I would like to see Thon and Delly get more minutes to see how their defensive presence matches up with Jalyen Brown and Jayson Tatum’s explosive offense.