The Milwaukee Bucks are one of the heavy favorites to come out of the Eastern Conference after the Brooklyn Nets were swept. However, the Bucks need to play better with the Boston Celtics playing excellent defense and Khris Middleton out with an MCL sprain. While Giannis Antetokounmpo is the best player in the world right now, the Bucks need other complementary pieces to step up and fill a more prominent role. At the same time, the Bucks need to figure out a way for Antetokounmpo to be more dominant against the Celtics’ defense to win the series.
Be sure to check out the rest of our NBA content.
Game 1 Performance
In the first game of the series, the Bucks stole home court away from the Celtics thanks to Bobby Portis, Jrue Holiday, and Antetokounmpo combining for 64 points and playing suffocating defense. While Antetokounmpo did have a triple-double, it came on a low shooting percentage, as he shot 36 percent from the field. He made up for it by having seven out of his 12 assists on three-point shots. Those seven assists combined for 21 points and propelled the Bucks to victory in Game 1. This series is a matchup of the two best defensive teams in the NBA, so points don’t come easy. However, the Bucks need more out of Holiday and Lopez to win this series.
While Holiday chipped in 25 points in Game 1, shooting 8-20 from the field. At the same time, he did go 3-5 from beyond the arch, which helped his point total for the game. However, Holiday and Antetokounmpo have to carry more of the scoring load for the Bucks to win. At the same time, the whole Bucks team played excellent defense, which kept the Celtics out of the paint, forcing them to shoot 50 three-point attempts.
With the Celtics going 18-50 from three for 36 percent, they shot themselves out of the game. Furthermore, with the defense of the Bucks to be praised for closing off the paint, and forcing the Celtics into bad shots the big issue is the need for a better offense. Furthermore, the Bucks can win the series if they keep up the dominant defense and the complementary players start making shots.
Game 2 Performance
After a Game 1 win, the Bucks followed it up by having a pretty lousy Game 2. However, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that the Bucks achieved what they wanted by taking home-court advantage and coasting in Game 2. While teams don’t take games off in the playoffs, it’s not far off to see that their effort wasn’t very high. At the same time, Antetokounmpo struggled again as he did in Game 1. With Holiday and Antetokounmpo shooting poorly from the field, something has to change. The team needs its role players to step up and make more shots.
Expectations Going Forward
With the series tied at one apiece, the Bucks get to go home. If the Bucks can hold serve at home and win both games, they could be in an ideal situation to gentlemen’s sweep the Celtics. However, most people have predicted this series will go six or seven games, and the Bucks are the better team. While the Celtics did sweep the series against the Nets, it wasn’t that impressive because the Nets have an awful roster. At the same time, this series will be a dog fight for both teams. However, the Bucks have a superstar and the best player in the world, which could propel them to the series win.
Overall the Bucks and Celtics have great defenses, making scoring come at a premium. With Jayson Tatum bashing down the door into being a superstar, he could single-handily take over the series. At the same time, the Bucks have the experience and have proven how mentally tough they are after winning the NBA Finals last year. While both sides aren’t backing down as this series has the two best teams in the East. Whoever comes out of this series is going to the NBA Finals.
Follow Michael Schiro on Twitter @michaelschiro4
Main Image Credit: via Masslive.com