Wednesday, June 16, 2021
Home Sports Giannis Antetokounmpo, Mike Budenholzer, and the Bucks are maddening

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Mike Budenholzer, and the Bucks are maddening

Everything looked like a struggle.

Everything seemed like a wrestle.
Image: Getty Images

Ever heard the time period, “work smarter, not harder?” Well, the Milwaukee Bucks haven’t, as they like to make easy issues difficult.

Despite successful a ’90s-style, must-win recreation that was a mix of excellent protection and horrible shot-making, the Bucks’ 86-83 win over the Nets signifies that Milwaukee was capable of escape a 3-0 collection gap, because it at present stands at 2-1. However, that loud sigh of aid you heard in Milwaukee is drenched in nervousness, as Thursday’s night time recreation was a lifeless giveaway for why it will almost definitely be Mike Budenholzer’s final season teaching in Milwaukee.

With the Nets opening the recreation taking pictures 0-of-8 from the area – and 5-of-25 in the first quarter – the Bucks jumped out to a 30-11 lead after the opening interval, wherein Giannis and Khris Middleton scored each level in the quarter attributable to them operating pick-and-roll, with Giannis as the screener.

It was working. Things have been going properly. And then Budenholzer went away from the offensive scheme that gave Milwaukee a 21-point lead. By the half, the Bucks have been solely up 45-42, as they have been capable of ultimately survive and dangle on in the finish.

If you missed the recreation and simply checked out the boxscore, it might seem that the Bucks’ stars carried them – which they did. Middleton completed with 35 factors and 15 rebounds, whereas Giannis added 33 factors of his personal and 14 boards.

“We’ve been doing this for eight years and we know what type of game this is and we both came out ready,” mentioned Giannis. “We were able to compete and we were able to get our teammates involved, get in our spots and help the team get a win. Hopefully we can do it in Game 4 also.”

But if you happen to look just a little nearer, you’ll see that in a house recreation Milwaukee needed to win, the two-time MVP was solely 4-for-9 from the free-throw line and 1-for-8 from three. Why he stored taking pictures threes that the Nets have been baiting him to take is a query that may by no means be answered, as he’s 4-for-32 from deep in the playoffs.

“As long as everybody’s on the same page and as long as everybody’s fighting for the same thing, fighting for the same thing every single day, which is to be a champion, I don’t see why not to be in Milwaukee for the next 15 years,” is what Giannis said after the Bucks acquired embarrassed in The Bubble once they have been bounced 4-1 by the Miami Heat in the second spherical. Rumors about Giannis’ free company had been swirling for years, and after a dismal efficiency, many thought that if he was ever going to depart that this might be the second it occurred. Three months later, Giannis signed a five-year extension price $228 million. He was staying put with a franchise that nobody ought to ever imagine in.

By Sunday night, we are going to know if this as soon as highly-anticipated collection between the Nets and Bucks may have lived as much as the hype, or be all however completed if Brooklyn heads residence with a 3-1 lead or if Milwaukee can be energized after tying the collection at 2-2. The playoffs are inclined to get just a little loopy as collection can shift in a matter of days. Just a couple of days in the past, the Nets seemed like they have been headed for a sweep, and now Milwaukee’s situation has improved from crucial to steady.

In the first quarter of Game 3, Milwaukee found one thing via their pick-and-roll with their two All-Stars that would make this collection an extended one. It’s on Giannis to make it possible for “everybody’s on the same page,” if he doesn’t need to be on his fifth head coach in eight seasons. But, that will require this crew to do one thing that they’ve by no means proven they’ll do in the playoffs. Which is to work smarter, not more durable.

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