Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks need to improve on the 3rd game to throw the Nets
With 2.1 seconds left in Game 3 between Thursday’s Bucks and Nets, Brooklyn had a chance to send the contest into extra time. Congratulations to Milwaukee, Kevin Durant’s disappointment with 3 points he bounced off the back edge and fell to the ground safely, allowing fans inside the Fiserv Forum to take a collective exhale.
After the Bucks took the win, the Netsen Eastern Conference finals were reduced to 2-1, with ESPN teammate Mike Breen signaling that they were back in the series. As for the Hall of Fame announcer, it seems premature.
Really, the Bucks didn’t have to win by a score of 86-83, and Game 3 didn’t make it to the final possession.
Mike Budenholzer’s team started tremendously, finishing 30-11 at the end of the first quarter. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton were offensive with 15 points each in the starting frame. (Milwaukee’s 86 points were 68, tthe pair has the highest percentage of points In the history of the NBA playoffs.) In fact, it was the kind of response the Bucks needed from their stars after the Nets were embarrassed in games 1 and 2.
But then the bad habits of previous losses returned. Milwaukee fell into isolation against Brooklyn’s ongoing scheme, rather than moving, passing, and projecting. Antetokounmpo, who finished with 33 points and 14 rebounds, threw too many three-pointers. The Nets were clearly happy to let “The Greek Freak” make Stephen Curry’s personality (his worst?).
“I think, the first quarter, [Antetokounmpo] it was in attack mode. I think in the meantime, we were better. ” Budenholzer said in the availability of post-game media. “We scored 30 points, and from there it was pretty slow. So Giannis needs to keep finding his place, he can get to the second action, the third action. He will continue to play and make good decisions. And play on his team.”
The Bucks also took advantage of a bad night to film the Nets, especially considering Milwaukee held on to their fall schedule and gave Brooklyn a clean look at the basket.
This is the problem with drop vs Kevin Durant. It’s based on the defense of navigating the screen and even then it’s a 50/50 shot. KD is able to get back to his place and back. pic.twitter.com/8ntLGbIo6t
– Steve Jones Jr. (@ stevejones20) June 11, 2021
Kevin Durant scored 30 points, but took 11 of the 28 from the field. Kyrie Irving scored 22 points and scored 9 of 22. Perhaps the biggest surprise was Joe Harris, who led the league by 3 percentage points in the regular season, with 1 of the 11 field goals and 3 of the 7 points. If a couple of those shots fall, the Bucks would be facing an insurmountable 3-0 hole.
“It was very easy. It was just shooting.” Durant said. “I think we got a good look. We got to the paint. We went extra. And just [didn’t] make shots. Sometimes that’s the name of the game. “
Milwaukee, however, deserves a strong shutdown. Middleton (35 points, 15 rebounds) and Jrue Holiday (nine points, five assists, four rebounds) delivered the clutch vessels. It is noteworthy that these key points came from some midfield action or against a defense that was not established in the transition.
As Antetokounmpo told reporters After Game 3, “Winning is Winning” and the Bucks don’t receive extra credit for their style. But Milwaukee can’t expect to compete with Brooklyn for truly consistent execution of the opposition and based on outside shooting performances. The Bucks got a win at the waist – the real challenge now begins.
“At the end of the day, when you play a basketball game and win the game, you enjoy it [it]. But I think we can play better, “Antetokounmp said.” We can play better. We can play faster. We can play more together. “