I won’t lie, I had to re-write this thing 1,000,000 times in the fourth quarter. All for naught.
Where the season opener against the Houston Rockets had our collective heart rates shooting through the roof, today’s home opener against the Miami Heat turned out to be something more akin to agonizing torture.
That is to say a breezy first half was promptly followed by a baffling second followed by a miracle shot to get to OT followed by a loss.
The first quarter was competitive from the start with both teams trading baskets and cold streaks. Khris Middleton would make his first four shots on the way to a 11 point frame and a slight 33-29 Bucks lead. That offensive show continued in full in the second for Milwaukee as Giannis Antetokounmpo found shooter after shooter in transition sequences and through the sheer threat of his attacking inside. George Hill, Kyle Korver, Brook Lopez, and Wes Matthews would all make threes as Milwaukee pulled away to a 70-53 halftime lead. Robin, what’d you think?
Robin Lopez's reaction when Brook's three bounced in pic.twitter.com/GGyFkY7Tpb— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) October 26, 2019
That three shooting evaporated in the second half with Milwaukee and they struggled to get a single thing to happen. Miami would tie things with 6:50 left in the game at 105-all before taking the lead with a pair of Dragic FTs on the following possession.
From there it bordered on a complete disaster.
Giannis Antetokounmpo played out of control in the worst way possible, the pick-and-roll defense melted every possession, and the Heat outscored Milwaukee 39-29. A miracle sequence that saw Giannis tipping in a Middleton fader at the buzzer would get the Bucks to OT, but fouls added up on MKE (Giannis fouled out for the second game in a row) and the execution went Miami’s way.
The strong point for Miami was, as almost always, Goran Dragic operating the Heat’s offense like a fiddle. Threes off screens, floaters in transition, alley-oops to Bam Adebayo, whatever Goran wanted he almost always got. Speaking of Bam, he was a something of a load to handle as he’d tally 19 points, 13 rebounds, and 8 assists with timely passes from deep inside Milwaukee’s defense. Overall, you have to credit the way Miami once again put the clamps on Antetokounmpo through sheer physical force; his 8 turnovers weren’t all generated by Miami hands, but they made his life difficult and it paid off.
Let’s just forget this ever happened, deal?
Stat That Stood Out
That was Milwaukee’s mark from three after the half. Woof.