Hallelujah, I can’t think of a better antidote to the terrors of game one than the 123-102 waxing the Milwaukee Bucks put on the Boston Celtics in game two. Milwaukee came out with more of a propensity to switch defensively, but still looked disjointed offensively in the first period as they finished it trailing 30-25. The threes started reigning in the second quarter, as Milwaukee went into halftime with a 59-55 advantage after George Hill hit a triple with just over a second left.
Finally, in the third, the Bucks we all know and love showed up, splashing threes with Giannis making whip-smart reads and bullying his way to the basket. They blew the game open with a 98-73 lead heading into the final period. The fourth quarter hit scrub time midway through, with Tim Frazier continuing his stretch of playing in every postseason contest thus far. Game three will come on Friday.
Perhaps the best part of the night; Giannis Antetokounmpo still hasn’t quite looked like the Giannis we watched dominate the regular season. He looked much more under control tonight though, making fabulous reads when driving to the basket rather than forcing the issue and ending with 29 points, ten rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Khris “Pay the Man” Middleton was absolutely devastating from the field, nailing jumper after jumper from deep (7-10 from three) and finishing with 28 points and seven boards. Thankfully, Eric Bledsoe looked like his normal aggressive self too, attacking the bucket and hitting a couple triples to go for 21 points (on 12 shots) and five assists. Pat Connaughton still makes plenty of defensive lapses, but he showed up with 11 rebounds and three assists while minimizing his attempts to make a better impact in this one.
Kyrie Irving struggled mightily from the field, going just 4-18 and ending with only nine points. Marcus Morris was hot, hitting 6-8 for 17 points while Al Horford was stroking it too, 6-10 for 15 points and eight rebounds.
Stat that Stood Out
Yes, the Bucks were on fire from deep ending at 42.6% for the game, but the Boston Celtics also came flattened back to earth on their midrange shots. After going 55+% from the field in game one, they regressed well below their mean with a 27.8% performance in this one. They’re also outperforming their season-long shooting performance at the rim, while Milwaukee is underperforming. Keep an eye on that heading into game three if Giannis finally settles in to his typical finishing in the paint.