For the majority of the Bucks 116-114 loss in game two to the Miami Heat, they were clearly outmuscled and outworked. To be fair, the Bucks had no business making this a game at the end of the fourth quarter, as they squandered away countless golden opportunities to recapture momentum by hoisting up unnecessary jumpers and committing live-ball turnovers.
While Giannis Antetokounmpo is undoubtedly an otherworldly talent, his offensive game still needs to improve. The Heat clearly has him playing rattled in the first two games and has successfully played him off the floor at times. Giannis continued to force the issue offensively last night by trying to dribble through three defenders, which only led to more turnovers. Furthermore, aside from the heroic effort late in the fourth quarter, his offensive performance in the half-court was truly abysmal. He might have finished with the most underwhelming 29-point, 14-rebound double-double. Additionally, he got caught napping multiple times on the defensive end that led to a bunch of open 3-point attempts for Miami. I just cannot believe that he decided to help Wesley Matthews on defense when Jimmy Butler hoisted up a shot with time winding down for the potential game-winner. Wesley did a fine job all night on Butler and forced him into a tough look at the buzzer. There was zero reasons for Giannis to help there. Was it a bad call? Yes. But Antetokounmpo played himself in that situation.
Khris Middleton was Milwaukee’s saving grace in game two. With the Bucks trailing by double-digits throughout the game, Middleton went to work offensively. He was in his bag with his fancy footwork freeing himself up in the midrange in the second and third quarters. While he finished with 23 points on 6-of-15 shooting, there was a stretch where he hit three straight jumpers to help give the Bucks just a bit of momentum. My biggest gripe here was not his performance, but the lack of minutes when the Bucks clearly needed him out there. He played only 33 minutes and was on the bench when the Bucks quickly grabbed a one-point advantage in the fourth, but the Heat quickly raced back out to a seven-point lead. These are the biggest games of the season...are we saving his legs for a round of golf in Cancun? Middleton did have some lapses defensively, specifically when he failed to switch onto Duncan Robinson, which left him open from beyond the arch a few times. He finished a team-best plus-18 but couldn’t get on the floor when the Heat regained momentum. Can someone help me understand, please?
If Pat Connaughton plays another minute this series, I might have a coronary. There is simply no reason for him to be playing, and furthermore, with how poorly he played in game two I am flabbergasted at how long of a leash coach Bud has with him. Does he see something we don’t? Anyways, Pat played 12 minutes too many and finished a game-worst minus-19. It’s honestly pretty impressive that he managed to finish minus-19 in only 12 minutes. There is just no good matchup for him out there. Please, for my health, keep him on the pine.
- Eric Bledsoe played well in the first half when the Bucks needed him too, but was rendered useless after halftime. He was doing a great job at penetrating Miami’s defense and hitting a few jumpers to stabilize things offensively. However, the second half was a different story. Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. It seems like whenever he attempts a jump pass it results in a turnover. He scored 16 points but finished with more turnovers to assists which will simply not get it done.
- Ugh. Brook Lopez might have nightmares about Bam Adebayo tonight. Bam got the best of Brook multiple times on the offensive glass and had a better position for rebounds throughout game two. However, without Lopez’s contributions offensively, the Bucks would have lost by a lot more. He dropped 16 points while making three three-pointers.
- Kudos to Wesley Matthews. He has played tremendous defense throughout the 2020 playoffs. He made Jimmy Butler’s life difficult on Wednesday night, forcing him to shoot 3-of-8 from the field.
- I’m sorry, but the Bucks dropping coverage on defense with Kelly Olynyk and Duncan Robinson on the perimeter is stupid.
- The Bucks shot only 25 three-pointers compared to 45 for Miami...lol.