Following a 116-100 victory over the Chicago Bulls, the Milwaukee Bucks have officially advanced to the second-round vs. the Boston Celtics.
While things would initially begin with a rocky start for Milwaukee, things eventually started to get going. Fueled by Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 15 points, the Bucks leapt in front in a mere matter of moments. It really made this game feel like less of a playoff game and more of a Bucks-Pistons matchup in early February. After one quarter of play, Milwaukee carried a 34-18 lead.
Following a 12-0 run in the first quarter, Milwaukee really began to double down in the second. They’d embark on a 23-2 run which really seemed to slam the door shut. t’d give them lots of padding heading into the locker room at half with a 60-42 lead.
The third quarter Bucks would make an appearance early on, as the Bulls sliced things to 66-55. However, it wouldn’t last long. Fueled by some Pat Connaughton 3-pointers, the Bucks put their foot right back on the neck of the Bulls. Headed into the final quarter of regulation, Milwaukee groomed a comfy 91-68 lead.
From that point on, there was nothing left in the tank for Chicago. Milwaukee crossed their t’s and dotted their i’s, putting the final touches on a convincing game and series win by a final score of 116-100.
For Milwaukee, Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way, totaling 33 points and nine rebounds. Pat Connaughton was big off the bench, splashing in six threes and going off for 20 points. Bobby Portis (14 points), Grayson Allen (13 points), Brook Lopez (12 points), and Jrue Holiday (10 points) all etched into the double-digit category.
The Bucks held DeMar DeRozan in check.
Coming into this series, one of the biggest talking points was whether or not the Bucks would be able to contain DeMar DeRozan. After he erupted in Game 2, Milwaukee started to do a much better job of containing him. Coming into tonight, you know the Bulls would rely on him with Zach Lavine sidelined due to health and safety protocols. However, the Bucks knew that too. They’d throw multiple bodies at him all night, making things extremely difficult for him. He wouldn’t even score his first basket until 5:39 left in the second quarter. Just a masterful job done by Milwaukee. Here’s what Wesley Matthews had to say on the Bucks’ defensive efforts:
“It was huge. I mean, that was part of the gameplan. It was the gameplan. You know, make him see a lot of bodies. It forced everybody else to beat us. That’s a hell of a team. It’s a well-coached team. A great organization — obviously, the history of the Chicago Bulls. You don’t take any playoff games for granted. You don’t take any moments for granted. That’s a great team, great organization, great players. It’s a blessing to be able to get a win in the playoffs and move on. The team’s defense was great this whole series and that’s what we’re going to need going into Boston.”
Giannis’ efficiency continues to be just bonkers.
I mean, what else can you say? In just 30 minutes, he wracked up a stat line of 33 points, nine rebounds, and three assists. Oh, and he attempted just 15 shots. Just outrageous. Time and time again, he does this. At this point, it’s just become expected. Now, he’ll definitely be relied on more in the series against the Celtics, as they’re not the Chicago Bulls. What kind of numbers will those stat lines show? It’s going to be interesting, as GA will surely continue to carry the load, especially if Khris Middleton continues to remain sidelined with his knee injury. However, in his postgame availability, he says how this is a time where it’s important for him to get his teammates involved. It’s going to definitely be fun to see his approach.
Playoff Pat is starting to show up.
We all saw how big Pat Connaughton was in last year’s playoffs, and he’s starting to show up again this postseason. Last night, his perimeter shooting was on point, as he canned home 6-of-9 from the 3-point line. When his shot is on, the level of impact that Connaughton can have is massive. As I mentioned, he was huge in last year’s postseason run, and if he’s able to string together momentum following this performance, watch out.
Bonus Bucks Bits
- Game 1 will be in Boston on Sunday at noon CST. In his postgame availability, Mike Budenholzer confirmed to us that they will be without Khris Middleton.
- In his postgame availability, Bud also mentioned that Giannis’ wrist is fine.
- Speaking of the Boston series, here’s the entire schedule. Talk about a big break between Games 2 and 3:
the scheduling gods have spoken pic.twitter.com/KMpdQo5KsB— John Hollinger (@johnhollinger) April 28, 2022
- Grayson getting booed at home is absolutely incredible. Everybody that spoke following the game mentioned how they loved it, especially Giannis. It’ll be fun to see it continue throughout the postseason.
- Talk about smashing a record...
The Bulls have attempted a franchise-playoff-record 45 3-pointers tonight with 9:18 left.— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) April 28, 2022
Previous franchise record was 33 (twice)
- Last, the Bucks now will play the Celtics. What are your predictions? Leave them in the comments below!