Against seemingly all odds (although, can I really say that? It is the Greek Freak after all), Giannis Antetokounmpo STARTED this game. He’d pour in four points in the opening quarter, but ten points off the bench from Bobby Portis (who was also making his return) aided the Bucks in securing a 42-32 lead after one quarter of play.
In the middle of the second quarter, it was revealed that Giannis would be out for the remainder of the game after he knocked his right knee against an opponent. However, Milwaukee wouldn’t have any trouble constructing and maintaining a lead. They’d grow things to a 20 point advantage at one point. At the break, they were up by a score of 73-56.
The Heat would continue to fail in having an answer for the Bucks’ offense. Milwaukee kept scoring at will, with Jrue Holiday and Bobby Portis leading the way. Following the third, both had put up 18 points. Those were two of the main ingredients in allowing the Bucks to stay ahead by a significant margin going into the fourth at 95-74.
It’d be pretty much done after that. There was no way for Miami to even get a sniff of making things competitive. The Bucks would coast to the finish line and wrap things up with an impressive 128-99 victory.
Jrue Holiday paced Milwaukee with 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting. Bobby Portis was massive in his first game back with 18 poitns off the bench, along with 11 rebounds.
For Miami, Jimmy Butler led the way totaling 23 points. Caleb Martin chipped in with 17 off the bench.
The Bucks will now face off against the Phoenix Suns on Sunday afternoon at Fiserv Forum.
Giannis Antetokounmpo abruptly exited this one early on.
There was excitement and shock that Giannis worked his way back to full health so quickly following a sprained wrist ligament, going from doubtful to questionable to starting — all in one day. However, that hype was short-lived, as Antetokounmpo told Mike Budenholzer to call a timeout in the first quarter and then hobbled to the locker room. He would not return. Here’s what Bud had to say in his postgame presser:
Mike Budenholzer says that Giannis knocked knees and wasn't able to return. Will see how he is tomorrow and evaluate him and take things day-by-day.— Gabe Stoltz (@Stoltzy3) February 25, 2023
He followed this up by saying he wasn’t sure when it exactly happened, but presumed that it was on either a drive or a screen. He hadn’t gotten the full report at the time he chatted with us. By the time this is published, we may know more.
Welcome back, Bobby Portis.
It honestly looked as if Bobby Portis never was injured at all. He returned to action following an MCL sprain and was his typical self. In 22 minutes of action off the bench, he stepped up and contributed with a sound 18 points and 11 rebounds. Mike Budenholzer didn’t hold back on his praise of Portis in his postgame presser, telling us this:
I mean, Bud said it himself. It’s quite incredible that BP didn’t miss a beat at all. Had he laid an egg, everyone would’ve given him a pass, citing rust. However, rust doesn’t apply to Bobby Portis. Rather, it’s all gas and no brakes. The fans were also set for him, as the Bobby chants came out less than 30 seconds of his return to the court. He’ll continue to be massive for Milwaukee, especially if Antetokounmpo is sidelined.
Jae Crowder appears to be happy in Milwaukee.
In his long awaited debut, Jae Crowder fit right in with his new teammates. He’d finish the night with 16 minutes of action. He made the most of those minutes. He’d connect on a pair of threes and chip in with three more points, totaling nine points in his debut. If his shot is able to find a groove, look out. The intensity he brings on defense will be humongous for the Bucks, especially a few months from now in the postseason when they need him out on the wing. Mike Budenholzer was full of absolute praise for him in his presser. He talked about how he’s been on Milwaukee’s radar for a while and credited Horst for acquiring him. He then talked about how he just wants to play and how he’s a proven winner. I asked Bobby Portis what it was like to have him and Meyers Leonard out there and he echoed a similar statement.
Bonus Bucks Bits
- Defense has been massive for Milwaukee in this 13-game winning streak...and it continued last night:
The Bucks held the Heat to 39.1 percent shooting tonight. That’s the league-high 12th time that Milwaukee has held an opponent to under 40 percent. They’re now 12-0 in those games.— Gabe Stoltz (@Stoltzy3) February 25, 2023
- Milwaukee’s winning streak is now at 13 games. That’s now the longest winning streak in the NBA this season and is tied for the fifth-longest in team history.
- This was incredible:
bucks just honored a 20 year season ticket holder who named his son after desmond mason— jack maloney (@jackmaloneycbs) February 25, 2023
- You may have noticed that the Bucks were wearing their throwback purple jerseys while playing on their blue Gathering Place court. The reason? Hear it directly from the Chief Marketing Officer of the Bucks:
For those curious about the use of the blue court: We need to make a few repairs to the Bucks’ primary court, so we’re switching to the Gathering Place court until further notice. We look forward to having our primary court back soon.— Dustin Godsey (@dgodz) February 24, 2023
- With the Bucks wearing the throwback purple jerseys, here’s who graced the jumbotron before last night’s starting lineups:
- It’s pretty nuts how Duncan Robinson fell off. He was huge for the Heat in the bubble, but ever since then, yikes. But hey, at least he signed that five year, $90M contract.
- Here’s what it sounded like when Jae Crowder checked in for the first time as a Milwaukee Buck:
Jae Crowder checks in to a standing ovation in Milwaukee— NBA (@NBA) February 25, 2023
Bucks-Heat | Live on ESPN pic.twitter.com/j6lvQK1vyQ
- Last, Montell Jordan was the halftime performer last night. He wasn’t the only rapper in the house...
Flavor Flav is in the house tonight pic.twitter.com/IyFBvXfSRt— Gabe Stoltz (@Stoltzy3) February 25, 2023
The last home Bucks game featured the president of Iceland and now this. We’re on a hot streak with celebrity sightings at Fiserv Forum, folks!