The Milwaukee Bucks survive in a must win Game 3, beating the Brooklyn Nets 86-83 tonight inside Fiserv Forum.
The Bucks were very lucky to get the win tonight. They were 34-for-90 (37.8%) from the field, 6-of-31 (19.4%) from 3-point range and 12-of-19 (63.2%) at the free throw line. Oh and the Bucks were very sloppy with the ball despite only 11 turnovers. I use the word “only” because it felt like they had about 25.
But the Milwaukee Bucks still have a heartbeat, trailing the best-of-seven series now 2-1.
Khris Middleton showed up when they needed him to the most, but bad decision making at times by several others, including the head coach. Milwaukee got away with it and made life difficult for themselves, but they survived.
The Bucks started the game off in fantastic fashion. They were moving the ball around, hitting shots, playing great defense and led 30-11 after 12 minutes of play.
But then the “no offense/iso ball” offensive scheme came out and the Bucks only scored 56 points in the final 36 minutes of game action.
The iso heavy offense in this series has been truly mind boggling. It has led to horrible shot selection, which is 100 percent on Mike Budenholzer.
Budenholzer got bailed out by a rare off night from Brooklyn’s offense.
Kevin Durant got loose and hit a three-pointer with 1:23 remaining in the game to give Brooklyn a 83-80 lead. The Bucks looked like they were done when this happened.
But Milwaukee finished the game on a 6-0 run. An ugly win, but they needed any kind of win they could get.
I give Brook Lopez a lot of credit for this one after he struggled for a majority of the night on the defensive end, he came up big in the final seconds when Bruce Brown drove to the hoop.
To prove what I say all the time that stats and scores can be very misleading: PJ Tucker scored 0 (ZERO!) points and the guy he was guarding (Durant) scored 30 points and I thought PJ played a great game. That speaks to what a unique player Tucker is.
This is the kind of toughness PJ Tucker brings to the Bucks, something they were severely lacking in the first two games:
An alternate viewing option for the rest of this series should just be straight up audio of PJ Tucker and Kevin Durant.
I don’t like KD at all, but hearing the crowd inside Fiserv Forum chant “F*** KD” filled my heart.
As I mentioned earlier, Khris Middleton finally showed up for once in his career in the playoffs, scoring 35 points and they were all much needed.
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 33 points. Then the next leading scorer for Milwaukee? Jrue Holiday with 9 points.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has two parts to his game: Part 1 is the magnificent player. Part 2 is the infuriating player.
Giannis was 1-for-8 from 3-point range. When he’s shooting that many 3-pointers, somebody needs to step up and say something to Giannis. Because it was getting out of hand tonight. How did no one, like the head coach, yell at him to stop?
The Milwaukee Bucks starters tonight played together for 25 1/2 minutes and outscored Brooklyn by 8 points.
In Game 1, the starters played under 13 minutes together and outscored Brooklyn by three. Mike Budenholzer’s justification for the lack of time the starters got together in that game: “We got a deep team, we gotta take advantage of it. Keep ‘em ready, keep ‘em fresh.”
Wow. What a crazy concept on what happens when you play your starters together the minutes starters should be playing together, Mike!
I will say, the Bucks have been absolutely miserable shooting the 3-ball in all three games, going 20-for-88 (22.7%). For context, they’d need to make 26 of 30 in game four to get back to their season average (39%). The Bucks have managed to shoot better than their season average just once in seven playoff games.
The Bucks and Nets will play Game 4 inside the Fiserv Forum on Sunday, June 13. Tipoff is set for 2:00 PM (Central Time) and will be nationally televised on ABC.