BOSTON — In an attempt to defend their NBA championship, they have assembled the following: Milwaukee BucksThey knew that they needed to have a mix of good player performances, healthy players, and maybe a little luck.
The absence of a forward looking strategy is not a good thing. Khris MiddletonThey dominated their Eastern Conference semifinal series against The Boston CelticsIt was too much for Milwaukee to overcome, as they lost Game 7 on Sunday 109-81.
The Bucks were unable to score 100 points in any of their seven games (all losses) as they were severely outshot from behind 3-point line. Boston made 53 more 3-pointers than Milwaukee in the series, which according to research by ESPN Stats & Information is by far the largest gap in a single series in NBA postseason history.
Bucks guard Jrue Holiday said. “He makes big shots, big plays on both ends of the ball, but especially offensively.”
Without Middleton who injured his left knee in Game 2 of their first round matchup against the Chicago BullsBucks star Giannis AntetokounmpoDid his best to lead the team through the series.
Antetokounmpo scored 33.9 points, 14.7 boards and 7.1 assists in the series against a Celtics team that was No. 1 in the NBA in efficiency in the regular season. As many 40 point games as the Celtics gave up all season, he finished this series with (3). Antetokounmpo became league history's first player to score 200 points and grab 100 rebounds while also dishing out 50 assists in one series.
“The growth of Giannis throughout the series, the manner Giannis played against an extremely good defensive team, and against a lot a good individual defenses was like another growth moment and growth plate opportunity,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “I thought he'd be a phenomenal player — his scoring, attacking, playmaking and his selflessness.
There will always be times when we could've done better. He could've done better. But, I found myself impressed with his ability to figure out how to attack, score, playmaker, and all the other things that he did. Although we didn't manage to get it done, he was an integral part of it. But I am so impressed with his progress through the series.
Antetokounmpo was hot from the start on Sunday. He went 6-for-10 in halftime for 17 points. However, he began to feel tired and struggled down the stretch. At halftime, Antetokounmpo shot just 4 of 16, scoring 8 points.
“Legs heavy. Body heavy. Mind heavy. Antetokounmpo smiled after the game. I was just trying be aggressive. It's Game 7 and I don't want to keep the ball in one hand and not look at it. Continue to look for my teammates, make the right plays, and then switch to passive mode. I can live with it.”
Antetokounmpo was the first player to score 25 shots in seven consecutive playoff games. Allen Iverson in 2001, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Antetokounmpo stated that he enjoyed playing in the series against Boston, even though he lost each game due to the effort of his team.
Antetokounmpo stated that he didn't believe he hid from the physicality. “Anyone of the games. Through hardship, I kept going. This is who I am and how I was built. I enjoyed it. It made me a better player. “Experience makes you stronger.”
Antetokounmpo was unable to win the game alone, and the Bucks were left with too many poor performances from their key players. Geoge Hill failed to score in four of five games that he participated. Grayson AllenShot 20.8% from 3. The Bucks as a whole shot only 27.9% at 3 Holiday and Antetokounmpo are the only exceptions. Pat ConnaughtonHe was the only Bucks player to average double-digit scoring (10.3). Bobby PortisThe series averaged 9.9 points per match.
Antetokounmpo stated, “Obviously, we weren't trying make excuses.” “I believe everyone went out there to compete, and gave everything they had. From Game 3 against Chicago to game 7 against Boston, that's exactly what we did. Maybe it would have been different had we (Middleton). But we didn't.”