Milwaukee led by a considerable margin in the first quarter, yet Toronto clawed their way back in it despite some early foul trouble. Do you think this Bucks team is built to handle adversity despite their collective inexperience? Which Bucks player is most likely to have a huge game under pressure?
I want to believe the Bucks are built to handle adversity as this roster has played in the league long enough and have been in the playoffs multiple years together. Had Milwaukee played better in the second quarter, I think they win this game rather easily. The more this series goes on, the less assured I feel about it. Other than George Hill, nobody else on this roster has experience playing on this stage while with Toronto, they have been there before.
What’s hurting the Bucks besides their poor half-court offense are the mental errors and little things like allowing 4th quarter offensive rebounds. Right now, the only players that I think will have a huge game under pressure are George Hill and Malcolm Brogdon. I really am hoping Giannis can have a game like LeBron’s 2012 Game 6 Eastern Conference Performance against the Celtics to at least show he can battle through adversity.
Once again, Milwaukee opted to let shooters shoot, leading to a barrage of threes from newfound playoff hero Fred VanVleet. Should the Bucks try switching their defensive focus to the perimeter rather than the paint?
The odd thing is, I felt like Milwaukee did better defensively in Game 5 than they did in Game 4 and it was their half-court offense that has let them down. The Bucks should absolutely start switching to prevent switching. It will leave Milwaukee vulnerable to a few mismatches, but guys like Fred VanVleet, Norman Powell, and Marc Gasol have shown the confidence to hit these shots — and Milwaukee let FVV open too many times in Game 5. The Bucks couldn’t finish defensive possessions as they allowed an offensive rebound or fouled at the last minute. Milwaukee can’t continue to hope what got them there works as they have lost three in a row and are facing a must-win.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is a phenomenal basketball player. In addition to his likely forthcoming MVP award, he made first team All-Defensive and All-NBA, while Kawhi Leonard made both second teams. Who would you rather have on your team this time of year?
Kawhi has shown in past postseasons just how good he was. Right now, he’s been right up there with Kevin Durant in terms of postseason performance. However, I can’t bet against Giannis. His impact on both ends of the floor is so valuable that he is the focal point of everything Milwaukee does. That, and the fact that I can’t bring myself to write him off so I’m sticking with him.
We’d like to thank Kyle once again for sharing his insight with us! If you want to read more Milwaukee content as this series comes to a close, please check out Brew Hoop.