So far, the Milwaukee Bucks have not had to sweat out any victories in their quest for their first playoff series win since 2001. Once again, they dominated the Detroit Pistons with a 120-99 victory on Wednesday.
Yes, Giannis Antetokounmpo dunked on former teammate Thon Maker. He also threw Maker’s shot into airspace. That was only a clip of the destruction that the Bucks unleashed on the Pistons.
Eric Bledsoe led the Bucks with 27 points and 6 assists. Antetokounmpo poured in 26 points and 12 rebounds. They shot a combined 22 of 37 from the field. Seven of those misses came from 3-point range. Meaning, the Pistons couldn’t contain the Bucks’ duo from getting to the rim. Khris Middleton scored 24 points, while Pat Connaughton added 18 points off the bench. Connaughton also blocked four shots in the game. In all, the Bucks blocked 11 shots.
They were rugged offensively and even more dogged on the defensive side of the ball. The Pistons were held to 37 percent shooting in Game 2. Once again, Luke Kennard had a fairly strong game. He finished with a team-high 19 points. Kennard was silky smooth from the perimeter, making 4 of 6 from 3-point range. Yet, he finished with a -16 in the +/- category. That was hardly Kennard’s fault. Nor was it the most outlandish stat of the game.
Although Andre Drummond produced 18 points and 16 rebounds in the loss. He was -32 in the +/-. The starters were bombarded with a haymaker early on to fall down by 11 points. However, the Pistons made a second quarter run to take a one point halftime lead. All that did was create more focus by the team with the best record in the NBA.
The Bucks outscored the Pistons 35-17 to blow the game open. Once again, it was another blowout victory at home. Once again, Antetokounmpo didn’t even play 30 minutes in a playoff game. Now, they are two games away from advancing into the second round.
However, the Bucks can’t get complacent in Game 3. All they did was hold serve. We’ve seen the Bucks play fairly well in early games of a playoff series. They ended up losing multiple games in a row to fall. Therefore, they don’t have the luxury of resting up and taking it easy. They need to go out with the mission of finishing the Pistons off with a sweep.
Game 3 is set for Saturday April 20, at 8 p.m. The Bucks are 8.5 point favorites. This is the type of game to find out how serious the Bucks are about eliminating opponents in grand fashion.