After watching the two Eastern Conference home teams struggle on Saturday, the Milwaukee Bucks decided to punish the Detroit Pistons in every shape form and fashion. The 121-86 victory in Game 1, set the tone for the first-round series and the rest of the playoffs.
The Bucks earned the best record in the NBA this season. However, they haven’t won a playoff series since 2001. The Bucks jumped out to a 38-18 lead in the first quarter and never looked back.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the charge with 24 points and 17 rebounds in 23 minutes. The game was such a mess, Antetokounmpo worked on his 3-point shot early-on. He only made 1 of 5 shots from beyond the arc. Overall, he shot 9 of 17 from the field.
In all, the Bucks had seven players score in double figures. George Hill (16 points) and Pat Connaughton (10 points) came off the bench to score 26 total points. The bench scored 43 points in Game 1.
The Pistons were without Blake Griffin in Game 1. It’s not certain he would have been a help during the Game 1 fiasco. More importantly, it’s uncertain whether Griffin will be a factor in any part of the series. They might just sit him in Game 2 and hope for return in Game 3. The Pistons will be at home, so there should be juice in the building. Otherwise, if Griffin is too injured to play, he should sit out the remaining games.
Luke Kennard led the Pistons with 21 points off the bench. Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson scored 12 points apiece to be the only players to score double figures. Thon Maker missed more 3-point attempts than he had points. He was 0 of 6 from downtown. Maker only scored four points in the game.
The Pistons were 8 of 27 from 3-point range. The Bucks were 15 of 43 from 3-point range. However, the Bucks only shot 18 of 26 from the free throw line. Antetokounmpo went 5 of 12 from the foul line, accounting for 7 of the 8 misses.
Game 2 is set for Wednesday. The Bucks are currently 14.5 point favorites. If they keep the same focus, the Bucks should enter Game 3 with a two-game lead. Maybe Greek Freak might actually dunk from the foul line this time.