Giannis had 35 & 13, great. Middleton hit one of the best clutch shots of the playoffs so far and finished with 31 & 8. Cool. My question is; where in the hell was everyone else?
The Bucks only got 23 points from their bench and 16 of them were from Malcolm Brogdon. (His best game since returning from injury.) Joe Prunty’s playoff rotation and rationing of minutes is inexplicable and this is just game one.
Explain to me how Jabari Parker got only 14 minutes of action. He was noticeably missing in this game even when he was in, but you can’t expect starter production from him when he isn’t starting. Two points on 1/5 shooting didn’t do the Bucks any favors. And this notion he was held back because of defense is a crock. This team as a whole didn’t play consistently good defense all game.
Eric Bledsoe hasn’t been in the playoffs for five years and boy did it look like it. Nine points on 4/12 shooting and five turnovers. Consistently bad decision making with the basketball and over aggressiveness on defense. (Which caused him to foul out.) Again, not doing the Bucks any favors.
Despite the incompetence of Prunty, the underwhelming performances from Parker and Bledsoe, and a non existent bench, the Bucks took the Celtics to overtime and only lost by six points. There is positivity to take from that outcome.
The Bucks did play good defense in stretches. (Anchored by Henson’s six blocks.) Imagine a better rationing of minutes and better performances from Parker and Bledsoe. That would equal a win.
The Bucks aren’t far off from winning games in this series. Prunty must COACH. Understand his faults with his rotation and put guys in a position to succeed. Bledsoe must be smarter with the basketball and not settle for jumpers. Parker must overcome the ridiculously minuscule amount of minutes he’s being given and be aggressive.
Bucks MUST steal game 2 on the road. The way this team has been coached and played all season doesn’t give me much confidence they’ll be able to dig themselves out of an 0-2 hole.
It’s win or go home season, rise to the challenge.