As a superstar in the NBA, consistency is key. That’s how you got to that level. Giannis is a certified superstar and top 5 player in the Association, but even he has off nights. (Every superstar does) Game 3 versus the Detroit Pistons found Giannis struggling, but displayed a team there to pick him up.
Giannis put up 14 points with 10 boards, but on just 5/13 shooting. Wildly inefficient shooting night for him. (Have to credit the Pistons defense a bit.) A less than stellar team would fold in a situation like this. Not this Milwaukee squad. The team had his back. Let’s go through the list shall we:
- Khris Middleton: 20 points, 7/13 shooting (3/6 from three), 8 boards
- Eric Bledsoe: 19 points, 8/19 shooting, 6 boards, 5 assists
- Brook Lopez: 19 points, 8/13 shooting (3/7 from three), 7 boards, 5 blocks
- Ersan Ilyasova: 15 points, 4/6 shooting (3/4 from three)
- Nikola Mirotic: 12 points, 3/5 shooting (all from distance)
- George Hill: 11 points, 3/7 shooting, (1/4 from three), 5 boards, 5 assists
Game 3 was a reminder of just how deep the Bucks are, and they’re STILL not completely healthy. With a chance to wrap up the series Monday night, and a more-than-likely matchup with the Boston Celtics looms, (They won their series versus the Pacers 4-0) this depth and production from this depth will be needed. As will the healthy returns of Malcolm Brogdon (who is said to be progressing) and Tony Snell. (Who is said to be closer than Brogdon at this point. We shall see.)
Your superstar falters, you have two options: fold, or fight. The Bucks showed they aren’t going to fold. They are going to keep coming after you. Another double digit victory against the Pistons, proved that. Another victory against Detroit and the Bucks advance to the second round for the first time since 2001. This is deliciously overdue.
Fear The Deer isn’t the mantra for just one Milwaukee Buck, it is for all of them as a collective. Teams better start respecting their depth, or they will find themselves at home like the Pistons are about to be.