A dominant dismantling: superlatives that could be used to describe a 132-98 Milwaukee Bucks victory over the Miami Heat, in Game 2 of their first-round NBA Playoff series.
The wire-to-wire dominance was reminiscent of the pre-bubble Bucks, who were able to overwhelm teams on both ends of the floor. The result? A blowout of epic proportions that leaves the opposition perplexed.
The Heat had no answers defensively. They came into the series, ready to build the wall for Giannis. Hoping that events of playoff past would repeat themselves: Giannis neutralized by the wall and Milwaukee’s shooters miss shots. This worked (to an extent) in Game 1. Bucks shot 5-for-31 from three, but adjusted and got the razor thin 109-107 victory in overtime.
Not only was the wall not effective (Giannis went for 31 points and 13 rebounds), but Milwaukee essentially couldn’t miss from distance. The Bucks relentlessly bombarded Miami, to the tune of 22-of-53 from 3. The ten made 3-pointers in the first quarter, tied an NBA playoff record for threes in a quarter. The 22 made 3-point baskets, broke the franchise record for threes in a playoff game.
As I said on Twitter, this kind of shooting isn’t sustainable. No one should expect the same kind of shooting avalanche, but the adjustments defensively and offensively, that lifted the Bucks to a 2-0 series lead, are very much so.
A gritty win in Game 1, a dominant win in Game 2. So far it’s looking like the ups and downs in the regular season, have provided the Bucks valuable lessons and knowledge. Knowledge they seem to be applying. Game 3 will provide another test and another opportunity to display their knowledge, of lessons learned.