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NBA Playoffs -- Even with Game 3 hiccup, Bucks still in front seat of East Finals


PhilBoxing.com





MILWAUKEE -- When you think about the Milwaukee Bucks, the name Giannis Antetokounmpo immediately jumps at you.

And for very good reason.

Known as The Greek Freak, the 6-foot-11, 242-pound rim rattler is a leading MVP candidate who tore through the regular season with impressive averages of 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists in 72 games.

Even with his singular brilliance, one of the main reasons why the Bucks are sitting two games away from an NBA Finals berth is the fact that they are a well-rounded team that is populated with so many lethal outside shooters. The Bucks also own the league's top defense and they are extremely well-coached under Mike Budenholzer.

The Bucks have so many weapons that can inflict pain. Just ask the Detroit Pistons, who got swept in Round 1. Or the Boston Celtics, who fell, 4-1, in Round 2.

Here's proof of the Bucks' versatility in these ongoing Eastern Conference Finals.

In their Game 1 squeaker, 108-100, Brook Lopez carried Milwaukee on his back with 29 points that was powered by four triples. Antetokounmpo exploded for 32 points and 17 rebounds in the 125-103 Game 2 blowout, but the bench provided 54 big points led by 17 from Ersan Ilyasova.

The Raptors, with All-Star Kawhi Leonard at the helm, is going to be a tough out. But even with Toronto's 118-112 Game 3 victory yesterday at the Scotiabank Arena, they needed two overtimes to get the job done.

The Raptors won Game 3 partly because Antetokounmpo had his worst outing of the series with eight turnovers and six fouls. Scoring 12 points and grabbing 23 rebounds, the Greek Freak made only 5-of-16 field goals and missed all three of his 3-point shots. He also missed five of seven free throws.

And the Raptors still needed two extension sessions to finally stiff-arm a Bucks squad that got 44 points combined from reserves George Hill and Malcolm Brogdon.

This is exactly why, at the end of the day, the Bucks will eventually conquer the Eastern Conference and meet the Golden State Warriors for the Larry O'Brien trophy beginning on May 30.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Anthony Rozic.


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