Bucks tend to come out very flat in the third. They turned it back on late in the third tonight, or rather, the second team did, but they were poor in the 4th. It’s as if the Bucks are a heavyweight fighter. Lots of early round knockouts, but if their opponent survives the early onslaught, some of those games turn into real dogfights. Tonight, they had a real drop in efficiency late. We scored 36 in the first. 40 in the second. 30 in the third. 20 in the fourth. Celtics scored 20 in the first, and 36 in the fourth.
First: Milwaukee 36, Boston 20
Fourth: Boston 36, Milwaukee 22
After starting out 12 for 15 from 3 point range, they went ice cold, finishing 16 for 31. That’s still an outstanding overall percentage, but within the context of the game, it’s deceiving. 4 for their last 16, Add those misses (even considering that some second chance shots went in) to Giannis missing 10 from the charity stripe...ouch. The rest of the team was 16 of 17 from the line. But this offense has stretches where it just goes ice cold. I don’t remember any other great team going that cold for extended periods as frequently as this Bucks team does. Boston has outstanding defense, so I don’t worry as much as I might. But Bud has to work to make sure they maintain an even level of effort throughout the game. Tonight they let up, and a one time 25 point lead ended up a 5 point win. Lesser teams might give up to the bully when getting punched in the mouth early. Teams like Boston know there’s plenty of time to get back in it.
Giannis is a great, great player. If he can get his free throw shooting to 70%, and hit 35-40% of his threes, he’ll be an immortal. He’s got the ability to do it-he was a 74% free throw shooter for his career coming into this season. I’m not sure what’s going on. Those are the easiest points a player can get, and if he can be a decent free throw shooter again, it will make his inside game all the more devastating.
The team needs to understand that 3s are nice from Giannis, but a mid range jump shot that he hits consistently will make him all the more lethal. If Giannis starts to hit the step back jumper, good night, Gracie. There will be no slowing him down.