Ashley Landis / Associated Press
The first game between the Bucks and Magic looked like an aberration by the time the last buzzer sounded.
Monday’s game served as further proof that that was exactly what it was.
In 34 minutes, Giannis was over-20 and had 31 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists. His Eurostep dunk all over Nikola Vucevic was the exclamation point, but the 17 threes that the team hit could be a bigger indicator for moving forward.
Milwaukee entered the playoffs with a historically dominant defense, but a superstar performance from Vucevic in Game 1 (35 points, 14 rebounds, and four assists) took on a bit of shine.
The Bucks understood this ending.
After collecting 106 points on Monday, Orlando fell to 14th among the playoffs in the offensive standings. Vuc still gets his own (29.5 points, 10.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game), but the rest of the roster has been fairly well mastered.
At this point, the outcome of the series seems inevitable, making it difficult to avoid waiting for the heat.
There is no real reply to Antetokounmpo, but Miami has some interesting options for him.
Giannis shot 12 of 28 from the field when defended by Bam Adebayo in the regular season, good for an effective field goal percentage 16.0 points below his mark of the season.
Of course, he was 4 out of 5 against Bam in an August 6 meeting in the bubble, so maybe he’s starting to figure this game out. Either way, Antetokounmpo will likely face a variety of defenders, including Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, Jae Crowder and Andre Iguodala.
The key will be those players who force Giannis to chase him a little more than usual (or maybe even convince him to take a few more jumpers).
But if the Bucks shooters keep connecting (the team shoots 39.1% in threesome in the playoffs), Milwaukee is set to win again in the second round.
The losses against Miami, however, won’t be as surprising as in the first game against the Magic.