The Milwaukee Bucks got the brooms out and swiftly turned away the Miami Heat in four games for a series sweep. While the majority of national media analysts predicted this matchup could put the Bucks on upset watch, the confidence within the locker room never wavered. The Bucks had their opportunity to dodge the Heat in the playoffs, but they opted to confront their nemesis from the bubble last season. The mentality of this Bucks squad speaks volumes; they are destined to continue to make noise in the NBA Playoffs.
While the series did only last four games, we learned a lot about Mike Budenholzer’s Bucks team. One thing is for certain, this squad is much better than its predecessor’s and has the potential to make a strong run at the illustrious NBA Championship.
Let’s dive into three things we learned about the 2020-2021 Milwaukee Bucks in round one.
The Milwaukee Bucks Finally Have a Big 3
One thing was clear following the disappointing defeat to the Miami Heat in the bubble last season; Eric Bledsoe is not the answer at point guard. With that in mind, Bucks GM, Jon Horst, made the blockbuster move to acquire the perfect man for the job, Jrue Holiday. In this seemingly seamless transition from New Orleans to Milwaukee, the Bucks found themselves having one of the league’s most dominant trios.
The Milwaukee Bucks stars Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and the aforementioned Holiday proved to be too much for the Miami Heat. The beautiful thing about the domination of Miami was the different ways in which it happened.
Khris Middleton displayed his Kobe Bryant-Esque fadeaways and ability to go get a bucket, including the game-winner in the series opener. Giannis, the two-time league MVP, showed an overall growth in his game. From passing out of double teams in the paint, hitting midrange fadeaways along the baseline, and knocking down free throws at a more efficient clip, the Greek Freak is putting together his best playoff performance to date. Lastly, while Jrue Holiday did not put up gaudy scoring numbers, his outstanding playmaking ability was on full display. Holiday put up a playoff career-high, 15 assists in Game 2, and did a phenomenal job of controlling the pace and running the offense. His defense throughout the series, like many of the Bucks, was suffocating and prevented Jimmy Butler and the Heat from ever really get in a rhythm on that end of the floor.
The Bucks’ Big Three is very talented individually, but when they play together, it is clear just how complimentary their skillsets are. This trio of stars makes the Bucks a tough out as they go on to face the winner of the Nets-Celtics series in the next round.