Eagles head coach Nate McMillan gave a simple and accurate assessment of the Bucks’ performance on Friday night: “They completely dominated the entire game.”
The 2021 NBA playoffs feature amazing scoring fluctuations and crazy comebacks, but Milwaukee ensured that the second game of the Eastern Conference finals will be a snoring, defeating Atlanta 125-91. The Bucks had established a 32-point lead at halftime, Their third-half lead in playoff history, And maintained a 40-point advantage at the end of the third quarter. Only one starting player on each team exceeded 30 minutes, because the last round became an opportunity for players to play at the end of the rotation.
In any case, the second game ended after 24 minutes, and most of Atlanta’s first half difficulties had a major culprit. The Eagles kept passing the ball to the Bucks, which allowed them to easily score in the fast break.
|Game 2 (first half)||total points||Turnover||Penalty points for mistakes||Quick breakpoint|
“To be honest, we don’t talk about the mistakes themselves. We are talking about stability, positiveness, and having hands,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said in a post-match media interview. “Sometimes, when you are really active and your defense is very good, mistakes sometimes happen naturally.”
The Bucks’ defense in the second game is definitely more aggressive than the series opener. Hawks star Tre Young scored 48 points in the first game, scored only 15 points on 6 of 16 shots and made 9 turnovers. Jrue Holiday chased Young on the court, while the Milwaukee big man did not Minimize filtering operations, Giving Yang less room for manipulation.
“I think mixing it up and making him difficult, don’t have too many relaxed expressions,” Holliday said of Young’s defensive efforts. “He had a lot of floaters in his last game in the paint. These were almost layups for him, so we really don’t want him to start early.”
Although Milwaukee’s strength and attention to detail are commendable, Atlanta’s handling of the ball is also very careless. The passing of the Eagles players is too random, often turning their ball control into a transitional training for Antetokounmpo and his teammates.
Atlanta averaged only 13.2 turnovers per game in the regular season and 12.1 turnovers per game into the playoffs into Friday’s game. By the end of the second game, the Eagles had made 19 turnovers, many of which were live-ball type mistakes. This is not a winning formula against Milwaukee at all.
After seeing Yang light up the scoreboard in the first game, the Bucks set the tone early, never let up, and delivered the message of a blowout victory to the Hawks.
McMillan said: “They showed us that we must reach another level in order to win the game and make progress.”
If Atlanta kept coughing before the ball reached there, it would not be able to reach that level.