In the first game of Game 5 between the Bucks and the Eagles on Thursday night, Brook Lopez found himself against Kevin Hult. Despite his speed disadvantage, Lopez held on to Hert, drove a layup and refused his fly ball. Jrue Holiday got the ball in the transition, supported Bogdan Bogdanovic all the way through the basket, and finished him with a left hand.
This sequence summarizes the entire game. The Bucks bullied the Eagles on the inside for the entire fifth game, winning 123-112 and leading the 3-2 series in the Eastern Conference Finals.
“This is one of the main priorities, just being aggressive outside the door,” Holiday saying During his post-match media availability period. “Being an aggressor is more aggressive than them. We must feel that those games in Atlanta, from the energy of the crowd or anything else, they punched us in the mouth with their fists.
“We don’t want to take risks. We want to stand up and fight first.”
Milwaukee punched first this time, but Atlanta never recovered. The numbers tell the story:
Inside score: Bucks 66, Eagles 36
The Bucks remained in the paint in Game 5 because four different Milwaukee players scored at least 10 points. Lopez scored 26 of his career-high 33 points in the playoffs.
With Giannis Antetokounmpo missing, Lopez became the main roller and cut-in player at the basket, while Holliday (13 assists) and Chris Middleton (8 assists) were always easy find him.
“I think he has a good chance to take the ball more, try to use him more, he had a great time,” Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer said“A few times he just played, but he did it in a lot of different ways. He did it in the pick and roll. He did it on the offensive rebound and did it on the free throw line. It’s just a whole really, very impressive. Profound effort.”
2-point shooting percentage: 59.1 for the Bucks, 50.0 for the Eagles
Milwaukee made 38.9% of three-pointers in the 2020-21 regular season, but only made 9 of 29 shots (31.0%) in Game 5. At the same time, Atlanta made 15 of 38 three-pointers (39.5%).
But the Bucks made nearly 60% of their two-pointers, which is enough to make up for this gap. Lopez’s efficiency is ridiculously high, his 18 field goal percentage reached 14 times (77.8%). Holiday and Middleton continued to put pressure on the Hawks’ defense, shooting 14 of 26 from the three-point line (53.8%).
“I think Zhu has done a good job of setting the tone first,” Middleton says“He let himself go, and then let the others participate, Brooke, Bobby [Portis]But myself, I just try to choose my position, find where I can attack, and be aggressive and take advantage. “
Rebounds: Bucks 47, Eagles 40
The final gap in the rebounding department is not big, but Milwaukee indicated that it will be a more confident team to start the game.
In the first seven minutes of the first quarter, the Hawks had…zero defensive rebounds. That’s right-not one. With 4 minutes and 02 seconds left in the opening, Cam Redish finally grabbed the team’s first defensive rebound, and Atlanta was 18 points behind.
Eagles coach Nate McMillan gave a frank assessment of his team’s defensive effort.
Nate McMillan: “They are more physically strong. They hit us in the mouth and we just didn’t recover from it. They are very aggressive…no ball defense, no ball defense.”
— Sarah K. Spence (@sarah_k_spence) July 2, 2021
If the Bucks want to secure their first NBA Finals seat since 1974, then the Bucks should bring the same mentality and intensity to Game 6.They know that if they don’t, it’s not enough to beat these energetic Eagles, especially Antetokounmpo may still be stuck on the bench.
“It’s absolutely just that everyone is working together to fill this gap. Obviously no one can replace Giannis,” Lopez says“He is a terrible two-time MVP. We have done a lot of things. No one will replace him. This is a question everyone has raised. I think everyone has shown their ability to do this tonight. a little.