06/26/2021 at 05:36 CEST
The Milwaukee bucks tied 1-1 in the Eastern Conference final after imparting a serious corrective to the Atlanta Hawks, 125-91, in a game in which Giannis Antetokounmpo’s team completely annulled the point guard Bring young and was 41 ahead on the scoreboard. Young, who last Wednesday in the first game of the series scored a record 48 points, only made 15 points, plus 3 assists and 2 rebounds. But more significantly, the Texan guard lost 9 balls, four of them in the third quarter.
With Young canceled, the Hawks were never ahead on the scoreboard for 48 minutes and the rest of the team played below their usual numbers. Center Clint Capella only had 2 points in the entire game and 8 rebounds while Bogdan Bogdanovic finished with 8 points, the same as Kevin Huerter.
Up front, the Bucks were a choral team that performed on defense and offense. The top scorer of the match was Antetokounmpo with 25 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 robberies. The point guard of the Bucks, Jrue holliday ended the night with 22 points, 2 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 robbery and 1 plug.
As of Wednesday, the Bucks had had the best defense in the playoffs, especially when playing at home, but in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals, Young made them a rift in the statistics. The point guard was responsible for 72 of the Hawks’ 116 points, either with his baskets, 48 points, or with the assists he distributed. But it is also that when the point guard was on the field, the effectiveness of his team skyrocketed. With Young in play, the Hawks scored 108 points on 88 possessions, an impressive number the Bucks hadn’t seen before. But when he sat on the bench, the Hawks could only make 8 points on 14 possessions.
Bucks’ goal: stop Young
So the accounts for the Bucks are easy: if they can stop the young point guard, or if the Texan has a bad night, the game has to go in his favor. And that is precisely what happened on Friday. In the first half of the game, Young only scored 13 points (half of what he did in the first game against the Bucks on Wednesday) of which 3 were the result of the only success in the seven triples he tried. Plus, Young only provided two assists in the first 24 minutes, also half of two days ago. From the opening minutes of the game it was clear that Young, and the Hawks, would not have a good night in Milwaukee. Young did not participate in the first three attacks of his team and handed over responsibility to his teammates. But neither Kevin Huerter first, nor Bogdan Boganovic, nor John Collins next were able to score in the first three attacks. With a 4-0 score, Young finally had to intervene to inaugurate the Atlanta team with one of his trademark floating shots.
The defensive adjustments that Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer made to stop Young after Wednesday’s loss worked. Jrue Holiday pressed Young relentlessly with the help of Brook Lopez and Giannis Antetokounmpo, who defended from a higher position in the area. With Young disjointed, the Hawks were easy prey for the Bucks. With 3.10 left in the first quarter, Milwaukee were already 10 points ahead on the scoreboard before the ecstasy of 16,310 spectators that filled the Fiserv Forum. Antetokounmpo shone in attack and was allowed filigree like a tackle in which he first saved Solomon Hill by rotating in the air to score with an outstretched arm despite opposition from Clint Capella.
When the first quarter ended, the marker indicated a clear 34-28 in favor of the Bucks. If the Hawks were hoping to straighten the game before halftime, the illusion was short-lived. Nate McMillan, the Hawks coach, decided to give Young a break early in the second quarter. With Young on the bench, the Bucks increased their distance to 14 points, 49-35. But the worst was yet to come. The Hawks reduced the difference to 11 points, 51-40. And then for the next 5 minutes, Atlanta’s men were unable to make a single point. Young lost four balls, missed 3s, was blocked and was unable to coach his team.
The Bucks took the opportunity to hit the gas. Between Holiday, Lopez, Middleton and Antetokounmpo, the Milwaukee nailed a partial 20-0 that the game ended. Those of Atlanta could not recover and they went to rest with a 77-45 on the scoreboard.
In the third quarter, Young only made 2 points after scoring 1 basket of 4 attempts while the Bucks, without much effort, increased their lead to 40 points, 103-63. Given the score, both McMillan and Budenholzer decided to seat their starters in the fourth quarter and turn the final 12 minutes into an opportunity to give time to their respective benches.