Milwaukee-- Brook Lopez scored 29 points, while Giannis Antentokounmpo helped with 24 points and 14 rebounds as the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Toronto Raptors 108-100 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals. What are the odds you see the Raptors go 5-22 in the 4th quarter after leading by double-digits all game? Very slim. The Raptors will look back on tonight's game as one where they let one slip out of their grasp, especially if they lose this Eastern Conference final. Kyle Lowry showed up tonight with a vintage 30 points and eight rebounds, adding seven 3-pointers and Kawhi Leonard had an inefficient 31 points on 10-26 shooting. The team with the best record in the NBA stole the show in the fourth quarter with a 32-17 beatdown in the final 12 minutes, as they held the Raptors to 0-15 (!!!!) from the field in the 4th quarter besides Lowry who went 5-7. Antentokounmpo was held in check tonight as he struggled to find shots, which you can thank the stifling defense from Pascal Siakam and Kawhi Leonard. That was supposed to be the Raptors chance. You shut Giannis down, Lowry scores 30, you hold the Bucks to 35.7% from 3, and you still lose? That is just unacceptable if you want to win the Larry O'Brien trophy. Raptors fans have been starving for a bid in the NBA Finals since the franchise came to Toronto 24 years ago, but they might have to wait a while if the supporting cast continues to not show up offensively.
Detroit, Michigan- Did anybody really expect the Detroit Pistons to compete in this series? Absolutely not. Did we see a 4-game sweep coming with an extremely hobbled Blake Griffin playing on one knee? Duh.
The Milwaukee Bucks just completely annihilated the lowly 8 seeded Detroit Pistons as they coasted to a 127-104 victory at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan, moving onto second round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs in a rematch with the Boston Celtics. I wanted to give an S/O to Blake Griffin and the Pistons for giving it their all in this series, as they were clearly overmatched from the jump this series. Record wise, there is no shame in losing to the best team in the NBA. Dwyane Casey couldn’t have drawn anything up that could stop the superior Bucks team. When it comes down to talent the Pistons could not match up whatsoever. Detroit started out the gate hot with a 20-8 lead, which was somewhat shocking since Milwaukee this series has dominated them from the tip. Of course, that was very short lived as the Pistons only mustered eight more points the final 6 minutes of game time and the lead was cut to 28-26 after the first quarter. In the second quarter, Detroit did a good job of keeping up on offense as they splashed five 3 pointers to take a 62-56 lead into halftime. Pistons’ fans couldn’t be happier with the result since I know for a fact they don’t want to see their team get its ass kicked for the fourth straight game. In the second half, everything began to unravel for Detroit as they were outscored 39-23, including a 17-3 run to end the 3rd quarter. The Bucks shot FIFETEEN more free-throws, but you can’t fault the referees for calling the fouls since they were so aggressive driving to the rim. The fourth quarter was the same story all series as the Pistons awaited their fate with another abysmal quarter shooting. Blake Griffin plays through another knee injury (Clippers fans are far too familiar with hearing that), looking like a complete shell of himself. Griffin might as well not play this series since it was evident he could barely move. Considering how brittle we all know his body is, he truly risked his career. On the other hand, Detroit fans otherwise loved that he played through the injury. That’s what the city of Detroit is about. Hard-work, grit, and toughness. But, playing hard can only get you so far. Giannis Antentokounmpo finished with 41 points, 9 rebounds, 4 blocks, and +22 on the floor tonight. That’s just an MVP line. You cannot stop that brute strength and astounding athleticism as he glides through the paint with his inspector gadget strides. Giannis can possibly become the first MVP for the Milwaukee Bucks to win since the great Lew Alcindor, better known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who won three out of the last four MVP’s from 1973-1974. Individual awards are great and all, but let’s see if Giannis can lead his team past the pesky Boston Celtics led by Kyrie Irving and the brilliant coach Brad Stevens.