ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith blasted the Bucks’ supporting cast after their Game 1 home loss to the Hawks, and it’s hard to argue his point.
Giannis Antetokounmpo went for 34 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists, and Jrue Holiday scored 33. Other than that, the Bucks didn’t get nearly enough as they helplessly watched Hawks guard Trae Young erupt for a 48-point banner night.
For instance, Bucks forward Khris Middleton scored 15 points but went just 6-of-24 shooting, well below his normal showing.
“Just got to be better,” Middleton said, via Ben Steele of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “It’s as simple as that. Get into my spots, play-making, everything. Just got to be better.”
Along with that, Bucks guard Pat Connaughton airballed a 3-pointer near the end of what ultimately was a 116-113 loss. Middletown also missed a three at the end, finishing 0-of-9 shooting from behind the arc.
Overall, Antetokounmpo and Holiday were 28-of-50 shooting. The rest of the Bucks were a miserable, while their teammates were just 19 for 57.
“We feel like we can play better,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “We gotta get ready for Game 2.”
More from Milwaukee
- The Bucks don’t have enough scoring options to withstand another off night from Middleton, wrote Jack Maloney of CBS Sports. Game 2 is Friday night, again in Milwaukee.
- While the Bucks have been a little frustrating and a little inconsistent on their journey to the conference finals, there is no sense around the league that they will be looking to replace Budenholzer at the end of the season.
- This is the fifth postseason meeting between the Bucks and Hawks, and first since the Hawks won in seven games in the first round in 2010. The teams have split the previous four series.