The third-seeded Bucks advance to face the red-hot Boston Celtics, who swept the Brooklyn Nets in their first-round series.

Here are three key takeaways from Game 5:

On the very first possession of the game, Bobby Portis missed a 3-pointer in such a way that it caromed nearly straight up into the air. Waiting for it on the way down was Giannis Antetokounmpo, who slammed it home with authority for the opening basket. An impressive play, to be sure, but all a bit too easy for a player of his caliber. 

“He was part of that approach coming out in the first quarter early, some and-ones, getting to the free throw line, playing unselfishly,” Budenholzer said. “I thought he just had the right approach, just like the whole group.”

That initial play foreshadowed how the rest of the night would go, as Giannis once again made easy work of a Bulls defense that had no answers for him this series. At some points he used his strength to bully his way to the basket; at others he took more of a finesse approach. 

Both methods of attack were successful as he shot 11 of 13 in the paint en route to 33 points, nine rebounds and three assists in just 30 minutes. Any time you can get your star that much rest during the playoffs — let alone a closeout game — it’s a good sign. 

“He didn’t settle,” Pat Connaughton said. “I think for him, he identifies the game very well at the beginning of games, and he’s done it great over this series. He’s got a much improved jump shot, he can hit the mid-range, he can hit the 3, but he’s been in attack mode. And usually when he’s in attack mode he’s putting pressure on the rim, he’s putting pressure on the defense, he’s trying to make it collapse and then he’s making the right decisions.”

The Bulls entered this series without one of their best players in Lonzo Ball, and by Game 5 on Wednesday they were also without LaVine (health and safety protocols) and Caruso (concussion). That left DeMar DeRozan as their only real creative force, and the Bucks decided that he was not going to beat them. 

All game long the Bucks sat on his right hip, forcing him to go left, and when he did drive they showed multiple bodies. His options were trying to force his way to the rim, shoot contested jumpers or pass. More often than not he had to go with the latter. 

Just take this possession from early in the third quarter. DeRozan comes off multiple screens, to try and get some space, and as soon as he catches the ball, Wesley Matthews is so far on his right side that he’s nearly behind him

Courtesy: CBS Sports


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