Let’s all course of this collectively, as a result of that shit was rather a lot.
Jimmy Butler raises his pivot foot and parks himself within the lane awaiting a baseline cutter (Duncan Robinson, who it normally is) to wrap round and discover his means towards the highest of the important thing with the ball. As an alternative, Butler falls over, and the Milwaukee Bucks win a subsequent bounce ball. However regardless of taking pictures 3-for-18, Butler has the ball in his palms for the ultimate possession in regulation. Reigning Defensive Participant of the Yr Giannis Antetokounmpo does not shut Butler down and is pretty simply blown by for a game-tying layup that despatched the sport into additional time at 99.
However wait, Khris Middleton, minutes after overselling an elbow to the face, will get to his robust aspect and hits the game-winner with 0.5 seconds in OT.
The Bucks are up 1-0 towards the Miami Warmth, however who is meant to really feel higher about this? Positive, it’s Milwaukee, however they solely gained 109-107 regardless of Butler (4-for-22), Bam Adebayo (4-for-15), and Tyler Herro (2-for-10) combining to shoot 10-for-47. However can the Warmth really feel superior about, nicely, shedding, for one, however holding Milwaukee to 16 % taking pictures from three, limiting Giannis to an inefficient 10-for-27, and hitting 20-of-50 (40 %) from three due to an superior Robinson efficiency?
And on condition that we’re solely not more than 25 % achieved with the collection (seemingly much less), we nonetheless have many extra questions that must be addressed transferring ahead. Will Bam really take the mid-range jumpers he’s being left open for? Will Butler discover the offense he displayed repeatedly throughout the season? Will Giannis proceed his poor taking pictures from the sector and on free throws the place he was 6-for-13? And does his elbow damage that badly? (He had to put on a sleeve after this.) Is Jrue Vacation being the anti-Eric Bledsoe simply sufficient of a distinction for Milwaukee this time round? Or is unlocking Tyler Herro the important thing for the Warmth to beat the Bucks once more, as they did final season in solely 5 video games?
And the largest ones shall be answered in recreation two: What’s going to Erik Spoelstra, arguably the league’s finest playoff coach, do to regulate the Warmth’s gameplan? And the way will hot-seat holder Mike Budenholzer, famously dangerous at making changes, prepared his Bucks for a probably totally different look Warmth in recreation two?
However what we all know is that it was splendid. It wasn’t the bullshit protection that enables underwhelming groups to attain 140 on regular-season nights. It wasn’t some blowout the place one staff wasn’t able to play. It was the begin to the official playoffs we needed to see, and we’ll all gladly join seven video games of this.