Milwaukee Bucks Supporting Cast Disappears In Shocking Game 1 Loss To Orlando Magic
The Milwaukee Bucks had the best regular season record in the NBA and the presumptive regular season MVP in Giannis Antetokounmpo and came into Game 1 of their first round series against the Orlando Magic as 14-point favorites on Tuesday.
While Giannis had 31 points, 17 rebounds and seven assists, Orlando limited Milwaukee to 43.3% shooting from the field in a shocking 122-110 upset win from the bubble at Disney World. All-Star Khris Middleton had just 14 points on 4-of-12 shooting, Brook Lopez had just five and the Bucks’ high-powered bench was outscored 37-35 by Orlando’s reserves. George Hill was Milwaukee’s second-leading scorer with 16.
The Magic got 35 points and 14 rebounds from All-Star Nikola Vucevic, 18 off the bench from Terrence Ross, 15 each from Markelle Fultz and Gary Clark and 11 points and 11 assists from D.J. Augustin. Orlando shot 49.4% from the field and 39% from three and hit 18 of 18 from the line against the best defense in the league despite being without Aaron Gordon and Michael Carter-Williams.
Antetokounmpo shot just 1-for-5 in the 4th quarter, while Evan Fournier stepped up huge in the final period, scoring all nine of his points on three 3-pointers. Milwaukee shot 18-for-28 from the foul line as a team, even worse than its 74.2% regular season average, which was fourth-worst in the league.
Every team is entitled to an off game, but few if anyone expected the Bucks to lay an egg in the first game of round one. Orlando has a history of Game 1 upsets, shocking the cursed Toronto Raptors in Game 1 of the first round last year. The Raptors won four straight against the Magic and went on to win their first NBA championship.
Now that the Bucks have lost, head coach Mike Budenholzer needs to get his top-ranked defense back on track and get a lot more from Middleton, Wes Matthews, Pat Connaughton, Donte DiVincenzo and the Lopez twins.
Orlando essentially led the entire game, yet Antetokounmpo was mainly a non-factor in the 4th quarter. Milwaukee won’t be winning any title this year if that happens more than once in a series. But a reason why the Bucks are heavy favorites to win the East is not only because of the Greek Freak but because they have one of the NBA’s deepest teams. That depth was thoroughly beaten in Game 1, embarrassed in what was supposed to be a Tuesday afternoon afterthought.