Bucks – Pistons: Jrue Holiday as savior
After hanging the 2022 NBA champion on their board the day before, Detroit almost got a “grand slam” as senior Cade Cunningham’s teammates shook off 2021 champion Milwaukee and the NBA’s current undefeated leader. Cunningham made an accurate shot. On the 3-pointer, five seconds to go. The Pistons, trailing by 16 points and unable to pass at all, tied the score thanks to Isaiah Stewart (105-105). There is less than a minute left.
Everyone is standing in the room and it’s Jrue Holiday (108-105) who takes charge with a step-back 3-pointer while we wait for Giannis Antetokounmpo. Pistons have 45 seconds to tie the score. Cunningham is single at the head of the racket but misses his shot. Behind, Giannis goes to the circle. He pushed, but the referees don’t blow the whistle. Bojan Bogdanovic recovers the lost ball. Takes for two and he finds Cunningham single for 3 points. The ball hits the bottom of the circle. It was the equalizing shot. The rebound is for the Bucks and Brook Lopez looks to seal the win with two shots, while Bogdanovic scores a buzzer beater (110-108).
WHAT TO REMEMBER
— A game of opposites. Meanwhile, the Pistons present themselves with only one player 23 or older, and that’s Bojan Bogdanovic. Three players are even 21 and under… By contrast, all of Milwaukee’s starters are over 27.
— Bucks’ 3-point awkwardness. Even with Holiday making the difference with a 3-pointer, the Bucks struggled in that area in the second half. As evidence of that, they would miss their first 14 shots of the second half. Fortunately, they were able to rely on Giannis Antetkounmpo to break through the defense and take off (85-69). Only Holiday would record two game-winning shots in the second half, including the game-winning shot.
✅ Brook Lopez. Not only is he the best defender to start the season, but the Bucks have very good hands. He dominated Isaiah Stewart with his strength and good hands to score 24 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks. His violence does not show up in the statistics.
✅ Jrue Holiday. It was he who put the Bucks on the right track with a long drive and already had 13 points after the quarter. We knew he was more effective defensively, but in Khris Middleton’s absence, he’s doing more offensively. He is the one who marks the free basket.
✅ Giannis Antetokounmpo. Fifth straight game with 30 or more points for Player of the Week. Awkward from a distance, he did his usual recital in the 3rd quarter with a systematic perimeter attack on the passing game. A classic match for him.
✅ Cade Cunningham. He misses the last two shots, but he was very good. More aggressive than last year, he doesn’t hesitate to go and rub shoulders with opposing interiors on the racquet. He plays shoulder forward and size and technique do the rest.
⛔ Saddiq Bey. A complicated evening for the Pistons shooter, with Giannis being physically dominant and limited by fouls. Hamidou Diallo made up for it with his enthusiasm and “old basketball”.
Milwaukee and Detroit: Rebelote Tuesday, same room, same time!