The Milwaukee Bucks has been one of the biggest contenders in NBA 2021 and are now just one win away from the NBA Finals since their last appearance in 1974.
Bobby Portis’ infectious energy
Replacing the injured MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo was not easy, but Bobby Portis brought an infectious energy to the starting lineup. According to his admission, several teams showed interest in inking the big man but he decided to stick with the Bucks, even though Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez were in his way for a starting chance with the team.
When he asked why he wanted to stick with the Bucks, he said that he wanted to win, something he might get this season if everything goes well. Bobby has six total playoff appearances across the first five seasons as an NBA player.
Head coach Mike Budenhozler made it clear that he would be replacing the injured Antetokounmpo in Game 5 of the competitive Eastern Conference Finals. Bobby told the coach that he was ready and went ahead to display his craft on the pitch and recorded 22 points with eight rebounds, three steals, and three assists.
Bobby had himself a night and dropped a playoff career-high:— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) July 2, 2021
22 PTS | 8 REB | 3 AST pic.twitter.com/4yMNkCXPal
The Bucks had loads of options on the bench as a replacement for Antetokounmpo, but it is Portis who made the cut. His aggression and physicality came in handy to make him a worthy replacement for Antetokounmpo. He turned to become the fans’ favorite as chants of “Bobby, Bobby, Bobby” were heard severally during the night.
🗣 BOBBY— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) July 2, 2021
🗣 BOBBY pic.twitter.com/kLjsJ0aDIP
Brook Lopez on an explosion
The Bucks needed contributors on the offensive side, and Brook Lopez just delivered that in the game. His career postseason-high 33 points were very essential as his team took a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals. A fist pump was all that the injured Giannis Antetokounmpo could afford when his teammates lead the team to a 123-112 win. Trae Young was also missing for the Hawks with a foot injury.
Lopez, nicknamed ‘Splash Mountain’ had a performance on steroids and got four blocks and seven rebounds to add on his 33 points. His influence on this game was felt early as he rolled for the rim for a dunk after dunk, as Milwaukee scored 28 points in the first quarter alone. Lopez, who transitioned to an outside shooter several years ago, reminded the fans they had fallen in love with him.
BROOK. LOPEZ. 😳 pic.twitter.com/RjdWWmPucD— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) July 2, 2021
His 14-for-16 shooting within the arc contributed to his 33 points even though he failed to connect on two different attempts from long range. He also swatted four shots in addition to his offense and oftentimes switched out to the perimeter and defended the guards. His stunning performance that day can be described as his biggest game in his one-decade NBA career.
Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton were also worthy mentions
Lopez and Portis could have stolen the show, but the Jrue and Khris duo performed exemplary. Middletown tallied 26 points, eight assists, and 13 rebounds. On the other hand, Holiday recorded 25 points, 13 assists, and six rebounds in the same game. Even though the thunderous brilliance of Antetokounmpo seems to have overshadowed their low-key personality in previous matches, this seemed like their night with the star in absence. The quartet of Portis, Lopez, Middleton, and Holiday totaled 106 points at the end of Game 5.
A close look at the Youwager shows that basketball is one of the top games for gambling fans and Game 6 and Game 7 will be of great interest to them with loads of betting options. With Giannis Antetokounmpo’s health still in doubt, we expect that Bobby Portis will feature on Game 6. On the other hand, the Hawks are hoping that Young will be healthy in the win-or-go-home Game 6.