Bucks Lead

Bucks Look to Lock Up 1st Home Win After Disappointing Home Opener

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The Bucks moved the start time for the home opener up to sell the local Fear District. Giannis coming off a 30-point triple double? Undoubtedly scary for the Heat. Milwaukee eased to a 21-point lead, apparently sending Miami to the graveyard. However, the Heat stormed back despite an incredible Giannis tying tip-in, and many Miami free-throw misses. The race for the top seed is still hot as the Greek Freak hasn’t even put his sneakers on. Miami reminded Milwaukee, however, that the rugged east is a fight, and Saturday’s middling effort won’t last the full 16 playoff rounds.

Milwaukee’s Focus Wanders

When Fiserv Forum opened, the Bucks couldn’t possibly sate the fans’ excitement. The first game, year two? The deer sure did their part with smoke and strobe lights.

This time, however, the fan hoopla wasn’t quite the best. To its credit, however, the Bucks brigade became vocal over officiating and wisely alerted Budenholzer for a successful challenge. When the Heat inched closer, it seemed no reason for concern. The deer would inevitably counter, fans thought. Unfortunately, the herd stood stupefied. Oh no, would the 2019 opener be lost in a rout? First, Money Middleton sliced the Heat with another corner dagger.

Down four, Giannis’s and-1 seemed too late. The Heat needed only two free throws to end the game.

Miami missed the second charity throw, but a baloney sandwich call put the Heat back on the line. Thankfully, the ball never lies, and after two misses, Giannis grabbed the Superman cape. (I’m sure totally the way Bud designed the play).

Would Milwaukee resurrect the season in OT?

Fouls And Fatigue

Unfortunately, for the second straight night, Giannis fouled out. The strange lethargy that impeded Milwaukee in the second half carried over to the free five. The Heat rudely denied Eric Bledsoe…

… and after two more missed Miami free throws, Middleton’s final heave rattled out. Notably, Bucks fans grew anxious and frustrated as the lead dwindled. Where does Milwaukee turn now?

Steeper Trail

Milwaukee defends home court Monday against the lowly Cavs before a two-game trip to Boston and Orlando. The Bucks still have the most talented roster in the conference, as their 21 point lead proves. Importantly, Miami reminded Milwaukee that the other 14 east foes won’t play scared because of last season’s accomplishments. Two down, and 80 more thrilling Bucks contests remain. The lane to the finals basket is still open, but Giannis and his teammates still have to stride determinedly to prevent opponents from poking the ball from behind.

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About Jeffrey Newholm

"Jammin Jeff" Newholm had been a basketball fanatic since his high school days, and remained a casual fan as a student in Whitewater. Wishing to check in as an active participant, he also completed a writing certificate program at UWM. He loves seeing Bucks games more than any other activity in hometown Milwaukee and especially screaming really really loudly to get someone to miss a free throw. Twitter: @JeffreyNewholm

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