ORLANDO SHOCKS THE WORLD
No one saw this coming. It was reported yesterday morning that Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon was expected to miss Game 1 while recovering from an injury. That bit of news put this game on the "Blowout potential" list for yesterday's slate of games. BUT NOT SO FAST MY FRIENDS. The Orlando Magic had other plans in mind. A phenomenal all around game from the Magic who played some beautiful basketball in Game 1. Milwaukee simply looked a little tight and the Magic played like they had nothing to lose.
This wasn't just a narrow victory by the Magic, they had a big lead throughout the majority of the game. Orlando's biggest lead of the evening would be 18 points and the Magic went into halftime with a 10 point lead. After Milwaukee came storming out of the gate to pull within 2 in the beginning of the second half, Orlando regrouped and took control of the game again.
GIANNIS FILLS IT UP
Can't fault Giannis for the Bucks performance in Game 1, as he was rolling and flying all over the court like usual. The defending league MVP would finish the game with 31 points (12/25 FG), 17 rebounds, 7 assists, and 5 turnovers. It will be interesting to see how Milwaukee adjusts in Game 2, as they seemed to be in the mindset of "Give Giannis the ball and get out of the way." The Bucks will need to get their offense back to clicking in a hurry if they want to have themselves a deep playoff run.
It seems as if every year we have this conversation...is Nikola Vucevic one of the most underrated players in the NBA? Vucevic was absolutely outstanding for Orlando in Game 1 and seemed to be dominating all over the place. Vucevic would finish the game with an eye-opening day of production across the board. The Magic center posted 35 points (15/24 FG), 15 rebounds, 4 assists, and shot 62.5% from downtown.
MILWAUKEE SUPPORTING CAST STRUGGLES
While Giannis did his thing for the Bucks in Game 1, it was a bit of a strange overall effort from the rest of the supporting cast. Some might point to the fact that the offense didn't look impressive from a gameplan perspective, including a lot of Giannis isolations...but Milwaukee will need to pick it up in Game 2. Khris Middleton struggled to get going, finishing with 14 points on 4/12 shooting (33.3%). Brook Lopez finished with 5 points and didn't seem to make much of an impact anywhere else. This was, hopefully, one of those games for Milwaukee where they throw the film out immediately and prepare to flip the switch in Game 2.
Orlando isn't taking crap from anyone. Milwaukee might try to score 200 points out of pure anger in Game 2.