1:58 AM ET
The top of the rankings is where the Milwaukee Bucks ended the last two regular seasons in the Eastern Conference.
However, after the first five games of the 2020-21 season, the Bucs started the 2-3 season. Just like last season, the Bucks alternately won and lost in five games; however, the Bucks won 3-2 to end an 18-game winning streak. Milwaukee missed 16 .500 games this season for the first time since 2015, the last time the team missed the play-offs.
The Miami Heat forced revenge for the last loss to Milwaukee on Wednesday with a 119-108 win without All-Star Jimmy Butler (right ankle sprain) after the Bucks fired the Heat on Tuesday with 47 points and set an NBA record for most 3 points in a game with 29.
Jrue Holiday had several results in his first five games as a playmaker.
Milwaukee won twice on Christmas Day, against Miami and the Golden State Warriors.
In the opening, the Bucks lost to a dagger shot by Jason Tatum, followed by a crucial missed free throw by reigning MVP and Boston Celtics defensive player of the year Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The Bucks then won a big game against the Warriors and suffered a heavy loss for the New York Knicks on Sunday. The Bucks are now coming to Miami from a loss in a game where they led by 14 points in the second half. One of Milwaukee’s playoff losses on the Heat came in Game 3 when the Heat won despite a 14-point second period loss.
Even with all these early examples, we don’t quite understand who these current Bucks are. After the recent losses in the eastern finals and semifinals with center Bobby Portis, shooting guard Bryn Forbes, small forward Torrey Craig and playmaker D.J. Augustine, they always try to add new pieces.
I can speak for my team and myself: I really feel that the diversity of the teams and the races helps us a lot. You can see a lot of different things at the beginning, said Holiday, who finished with 13 points on four of Wednesday’s 15 shots.
Even having a back-to-back playoff atmosphere in the beginning was really, really good for us, he continued, so we were able to expand, go back and watch the movie and see the things we did wrong. But above all it will be teams that can develop quickly and really take off.
Antetokounmpo recorded his 19th career win with 26 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists and three steals. Triple-double in his career, it wasn’t enough on Wednesday.
Antetokounmpo made it clear that he would continue to lead by example. But is that the best approach?
I’m not patient. I give 100% to play the defense, Antetokounmpo said after the loss in Miami. I’m trying to play it right before the attack. I’m trying to play hard. I’m not trying to save energy. I’m saving energy after the game.
Fault! The file name is not specified. Giannis Antetokounmpo’s goal, rebound, assist, block and shot percentages have fallen compared to last season’s five games. Lynn Sladki/AP
For example, when the Bucks players were in 20th place. December went in and out of the training center for individual exercises.
Less than a week before the start of the regular season, coach Mike Budenholzer noticed that his superstar was in a sweat during a grueling training session.
Giannis, that’s enough, you’ve been here for an hour and a half, Budenholzer says to Antetokounmpo. You need to go home.
Even after Antetokounmpo had signed a new contract and received his second MVP trophy, he said: It’s about now.
The Bucs are preparing for their first season in Boston before going home at Christmas to play the Warriors.
I know you can have a mentality: Okay, save some for tomorrow. No, that’s not how it works. You’re working as hard as you can today. The same goes for the regular season. In the regular season we do our best, Antetokounmpo explains. We’re not gonna talk in the first game, we’re not gonna talk: Oh, we don’t give too much away because we’re worried about the playoffs. We might not make the playoffs if we don’t play hard. It’s not guaranteed.
Antetokounmpo is still in the rhythm of these first games, with an average of 29.5 points and 13.6 rebounds per game last season to 22.4 points and 11.6 rebounds per game since the start of the season. The free-throw rate also dropped to 62.2%.
Everybody’s sure he’s okay.
Consistency – key
The Bucks have proven they can blow up teams. The small sample size so far shows a strong team, even compared to last season:
Compare the Bucks in five games with last season.
2019-20 | 2020-21
W-L : 56-17 | 2-3
Offensive remark : 111.9 | 119.7
Nominal asset protection : 102.5 | 109.7
Rebound : 77.5 | 75.4
The problem is that Milwaukee also performed inconsistently – not just match after match, but quarter after quarter.
This series of back-to-back games was the first game between the Bucks and the Heat since Miami Milwaukee shut down in the post-season bubble. According to the Milwaukee leader, it’s all part of the learning process to finish the games.
It’s because of playing… more games together. Right now we’re trying to find each other, Antetokounmpo says.
The NBA is back! See all actions of the 2020-21 season on ESPN, ABC and the ESPN application.
Wednesday 6 January
– The Celtics in the Heat, 19.30 on ESPN
– The Clippers in the Heat, 22 hours on ESPN.
Friday the 8th. January
– Hornets in Pelicans, 19:30 on ESPN
– Clippers in the war, 22 hours on ESPN.
All Eastern Times
As a team, the Bucks shot 39.2 percent of the field on Wednesday, with little star forward Chris Middleton soothing with eight points on three of 15 shots after a warm, individual start to the season.
After a 72-58 lead with eight minutes to go in the third quarter, the Bucks were overtaken for the rest of the match by the heats trio of Tyler Herro, Avery Bradley and Goran Dragic, 39-36. The Bucks hit only 31.7 percent of their last 41 shots in the last 20 minutes of the game, and Middleton and Holiday combined to make 0-11 on the field.
Eventually it was a 29-point turnaround in the second half. In the dressing room the boys know what they have to work on to get up to speed, even though it wasn’t so clear to outsiders.
We need to be more consistent. We have to do better. But I think there are positive points where we have played well in big games and we just need to expand them, Budenholzer said. We need more than 48 [minutes] better, and that’s what it takes.