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NBA Playoffs 2019: The right break at Brook Lopez in Game 1 against the Raptors proves the season-long experiment of bucks



MILWAUKEE – With a two-minute left over at Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on Wednesday night, the Milwaukee Bucks cling to a one-point lead at the Toronto Raptors. Like Kawhi Leonard – he's a miraculous four-bounce buzzer beater at Game 7 at the Philadelphia 76ers a few days ago – controlling the ball at the top of the key, the Fiserv Forum crowd chanted "De-fense!" with a great deal of effort they can achieve, trying their team to be an important stop. They got their intentions, including Leonard's 3-point attempt by hitting the backboard and rimming out.

Giannis Antetokounmpo took over and the crowd's surprise grew, as they began to feel how close they were to securing a great return. Turning jets after he passed the half-court, the Greek Freak captured the paint, pulled up a lot of defenders and broke into a pass at Brook Lopez. It's not a good thing, in fact, and the big man is to lean back until it grabs the floor. But he knew what to do before he caught it, so no doubt. He let it fly and stir it home.

And when the majority of the Forum fell, Lope went into the half-court and hit his trademark celebration, not only completing his smoking, but also the game. The Raptors did not score again, as the Bucks had a 1

08-100 win to get a 1-0 lead in the series. Lopez finished with a 29-point playoff career, 11 rebounds and four blocks on what coach Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer agreed to was the best game he had ever seen in Lopez's game.

"The thing to stand is the put-backs and the things around the basket, especially in the first half," Budenholzer said. "We are the kind of fight for scoring and anything that is offensive, and he has done some kind of thing. And obviously in the second half, the 3s of the spread he gives us on the tape, but I thought he has several times in the fourth quarter, making blocks, making big-time tournaments, rebounding. Certainly, in a big moment, that's a great Brook Lopez tonight. "

Lopez & # 39; s Game 1 Performance is the conclusion of a 10-month experiment, and validation of Budenholzer's grand plan. Lopez is a well-regarded signoff in the offseason, but no one can see how important Lopez is to the turnaround of the bucks. The team is round around Giannis, but none of what they will do, or at least not to this extent, without Lopez.

He stretches the floor out to 30 feet at the offensive end, and has been one of the best shot men in the league this season. Shooting from the center of the position opens up all kinds of space for Giannis to work, and puts immense pressure on barriers to defenses.

"When you space in court that it is far away the defense has spread, so there are more drives," said Raptors guard Danny Green, one of the best defenders in the entire league. "When people hit, we had to pay more for that year. [Lopez] grew up for them."

At the other end of the floor, the Bucks agreed to mid-range jumpers and pick-pop opportunities in favor of dropping Lopez on the paint. There he protected the rim with a tremendous impact, and one big reason the Bucks led the league to defending the rim goal area in regular periods.

"We really hope to Brook," says Bucks All-Star Khris Middleton. "He's our anchor down … … Tonight he's coming with some big blocks, big rebounds and effort are performing. We really follow his lead and he's been good."

Both aspects of Lopez's game are shown in Game 1, and in the fourth quarter in particular. He scored three triples with 13 points, four rebounds and two blocks in the last frame to help the Bucks secure a crucial win.

Also worthy, that Lopez's big night came after a tight series against the Celtics. While in many ways this season is a breeze for the bucks, most of them are because they always had a reply to any bit of difficulty, and never let the spiral thing be. Even today, in mid-May, they have lost track of games one at a time.

And like his team, Lopez is ready to bounce back to the start of this series. He hit more shots (12) and got more points (29) in Game 1 than he did in all five games against the Celtics combined, and was almost blocked by many shots.

"I know at one point that Brook is going to get to it," says Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe. "He is playing incredible defense throughout the playoffs. For him to break an offensive game as it is great for us."

This is great for the Bucks, and there is no chance that they will win this game if Lopez does not put together the best scoring game of his postseason career. After this kind of performance, a rare game on the podium for him, Lopez has many reasons to be proud of, but a veteran wants no attention. Rather began again, again and again, to praise the team as a whole, explaining just why this group is special.

"I always try to enjoy when I go out and play basketball," Lopez said. "It's clear I love playing game But there's no question I love here. It's a fun group around, fun coaching staff, happy teammates, good teammates, unselfish – the best guys in the world. "


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