Listen, I don't want to do this. You don't want to do this. Nobody wants to remember yesterday's Game 2 125-86 nuclear bombing of the Milwaukee Bucks in Brooklyn.
However, I am contractually obligated to recap these playoff games, so let's make this quick as we try to scrounge up some notable highlights, settle on a bunch of lowlights and move on to hopefully setting this 2-0 series deficit right when the Bucks return to Fiserv Forum on Thursday night for Game 3. Because despite (*gestures at everything that happened on the court Monday night*), the season isn't over yet – and if any team knows about commanding 2-0 series leads disappearing before their very eyes, it'd be the Milwaukee Bucks. That's right, I just tried to use their Eastern Conference Finals loss to the Raptors as an inspirational pick-me-up. That's where things are at right now.
Anyways, here's nine key moments from yesterday that I can't wait to never speak of again.
1. Well, at least they scored points
This strange bank shot from Jrue Holiday was the Bucks' first made shot of the game, as well as the last time I would feel joy over the next two and a half hours.
2. Dynamite Durant
Kevin Durant is too great of a freak-of-nature scorer to ever be completely stopped, but the all-star has thus far made it look pretty easy against the Bucks – even without the help of James Harden on the court. He's hitting all sorts of open shots, putting Giannis on rollerskates and getting to wherever he wants on the court – yesterday to the tune of 32 effortless points on 12 of 18 shooting. Again, Durant's undoubtedly going to get his – but if the Bucks have any chance of winning a game, much less the series, they'll have to do a better job of making him at least work for it. And then not letting the rest of the team pick up the slack along the way.
3. A rare moment of defense
The Bucks' size and defense was supposed to be a contrast to the Nets' offense-first approach. That, uh, hasn't happened so far – but at least there was this nice block from Giannis in the early going of Game 2.
4. The supporting cast is going to have to support
Giannis hasn't been at his best this series – especially in Game 2, where he looked timid settling for outside shots, struggled on defense and only managed 18 points. But he's had little to no support across these first two games. Brook Lopez was expected to be a key piece against the Nets, but Brooklyn's thus far nullified him. Jrue Holiday's better than Eric Bledsoe, but his numbers thus far don't particularly scream that. Khris Middleton's haters have been having a field day with this series – and unfortunately, there's little his fans can say to defend him after two straight shooting nightmares and yesterday's team-worst -30 plus/minus. And the bench has been easily outplayed by the likes of Mike James, Nicolas Claxton and Landry Shamet.
The Bucks were going to need everyone to fire at all cylinders to beat the talent-rich Nets – and right now, none of them are. That's how you lose by 39 points.
5. Blake is back, I guess
He may not be entirely the all-star he once was, but Blake Griffin's been a game-changer thus far in the series, serving as a massive spark plug with cruel dunks and effectively combating the Bucks' on-paper height and defensive advantage. In case the final scores weren't enough of a statement, his highlights have put some brutal exclamation points on these first two games. He must not have liked that first-round elimination series from two years ago ...
6. Lob City returns
But really, Blake Griffin clearly just wasn't trying in Detroit, right? Amazing how all of a sudden his knees are made of springs again! The revitalizing power of playing on a contending team in a major market!
7. My kind of scoreboard
Spins through with the reverse ð@Fiserv Fastbreak presented by Confectionately Yours!!
Fiserv is helping small businesses get #Back2Business, learn more at https://t.co/7hl0CeRak8 pic.twitter.com/cak9dL2dNd — Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) June 8, 2021
Yes, this rare Bucks highlight from Giannis last night is enjoyable – but the part I really like is how the Nets score is cropped out of the clip. The team looks pretty great when you have no idea what Brooklyn was up to! Were the Bucks briefly winning? Who's to know!
8. Today in gossip ...
Always fun to discover that the player mathematically torturing your team to death may have some strange and unexplained blood feud with your star!
Huh. It's just so out of character for Kevin Durant to be petty and needlessly grumbly. Hard to believe ...
9. Same, Giannis. Same ...
There was a lot of staring forelornly into the middle distance last night – but even though these first two games have been beatdowns, so far the results are not unexpected. The Nets were supposed to win at home – and that's what they did. Now it's the Bucks' turn to move the momentum when they come back to Milwaukee – and hopefully they'll do exactly that on Thursday night. Or else it'll be a lot more of this face ...
As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.
When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.