Milwaukee Bucks: Grades from spirited Game 5 win over Atlanta Hawks

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JULY 01 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JULY 01 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Bobby Portis, Khris Middleton
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – JULY 01 (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

How did the starters perform for the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 5 versus the Atlanta Hawks?

A+. With Giannis out due to injury, Jrue Holiday understood that he would have to increase his production. Everyone had been clamoring for him to be more aggressive straight away rather than be too passive, and he seemingly received the message. The guard was fantastic in scoring the basketball, coming out firing to begin the game as he attacked the basket and his defender. He kept this assertiveness consistent throughout as he tallied 25 points on 9-of-20 shooting, which included knocking in three 3-pointers. In addition to his electric scoring, Holiday dished out 13 assists to just two turnovers on the night. He assumed more of the floor general role with Antetokounmpo unavailable, and he thrived, particularly when looking for Brook Lopez on several lobs. More on the big man’s career night in a minute. Strictly looking at Holiday’s performance, the guard deserves his props for stepping up to the challenge with his lead running mate of out the mix and for putting on a show in the win.. PG. Milwaukee Bucks. JRUE HOLIDAY

Much of the same that was previously said for Jrue Holiday applies all the same to Khris Middleton. With Giannis sitting this one out, all eyes pivoted toward Middleton to see how he would respond, and he embraced the challenge. Milwaukee’s two-guard finished with a near triple-double by posting 26 points, 13 rebounds, and eight assists in the win. Aside from missing four of his six attempts from 3-point range, Middleton was stellar on the offensive end as he found his own shot while getting his teammates involved in the action. He was also active defensive by snatching two steals and swatting away one shot. He also came out energized and left his mark all over this victory with one of his best performances in these playoffs yet. Now it will be about sustaining this newfound momentum.. SG. Milwaukee Bucks. KHRIS MIDDLETON. A+

B+. P.J. Tucker arrived at yesterday’s game donning the jersey of Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman. Known as one of the best rebounders in league history, Tucker seemingly channeled his inner Rodman to some extent as he was hauling in boards prolifically in Game 5. The forward hauled in 11 rebounds – his most yet in a Bucks uniform – making his presence felt on both the offensive and defensive glass from start to finish. Tucker’s stellar rebounding effort highlighted his performance as he finished elsewhere with five points on five shot attempts. It is common knowledge by now that the forward does not pack much of a scoring punch but that he instead impacts the game through hustle, heart, and tenaciousness, which were all on display in last night’s win as he fought for rebounds and played persistent defense.. SF. Milwaukee Bucks. P.J. TUCKER

A+. Bobby Portis got the starting nod in place of Giannis Antetokounmpo in what was his first career playoff start. The 26-year-old certainly did not take the opportunity for granted as he had himself a special all-around night. Portis unleashed a scoring frenzy offensively as he tallied a playoff career-high 22 points by shooting 9-of-20 from the floor. He proved to be a lifeline for the Bucks on the offensive end as he delivered timely baskets again and again. Yet, he did some facilitating of his own as he handed out three assists, which is uncommon from the big man. Much like Tucker, Portis was active on the glass by hauling in eight rebounds, three of which came on the offensive end and led to more opportunities. It was a memorable performance from Portis as he clocked in a career effort and a moment that both he and the fans will cherish.. PF. Milwaukee Bucks. BOBBY PORTIS

A+. While Holiday, Middleton, and Portis were all fantastic, it was Brook Lopez that stole the show in Game 5, and for good reason. The big man went beserk on the offensive end and scored a playoff career-high 33 points on 14-of-18 shooting from the field. Two of those misses came from the perimeter as it seemed like Lopez could not miss as soon as he stepped foot in the painted area. Without Giannis in the lineup, the lane was cleared for Lopez, and the towering center did his damage with a barrage of thunderous dunks to get the crowd in Fiserv Forum on their feet on numerous occasions. His contributions did not stop there as Lopez defended the paint terrifically, blocking four shots and tallying two steals. There are few ways to describe his overall performance without mentioning the words sensational or phenomenal.. C. Milwaukee Bucks. BROOK LOPEZ