Milwaukee Bucks: Frontcourt duo are perfect complement to offensive attack

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JUNE 25 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JUNE 25 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

On a night where the Milwaukee Bucks were without superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, their rejiggered frontcourt still shined nonetheless.

The Bucks’ 123-112 Game 5 victory over the Atlanta Hawks has now brought them one win away from the NBA Finals and they showed that they can rely on the likes of Brook Lopez and Bobby Portis to help fill the shoes of the might Antetokounmpo.

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With their backs against the wall after losing to Antetokounmpo to a left knee hyperextension, a far better outcome than what looked to be possible upon seeing his injury, Bud turned to get more offense, size and energy with turning Portis loose for his first playoff start of his career.

The move paid off dividends and as both Lopez combined for 55 points total, with both serving as career highs. Both Lopez and Portis smashed through the Hawks’ interior defense as they combined for 38 of the Bucks’ 66′ paint points on the night.

Lopez finished with 33 points on 14-for-18 shooting, seven rebounds and four blocks while Portis had 22 points, eight rebounds and three steals.

Brook Lopez and Bobby Portis made life easier for Milwaukee Bucks’ stars in Game 5 win

Both Lopez and Portis proved to be the perfect complement to the Bucks’ high-usage ball handlers, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday. Both Holiday and Middleton combined to generate 15 of Lopez and Portis’ 23 made field goals throughout Game 5 and it helped both the Bucks’ supporting stars finish with double-doubles to make up for Antetokounmpo’s absence.

With Lopez and Portis just dominating the paint through the help of Holiday and Middleton, the Bucks finished with 1.67 points per paint touch in Game 5, per

Portis made the most of his opportunity with key defensive stops, transition buckets and igniting the Fiserv Forum crowd. With him making his first career playoff start, Portis had the best game of his career and cemented his mark in one of the most important games in franchise history.

Meanwhile, Lopez delivered his best performance while in a Bucks uniform and turned back the clock to the dominating big man we saw for the greater part of his early career.

As unlikely as it felt in the moment, this was the most complete team victory of these playoffs for the Bucks, especially without Antetokounmpo in action. However, with Hawks star guard Trae Young out, this was an opportunity for the Bucks to take advantage of a Hawks team that is up and down offensively throughout the course of these playoffs.

Milwaukee has obviously experienced some high peaks and some low valleys in these playoffs and this game might be the second-highest peak of the playoffs behind their Game 7 victory over the Brooklyn Nets last round. The peak that would top that would be advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1974 by winning just one more game in this series.

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With Antetokounmpo more than likely out again for Game 6, the Bucks will need a similar performance and impact from the Bucks’ frontcourt of Lopez and Portis will have to be perfect outlets to lift the Bucks back to the NBA Finals.