Milwaukee Bucks: Grades from appalling Game 2 loss to Phoenix Suns

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JULY 08 (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JULY 08 (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday, Phoenix Suns: Chris Paul
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – JULY 08 (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /

How did the starters perform for the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 2 versus the Phoenix Suns?

F. Jrue Holiday looked beyond promising to start the game as he attacked the basket with confidence on the offensive end, but that quickly deterred. The guard went cold and started missing easy shots time and time again, looking rattled out on the court. He would eventually finish with 17 points on an abysmal 7-of-21 shooting, failing to find a rhythm whatsoever across his 39 minutes played. Yes, the guard made several good plays on the defensive side of things, including a pair of nice blocked shots, but his showing on the offensive end derailed everything. He thankfully dialed down his 3-point attempts, but it did not matter as his shots were not falling even within point-blank range at the hoop. The only word to describe his shooting night accurately would be disastrous, as it was downright horrific. Although he did not abandon his floor general duties entirely by handing out seven assists, the guard failed to show up when his team needed him to score the basketball with even mediocre efficiency.. PG. Milwaukee Bucks. JRUE HOLIDAY

F. Holiday undoubtedly deserves his share of the blame for the loss, but Khris Middleton needs to be held accountable as well. His shooting woes were simply grueling to watch unfold as he would score 11 points on the night while going 5-of-16 from the field, which included hitting just one of his six 3-point attempts. Like Holiday, Middleton was often missing shots that would typically come easy to him, and he just could get anything to fall with any consistency. Still, 11 points in a playoff game -especially Game 2 of the NBA Finals – is unquestionably not going to get the job done. Middleton was downright abysmal in this game, and there is no avoiding it. It was an embarrassing effort as his road shooting woes in these playoffs continue hindering his performance. The Bucks can only hope that playing the next two games back at home in Fiserv Forum can help Middleton flip the switch and start playing up to par once more. If the performances continue to look as they did in Game 2, that would virtually be the final nail in the coffin for the Bucks in this series.. SG. Milwaukee Bucks. KHRIS MIDDLETON

P.J. Tucker looked good on the offensive end to start as he scored seven points throughout the first quarter, hitting a pair of tough shots down low and knocking in a three. However, he would go scoreless for the remaining three quarters and remain stuck at seven points. He would haul in five rebounds and dish out an assist to add to his stat line, but it was a quiet overall game from Tucker, even on the defensive end. The Bucks are still having their issues defending Phoenix’s dynamic backcourt, and Tucker has had a quiet two games in that regard. Nevertheless, he was out there giving effort, which seems to be a problem elsewhere on this team, so credit to him.. SF. Milwaukee Bucks. P.J. TUCKER. C+

There are few words to describe what Giannis Antetokounmpo did last night in his second NBA Finals game ever. With his teammates struggling, the Greek Freak put the team on his back by scoring 42 points on 15-of-22 shooting, including 12 rebounds, four assists, three blocks, and a steal to stuff that stat sheet. This included scoring 20 points in the third quarter alone, the most by any player in the NBA Finals during the last 25 years. Antetokounmpo’s sensational night was ruined by the lackluster effort from his co-stars, as this game was well within reach at several points, but he could not do it alone. For a player appearing in just his second game since brutally hyperextending his knee just over a week ago, Antetokounmpo deserves all the praise for giving it everything he had to try and steal this game on the road. Alas, the Bucks lost, but there will certainly be no slander directed at Giannis for the defeat.. PF. Milwaukee Bucks. GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO. A+

Being played off the floor in Game 1 because the Suns consistently hunted him on the defensive end, Brook Lopez saw his playing time cut once again in Game 2. Hitting the floor for 28 minutes, the big man had a poor showing offensively as he scored 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting, including two misses from behind the arc. After the Bucks were dominating down low offensively to begin the contest, it seemed like this would be the perfect game for Lopez to get it going and help add to that scoring barrage. However, it was a rather quiet night from the big man on that end of the floor, which was disappointing. He looked better defensively than he did in Game 1, notching two steals and two blocked shots this time around. Still, the team could have desperately used a more aggressive Lopez on the offensive end with the team’s top two co-stars struggling.. C. Milwaukee Bucks. BROOK LOPEZ. C