Milwaukee Bucks: Takeaways from grim 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: Khris Middleton, P.J. Tucker, Phoenix Suns: Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – JULY 08 (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

There is disappointment in the air after the Milwaukee Bucks dropped yet another game to the Phoenix Suns in these NBA Finals.

Despite coming out aggressive and building up a lead early, the Bucks could not sustain their initial play on either end of the court. Due to Milwaukee’s sluggish play, Phoenix grabbed a lead early in the second quarter and never looked back as they blew this game open to a 15-point lead at its apex and would secure the 118-108 victory in the end.

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Finding themselves trailing 0-2 in the series, several players in the locker room need to look themselves in the mirror and question their heart.

This series has largely been about effort throughout the first two games, and it is apparently clear that the Suns have more determination, hustle, intensity, grit, and every other attribute imaginable to give them an advantage over this joyless Bucks team.

Without further ado, here are three takeaways from a crushing Game 2 loss to Phoenix before the NBA Finals shift to Milwaukee.

The Milwaukee Bucks feel the heat from the perimeter in ugly Game 2 loss to Phoenix Suns

Defending the 3-point line consistently has been the ultimate Achilles heel for the Bucks during the Mike Budenholzer era, and it showed in Game 2.

After a lackluster shooting night in Game 1, the Suns immediately bounced back from the opening tip and went scorched earth in the first quarter. Although the Bucks led by three after the first 12 minutes, blood was in the water as the Suns had cashed in eight 3-pointers during the period, and there was seemingly no way to slow them down.

Indeed, the rest of the matchup followed in a similar fashion as Phoenix would continue to shoot the lights out and finish 20-of-40 from behind the arc in total. Of course, it was a franchise playoff record for the Suns, as opposing teams love notching those record-breaking numbers against the Bucks. Devin Booker paved the way as he went wild and shot an impressive 7-of-12 from deep en route to a 31 point performance. Chris Paul, Jae Crowder, and Mikal Bridges combined to hit nine 3-pointers as well, ensuring that nearly every option on the floor would give them a lethal shooter from range.

To their credit, the Suns hit several tough shots where the defense from the Bucks could not have been played any better. You have to tip your hat to those shots on occasion, but it should not be ignored that many of their looks were lightly contested, if at all. This is where that hustle comes into play, and the Bucks looked deflated on several possessions, opting to not even attempt to get a hand up and contest the shot.

Once the Suns caught the hot hand, it seemed like there was no slowing them down. Bucks fans certainly have Deja Vu after yet another playoff loss highlighted by an onslaught of shots from deep, and this one will undeniably sting for the next few days.