Milwaukee Bucks: Grades from electric Game 3 win over Phoenix Suns

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JULY 11 (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JULY 11 (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – JULY 11 (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

How did the starting five perform for the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 3 vs. the Phoenix Suns?

A. After struggling on the offensive end throughout the first two games of the series, Jrue Holiday finally got into a groove Sunday night. The guard scored 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the floor, including an eye-opening 5-of-10 from 3-point territory. The latter is certainly an interesting number, given how poorly Holiday has shot the long ball during these playoffs, but he had it going In Game 3, and the Bucks continued feeding the hot hand. He would nearly notch a double-double as he garnered nine assists on the night, helping keep the offense running smoothly. Defensively, Holiday looked much better as well, playing far more aggressively than previously seen, and it benefitted him tremendously. Single-player +/- is far from the perfect stat, but Holiday finished with a team-high +22 in the win, signaling his impact on this team when he was on the floor.. PG. Milwaukee Bucks. JRUE HOLIDAY

B+. The Bucks are still waiting for Khris Middleton to break through offensively in this series, but he clocked in a solid-all around effort in Game 3. He would finish with 18 points, shooting 8-of-14 from the floor and 3-of-3 from the free throw line in his first attempts from the stripe during this series. He looked confident with his shot, which was undoubtedly a good sign after scoring a mere 11 points in the previous game. Although his scoring numbers did not jump off the page, the swingman looked to get his teammates more involved in the action by handing out six assists. Middleton saw more action as the primary ball-handler in this matchup, and it worked well as he not only created looks for himself but gathered those assists thanks to some pristine playmaking, including an impressive sideline out of bounds alley-oop pass to Giannis Antetokounmpo. Whether it was scoring, facilitating, rebounding, or defense, Middleton made his impact felt on the floor, and the team will need him to build off this bounce-back performance.. SG. Milwaukee Bucks. KHRIS MIDDLETON

B. Knowing the Bucks needed to tighten up their defense, P.J. Tucker looked assertive on that end of the floor from start to finish. He was active all night defensively to try and prevent another assault from the Suns, and it ultimately worked well. Although Tucker finished with five fouls, one coming as a blocking foul as he tried taking a charge on a thunderous slam from Cameron Johnson, that aggressiveness on the defensive end was a massive boost for the Bucks as their all-around defense looked much more like what fans are accustomed to seeing. Offensively, Tucker would tally seven points on 3-of-5 shooting, which included knocking down a signature corner triple, while grabbing three rebounds, and one assist in 30 minutes played.. SF. Milwaukee Bucks. P.J. TUCKER

PF. Milwaukee Bucks. GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO. A+. Giannis Antetokounmpo continues to dominate in his first career trip to the NBA Finals, propelling the Bucks to a massive win in Game 3. The Greek Freak would score 41 points on 60.9 percent shooting from the floor, consistently powering his way to the basket as the Suns were forced to run small-ball with Deandre Ayton getting in foul trouble early. Antetokounmpo would not be denied under the basket, and his tenaciousness led to many trips to the free throw line, where he went an impressive 13-of-17. He looked unrattled at the line, taking advantage of every trip to the stripe by adding to his hefty point total. In addition to yet another stellar scoring performance, Giannis would tally 13 rebounds, four of which came on the offensive end, while putting his facilitating to good use by dishing out six assists. One could not have scripted a better performance from the two-time MVP to help get the Bucks in the win column.

B. Milwaukee’s man in the middle saw his minutes shortened once again due to small-ball as he only hit the floor for 21 minutes in this matchup. Playing Antetokounmpo at the center position has been life-changing for the Bucks in this series, but that does not make Lopez entirely obsolete. He would score 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting during that stretch, his shooting percentage being bogged down by missing three of his four attempts from deep. The big man sees most of his success offensively when he barrels his way to the basket. Still, he was primarily camped out on the perimeter to better space the floor in Game 3 to make way for Antetokounmpo during their time together, which proved to be a winning formula. Lopez can do far better, but given how well Antetokounmpo played, the Bucks had to ride the hot hand.. C. Milwaukee Bucks. BROOK LOPEZ