Grayson Allen showed his importance in Milwaukee Bucks’ Game 3 win

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - APRIL 22 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - APRIL 22 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Rarely does a player that just had the best year of their career as a full-time starter get sent to the bench just before the postseason begins. However, that is what happened with Grayson Allen as a surprising late-season decision by Mike Budenholzer moved him to the Milwaukee Bucks’ second unit in favor of Wesley Matthews. Many questioned whether the decision would eliminate Allen’s rhythm, given how well he played with the starters all year, and throughout the first two games of the team’s first round series with the Chicago Bulls, that appeared to be the case.

Throughout the first two games, Allen totaled a measly three points on 1-of-6 field goal shooting, including 0-of-4 from behind the arc in approximately 40 minutes. Allen was virtually a non-factor during this timeframe, but that would have to change once Khris Middleton went down in Game 2 with an MCL sprain. With the three-time All-Star forward set to miss the remainder of the series, the Bucks needed someone else to take on some of the scoring load, and Allen was among those that were more than capable. Thankfully, he stepped up mightily in a crucial Game 3 on Friday as he ended his rocky shooting slump.

Grayson Allen provided an essential boost in the Milwaukee Bucks’ thrilling Game 3 victory over the Chicago Bulls

Knowing that the Bucks needed his contributions, Allen came out firing off the bench in Game 3. After attempting four 3-pointers in the first two matchups combined, he attempted three in the first quarter of Game 3 alone, and he buried all of them. Leading Milwaukee in scoring with nine first-quarter points, the sharpshooter continued his scoring barrage throughout the game as he caught fire on the offensive end.

In total, Allen finished with a game-high 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting (66.7 percent), including an efficient 5-of-7 from 3-point territory (71.4 percent). After two subpar games, Allen finally found a groove and clocked in a stellar performance to help the Bucks secure a 111-81 victory on the road. Now, Allen must sustain his newfound momentum from Game 3 and build off it moving forward to help keep the Bucks afloat in Middleton’s absence.

Allen’s importance is highlighted by Milwaukee’s lack of bench scoring. During the first two games in this series, the second unit averaged a mere 12 points per contest. Obviously, numbers like that will not get the job done most nights, but Allen provided a sizeable spark in Game 3 to finally give the Bucks the boost they needed. With Middleton out, they will need even more scoring from the bench in this series, and Allen could provide it, as evidenced by his herculean effort on Friday.

To be clear, Grayson Allen does not have to come out and lead Milwaukee in scoring night in and night out with an outburst like this, though that would not hurt. Instead, the guard must keep an aggressive mindset with his game offensively, as that has been his biggest X-factor all year long. Look at his first two games of the series, for example. Allen had just six shot attempts in total in those games, and he doubled that on Friday alone. Middleton’s absence freed up some attempts for Allen, as it forced him to be more aggressive, which is exactly what the Bucks needed to notch this much-needed road win.

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Allen finally found his footing in Game 3, and hopefully he can sustain it moving forward.