3 players of interest in Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics Game 3

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 03 (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 03 (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Boston Celtics: Derrick White
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – MAY 03 (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

Giannis Antetokounmpo will be a player of interest in Milwaukee Bucks’ Game 3 matchup versus Boston Celtics

Throughout these first two games, things have been very frustrating for Giannis Antetokounmpo. Though the Greek Freak is averaging a respectable 26 points per game, it has been far from easy for him to get there as he is shooting an abysmal 38.5 percent from the floor. Boston’s reputable defense has done everything possible to prevent Antetokounmpo from dominating this matchup with his scoring, and thus far, it has worked. The Milwaukee Bucks need their superstar to have a bounce-back performance in Game 3, and it will be interesting to see how he comes out, as it was certainly a tale of two halves in Game 2.

In Game 2, Antetokounmpo played arguably his worst half of basketball ever as he scored a mere five points on 2-of-12 field goal shooting. Due to Boston’s pestering defense, the two-time MVP looked rattled during the first 24 minutes, having missed a handful of shots in the first half that would typically be his bread and butter. After that lackluster opening half, Antetokounmpo came out with some fire to open the second half and looked like a completely different player. Over the final 24 minutes, Giannis scored 23 points on 9-of-15 shooting, having shown some aggression offensively to make this game at least somewhat competitive. With the importance of this game well-documented, hopefully Antetokounmpo can set the tone from the jump in Game 3 as he did in the second half of Game 2.

Scoring-wise, this Boston defense will once again look to slow down Antetokounmpo, with their main defender on him being Al Horford. Over 53.7 partial possessions, Horford has done his job to limit Antetokounmpo as the two-time MVP has scored 19 points on a vile 6-of-22 shooting when the two are matched up. Horford has made life difficult for Antetokounmpo, as he has simply not looked like himself throughout portions of this series. Looking close, Antetokounmpo is shooting 13-of-19 from the restricted area and a gruesome 3-of-18 in the paint (non-restricted area) in these first two games, which is rather uncharacteristic of him.

He must clean up his sloppy play down low when trying to score at the hoop, but his mid-range could also be a secret weapon in this series. Antetokounmpo has knocked down just three of his nine mid-range attempts over these first two games, which is a far cry from the success that he saw in the regular season, where he put together his most efficient shooting season from that spot in his career. If he can knock down these mid-range shots with more consistency, it would throw a wrench in Boston’s defensive game plan to pack the paint while also freeing up space for his other teammates. Ultimately, whether it is in the paint or the mid-range, the Milwaukee Bucks need an efficient scoring performance from Antetokounmpo, and it will be interesting to see if he can build off a strong second half showing in Game 2.