Grading Milwaukee Bucks’ gritty Game 5 comeback win vs. Boston Celtics

May 11, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
May 11, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Jrue Holiday, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Boston Celtics: Grant Williams
May 11, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /

Grading Milwaukee Bucks’ Game 5 Comeback Win: Starters

Jrue Holiday: A

Jrue Holiday picked a great time to find his extra gear and kick in to it, Jrue Holiday was +15 in the fourth quarter on Wednesday night. In the fourth quarter, Jrue Holiday scored eight points, including two threes, one of which tied the game, grabbed four rebounds, dished two assists, and then recorded the game sealing block and steal. Two massive defensive plays were made on the defensive player of the year winner Marcus Smart, showing off why Jrue Holiday was on the 20-21 All-NBA Defensive team.

The only point I want to make with Jrue that isn’t glaringly positive is that I’d still like to see his shot selection improve a bit in the game, Jrue got himself into some really tough spots late in shot clocks where he had to put up some bad shots, one of which Jaylen Brown blocked. If he can hunt the shots he’s capable of getting, basically at will because anyone his size (and even some bigger than him) are not strong enough to keep him out of the paint, and he is capable of driving by any big men that switch onto him, then there is no reason that his field goal efficiency can’t improve.

Speaking of improved efficiency, Jrue Holiday was 4-for-7 on threes in game 5, including 2-for-2 in the fourth quarter, a very welcomed sight for Jrue who had been struggling behind the arc. All in all, Jrue finished with 24 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and only two turnovers. Jrue Holiday also became the first player in the last 25 years to record a block and a steal in the final 10 seconds of a playoff game.

Grayson Allen: B

Grayson Allen didn’t light the scoreboard on fire with his eight points but they were all needed, Grayson also finished with five assists, second most on the team after Jrue Holiday. Grayson made three of the seven field goals he took, including 1-of-2 behind the 3-point line. Grayson Allen did show his aggressiveness by driving and kicking the ball to others to put them in positions to score, if he can put that same aggressiveness into also finding good looks for himself and putting some more of them in the basket it would go a long way in helping the Bucks not being behind by double digits in Game 6.

Wesley Matthews: A-

Wesley Matthews shot just 3-of-9 from the field, however, he was 3-of-6 behind the 3-point line. Matthews finished with nine points, seven rebounds (three offensive), two assists (one of which came after an offensive rebound that he kicked out to Giannis who hit a massive three), zero turnovers, and a steal. Wesley Matthews was +10 in the fourth quarter.

If Wesley Matthews can continue to play tough defense and give some offensive contributions he should be recognized as one of the key pieces of this Milwaukee Bucks’ playoff run. Credit to Jon Horst for bringing him back in and then retaining him instead of DeMarcus Cousins back in January.

Giannis Antetokounmpo: A

Giannis was fantastic in this game, in the end it was his seven turnovers that kept me from giving my second A+ of this postseason, Giannis earned the first in game 3. Giannis finished game 5 with 40 points and 11 rebounds, his sixth career 40-point, 10-rebound game.

Giannis was wonderfully efficient on his shooting, 16-of-27 on field goals, 2-of-5 on 3-point shots, both makes in the second half. The only place Giannis needs to increase his shooting efficiency is at the free throw line, Giannis was 6-for-10 on free throws in game 5. However, had Giannis not missed the last one he shot and Bobby didn’t rebound and put in a basket it’s possible the outcome would have been different, but the basketball gods were on the side of the Milwaukee Bucks in that particular sequence.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was +12 in the fourth quarter, he played all 12 minutes and scored eight points, grabbed three rebounds, and added one assist, one steal and a block all in the final frame. No doubt Giannis will be absolutely locked in Friday night in Milwaukee with a chance to close out the series in front of the home fans.

Brook Lopez: C+

Brook Lopez played just over 20 minutes in this game, with Mike Budenholzer opting to use the faster, more athletic Bobby Portis late in the game. Brook finished with just two points on 1-of-4 shooting, including 0-for-2 behind the 3-point line. Brook did contribute three rebounds, two of which were offensive, and two assists.

Getting Brook some assertive paint touches early in game 6 to get him rolling a bit like he was early in game 5 would help take some pressure of Giannis and Jrue. Keeping him going would be another story, but if the Milwaukee Bucks can win games without big contributions from Brook it will just help that much more when they do get big games from him.