The past few days have been nothing short of chaotic for the Milwaukee Bucks following the sudden dismissal of Adrian Griffin, the team's former head coach.
Although the Bucks locked up Doc Rivers on a deal to become the team's next head coach, he was not in line to lead as the Bucks hosted the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday. That meant Joe Prunty would serve as the interim head coach for this matchup, a role he is quite familiar with.
After getting blown off the floor by the Cavaliers just a week ago, the Bucks came out of the gates energized this time around. Even in pregame warmups, it seemed like they had some extra pep in their step.
Milwaukee never trailed from start to finish and built a lead as large as 21 points. This group of players looked incredibly in-sync outside of a handful of lapses defensively here and there, which is not new. Still, they overcame those blunders to take down the Cavaliers 126-116 in the first game of a new era.
Following shakeup, Milwaukee Bucks look energized in win over Cleveland Cavaliers
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the charge for the Bucks as he put together his second consecutive triple-double. The Greek Freak was excellent with 35 points, 18 rebounds, and 10 assists, and he topped it off with two blocked shots. This was his seventh triple-double of the season, tying his career-high for most in a season. There are still 38 games to go. That's incredible.
Damian Lillard got in on the action as well, having clocked in 28 points, four assists, and two steals. Despite a rough shooting night, having gone just 8-of-21 from the floor, Lillard stayed aggressive and kept hunting for shots, being rewarded with 11 free throw attempts. His ability to get to the line even when he's struggling with his shot has been an incredible weapon for this Milwaukee Bucks.
Khris Middleton round out the Big 3 with 24 points, five assists, five boards, and two steals. One of those steals led to a massive dunk from the forward, something fans don't see too often. Still, most of his damage came courtesy of his smooth jumper, as Middleton was in a tremendous groove all night.
Games like this when the Big 3 all clock in 20-plus points are something to behold. The Bucks have three legitimate scorers when can put up points from so many different places on the court, which is nothing new, but they're still working to get this synergy going every game.
Meanwhile, Malik Beasley had a stat-sheet stuffing performance with nine points, a rebound, assist, and steal each. Beasley hit three triples, the last of which gave Antetokounmpo his 10th assist of the night to log that triple-double. Brook Lopez rounded out the starters with eight points, nine boards, three assists, and a steal and block apiece.
On the opposite end, Donovan Mitchell had 23 points for the Cavaliers, but the Bucks made him work for it, as he had 24 shot attempts. Big man Jarrett Allen had 21 points as Milwaukee struggled to get him under control down low, a recurring theme when these two teams play.
Ultimately, this was a nice win for the Bucks following a hectic 24 hours. It will be interesting to see how the team adapts to playing for a new coach mid-season and whether or not Rivers can help the Bucks in their quest for a title.
Stay tuned for more Milwaukee Bucks analysis.