NBA Playoffs, Hawks vs. Bucks Game 3: What a difference a venue makes -- Bucks win a one off
Suddenly it felt like late March again for Milwaukee. Like that one day in winter that reminds you of the spring to come, it was that one perfect day for the Bucks where once again Brandon Jennings and John Salmons were unstoppable. It was a flashback to better days.
It was a one-off. A random occurrence. Don’t bet on it happening again.
Yes, the Bucks are a much better team at home, and that showed. And yes, the Hawks notoriously stink on the road, especially in the playoffs. But this series is not going to continue like this, the Hawks are not going to miss shots like this, or be as slow on defense, the Bucks will not that hot.
This was one of those games where Dan Gadzuric is draining 16-foot jumpers. That is not your every day game.
Jennings started out on fire -- three quick threes. Salmons joined in the “I can’t miss” chorus. These two went 9 of 10 for the first quarter, and the Bucks were shockingly up 36-19.
Meanwhile the Bucks on defense tried hard to take away the easy buckets the Hawks had feasted on in games one and two. Force the Hawks to run the offense through Joe Johnson, try to cut the other guys out. Make the Hawks work for it. They weren’t ready. Josh Smith was 2 of 12 without a few easy dunks to pad his shooting percentage (credit Luc Richard Mbah a Moute for much of that). Hawks not named Johnson shot just 38 percent on the game.
Look at the halftime shooting stats: Milwaukee 52 percent, Atlanta 36 percent. From three the Bucks were shooting 46 percent, Atlanta 14 percent.
For one game, the Hawks couldn’t get others involved and couldn’t hit their shots. For one game, the Bucks drilled their jumpers. For one game, it was a Milwaukee dream
But they are going to have to do it more than once for me to start to believe. Not sure they can do that. In fact, pretty sure they can’t.