For a game that many people believe to be a preview of the NBA Finals, the 129 to 124 victory of the Milwaukee Bucks over the Los Angeles Clippers nearly everything I could have hoped for.
While Kawhi was controversially rested and Paul George is still out, the Clippers Bench (mostly starters in this game) showed exactly why the Clippers are the title favourites.
Without their two all stars and with Giannis having a monster game, the Clippers only lost by 5. Imagine what happens when Kawhi and George are both playing…
Let’s not take away from the fantastic game from the Bucks led by the reigning league MVP in Giannis.
Giannis hit a career high 4 threes, was one assist short of a triple double, had two steals and blocks, 38 points and 16 rebounds. Giannis was straight beast in this game.
He showed that he has another level to reach and put the league on notice.
Giannis was helped off the bench by George Hill who had a crazy game offensively, 6-7 from three and 24 points, despite being accidently elbowed by Lou Williams late in the fourth and sitting out the final minutes of this close game. Hill looked like he was back in the form from his old Indiana days. As did a revitalised Kyle Korver who was 4-7 from three with 14 points, helping the Bucks to outscore the Clippers bench. This was the first time all season the Clippers bench has been beaten scoring wise (probably because Lou and Harrell were in the starting line-up).
The bucks led for most of this game, and the Clippers only momentarily led by a margin of three, but as is unsurprising the Clippers managed to claw their way back from 10 points down in the third to make this a very tight ball game to the very last seconds.
From the Clippers side, this game should be a warning sign for the league.
Montrez Harrell had a career high 34 points, to go along with 13 rebounds, 5 assists, a steal and a block. Lou Williams continued his offensive onslaught with 34 points and 11 assists. Patrick Beverly continued his grit and grind with 6-9 for 20 points and 10 rebounds. Landry Shamet came alive in the fourth to hit threes that lead to the Clippers comeback. Even without their superstars, the Clippers were firing on all cylinders against a team that could be the Eastern Conference Champion.
With Kawhi and George hopefully back next time these teams meet and Giannis continuing his raise as supreme leader of basketball, the next matchup between these title favourite teams should be as good if not greater than the first and I cannot wait.