Freimund: Without Giannis, Bucks Not A Playoff Team

Giannis Antetokounmpo had an MVP performance against Boston on Tuesday

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
May 01, 2019 - 9:26 am
Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks

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How does an NBA team lose by 22 points one game yet win by 21 the next? Against the same opponent, no less?

Simple: effort.

“The Bucks came out with a lot of energy,” 105.7 The Fan host Chuck Freimund said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “In Game 1, you would think, OK, you’re playing the Boston Celtics – a team that you lost to last year in the postseason – that they would have come out with steam coming out of your ears. But they actually came out flat as a pancake for whatever reason.”

The Bucks lost Game 1 of their second-round playoff series, 112-90, on Sunday.

“They’ve been pretty good with energy all season long with those boring February NBA games where maybe there’s not a lot of excitement,” Freimund said. “But they have had energy all year long. Sunday, not so much, and they lose by 22 points.”

Game 2, however, was a different story. Milwaukee went on a 26-2 run in the third quarter to win, 123-102, and even the series.

“The Celtics just fell apart,” Freimund said. “When your star player, Kyrie Irving, goes 4-of-18 with nine points – he had an off night. Just like the Bucks had an off night on Sunday, the Celtics had an off night on Tuesday, and we’re even at 1 heading to Boston.”

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton scored 29 and 28 points, respectively, but the most important Buck may have been Eric Bledsoe, who scored 21 points and harassed Irving for much of the evening.

“Bledsoe is the heart and soul of the team,” Freimund said. “Sure, there’s Giannis and there’s Middleton, but Bledsoe has got to be able to score and be able to D. He did a really nice job on Kyrie. Bledsoe is really the X-Factor.”

Antetokounmpo, though, is still the MVP – of the team and the league, Freimund says.

“You take away Giannis from this team, and this team is probably not even a playoff team,” Freimund said. “They’re probably the 10th or 11th seed in the Eastern Conference. He does everything. When he doesn’t play well, they lose by 22 points in a playoff game. But he can do everything. If he ever adds that outside shot, wow. But who can stop him off the dribble? There’s nobody in the league that can stop him off the dribble. He’s definitely the MVP.”

Click below to listen to Freimund’s interview in its entirety.