Game 4 was one of the greatest games that I’ve ever seen. Never have I ever seen the NBA rig a game so flawlessly since the 2002 WCF. By my count Devin Booker fouled out 4 times, Jae Crowder got quote-on-quote hit in the face 8 times, and PJ Tucker complained 17 times on obvious foul calls.
I don’t know where to start. Should I start with the Bucks amazing play under pressure? Booker’s transformation into a heel? Or the re-emergence of Cliff Paul? I’ll start off with the Bucks.
Jrue Holiday, Just Stop!
Jrue Holiday needs to learn his offensive limitations. He can’t make contested threes, he can’t make contested mid-range jumpers, he can’t shoot! 4-20 overall, (haha 420) 0-5 from three-point range and finished with 13 points. When will he realize he can’t shoot! He just can’t, and that’s okay because he can play defense better than any other guard.
Holiday has done a great job guarding Cliff Paul (yeah you read that right). Jrue Holiday has made Chris Paul turn back into Cliff Paul, that’s how good he’s been defensively. Holiday is a rare breed because he can play defense on anyone. He can stop centers, annoy guards, and make forwards look silly. He has been playing defense on everyone not only this series but his defense in game 6 against the Hawks should be studied and admired by all basketball fans.
Holiday redeemed himself with two clutch rebounds late in the game, one of them was a great offensive rebound he grabbed from the hands of Deandre Ayton. Holiday needs to be more picky with his shot selection and continue to play excellent defense.
Khris Middleton is kind of a God
In the first quarter, Middleton was making all of his shots and was looking great. But there was one problem, he tends to stop trying on offense after a while. Like Klay Thompson, he stops trying when he feels like it. But this time was different. He was clutcher than clutch, he was ultra clutch. Middleton was trading buckets with Devin Booker like it was an average Wednesday. Except it wasn’t an average Wednesday because how could hump day be average?
Khris put the team on his back and carried them to victory, his efforts were nothing less than valiant. Except instead of staving off soldiers while behind enemy lines he was shutting up Jae Crowder. He might just be the most annoying player in the NBA right now. I would say, Jae Crowder, Patrick Beverly, and LeBron James are the most annoying players in the NBA right now.
Anyway, Middleton didn’t turn off his competitive switch like usual and thank God he didn’t. The series is tied 2-2 because of Middleton. Milwaukee better make him mayor after he retires.
Giannis has proved he’s the real deal
Someone could’ve made a compelling argument that Giannis shouldn’t be considered a superstar because of his inability to show up in the playoffs. In the NBA Finals Giannis has made the leap from regular season superstar to superstar. Players like Joel Embiid, James Harden, and Donovan Mitchell are regular-season superstars. They can’t show up when it matters most so they can’t be considered superstars. Giannis has moved on from that list and can now be put on the superstar list with players like LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Steph Curry, and Kevin Durant. Just to name a few.
Giannis looked less than 25% in the first quarter, but he played on. He continued to soldier on like a…….Superstar. (Gotcha)
Giannis made one of the greatest defensive recoveries when he blocked Deandre Ayton late in the fourth quarter. He made great passes and made great plays on offense. He is definitely in pain and might have a torn ACL, but he’s playing like his life depended on it. And that’s why he’s a superstar.
Booker is unreal
Devin Booker has had great games before, but this game was different. He was firing on all cylinders, making faders left and right. Knocking down contested shots and somehow staying in the game even though he committed 10 fouls.
During the game, he became a heel. He bitched to the refs, trash-talked the Bucks after every shot, and yelled at his coach. Devin Booker is following in the steps of his hero Kobe Bryant. He is becoming a villain right in front of our eyes, I’m tearing up as I write this.
A true heel is meant to make the opposing team’s crowd red in the face with anger, make the other team commit fouls in rage, and make his own teammates hate him. Booker is checking all those boxes. (We won’t know whether his teammates hate him or not until another 10 years).
Once again Cliff Paul has returned
I fell for the Chris Paul act again. He tricked me into believing he could carry a team to an NBA championship. But he’s at it again, turning back into his alter ego, Cliff Paul. He has already blown the 2-0 lead, how many more games will he play so carelessly?
2 more, that’s how many. He only had 10 points and 7 assists along with 5 turnovers, that’s pretty sad. I didn’t even realize Chris Paul was on the court half the time, I only realized he was on the court after he committed a turnover. I’m sorry I keep saying Chris Paul, I mean to say Cliff Paul. I’m too lazy to go back.
Is Deandre Ayton on the court?
After a magnificent Game 1, Deandre Ayton has been a non-factor in this series. He had 17 rebounds which might look good on paper, but he missed multiple crucial rebounds late in the game. He only had 6 points. Remember when I compared him to Tim Duncan after Game 1? Yeah, forget about that.
Like Cliff Paul (I remembered to call him Cliff) I forgot that Deandre Ayton was on the court half the time. He was lazy on defense and was worse on offense. If Paul and Ayton don’t show up in Game 5 the series will be over in 6.
The key for the Bucks is to keep on fighting. Giannis is playing through a serious injury like a boss, Middleton is quickly becoming one of the best crunch-time players of all time, and Mike Budenholzer has been doing an okay job. They have to fight for two more games, and it’s looking like they will knock out the Suns in 6.