ORLANDO, FL – After the remaining NBA teams in the bubble went on strike due to the killing of Jacob Blake, the season looked to be in jeopardy as most team were refusing to play. Notably the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers voted for the season to end.
During the NBA strike meeting, the players and Board of Governors gathered to discuss the future of the NBA season. A call from NBPA (National Basketball Player’s Association) President Chris Paul and Lakers superstar Lebron James to former president Barack Obama proved to be a deciding factor in season’s future.
Obama convinced James and Paul to resume the NBA playoffs and return to the court. Games were suspended Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday and returned on Saturday starting with the Magic vs the Bucks.
Orlando is now making their exit from the bubble after stunning the Bucks in game 1. Following their game 1 loss, Milwaukee rolled right through the Magic beating them in four straight games, closing out the series in five.
All-Star Center Nikola Vucevic quietly went on a tear in this first round matchup. He averaged 28 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists with a shooting split of 50.5% from the field, 40.9% from behind the arc and 90.9% from the charity strike (50/40/90) through the series.
In game 5 however, Milwaukee raced to a fast start and volcanically exploded the 2nd quarter for 41 points.
Giannis led the way with a massive double-double with 28 points and 17 rebounds in just 28 minutes of action. Throughout the series Giannis looked like the reigning MVP displaying sheer dominance averaging 30.6 points and 16 rebounds.
His partner in crime however, All-Star Kris Middleton struggled for most of the series only topping 20+ points in 2 games scoring 21 points while adding 10 rebounds.
For the series Middleton averaged 15 points on 36.1% shooting, 5.9 points down from his regular season average.
If Milwaukee hopes to get back to the conference finals and make it to the NBA Finals, Middleton is going to have to return to his All-Star form on a consistent basis.
Giannis and the Bucks face off against Jimmy Butler and Miami Heat in Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. Game 1 is on Monday, August 31st on TNT.