Watch Giannis Antetokounmpo drop 54 points, Bucks still lose to Pacers

Milwaukee Bucks v Indiana Pacers

The Milwaukee Bucks’ defense is a glaring weakness.

Despite that, Giannis Antetokounmpo’s exceptional performance on Thursday night cannot be overlooked. Motivated after a bogus ejection the previous night and with Damian Lillard out due to injury, he scored 54 points against the Indiana Pacers on 19-of-25 shooting, along with 18 trips to the free throw line.

Antetokounmpo’s relentless attack was evident as 20 of his 25 shots came from inside the paint, most of them near the rim. This game marked the seventh 50+ point performance of his career.

In the fourth quarter, Pacers coach Rick Carlise made a pivotal adjustment by applying a hard double-team on Antetokounmpo the moment he received the ball in the halfcourt. This strategy disrupted Antetokounmpo’s rhythm and led to critical turnovers in the final minute, ultimately contributing to the Pacers’ victory.

Despite Antetokounmpo and Lillard’s standout performances, the deficiencies in the Bucks’ defense cannot be ignored. With a ranking of 25th in the league this season, the changing roster and coaching staff have had a detrimental impact on the team. Additionally, the Pacers boast the best offense in the NBA so far this season, with an offensive rating of 121.5, setting the stage for another potential loss for the Bucks. Milwaukee’s record of 5-3 is respectable, but they have yet to reach the level of Boston or Philadelphia.

Tyrese Haliburton continued his strong start to the season with 29 points and 10 assists, leading the Pacers to victory, while Bennedict Mathurin contributed 26 points and 11 rebounds.


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