Game 1 of the NBA Finals has concluded and things do not look good for the Milwaukee Bucks.
They were soundly defeated by the Phoenix Suns by a final score of 118-105.
Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo played despite being less than 100 percent.
Despite this, Antetokounmpo had an amazing showing, finishing the contest with 20 points and 17 rebounds.
He also pulled off a chase-down block that mimicked that of LeBron James in the 2016 Finals.
Giannis’ chasedown block looks similar to LeBron’s 🔥 pic.twitter.com/v1FR8SkAMP
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 7, 2021
Along with this, Khris Middleton also had himself a night.
Middleton showed out on the offensive end after putting up a career high in points the game before against the Atlanta Hawks.
He put in an incredible 45 minutes where he was asked to carry the weight of the offense on his shoulders.
While the Bucks fell short of the victory, Middleton did all he could to keep them in the contest.
It will be a very uphill battle for the Bucks to pull off a series victory against the Suns.
For this to happen, the stars must be playing at their best along with the role players stepping up.
There is one player in particular who must play better for the remainder of this series for the Bucks to have any shot of coming home as NBA champions.
Jrue Holiday had an abysmal Game 1 in the Finals.
He finished the game with 10 points, seven rebounds, and nine assists.
Holiday did this while shooting 4/14 from the field and 0/4 from three.
Along with this, he had the second-worst plus/minus between either team with a minus-16.
This was only bested by Brook Lopez who had a minus-17.
The Bucks sent a rather hefty package to New Orleans to acquire Holiday this offseason.
Some would go as far to say that they overpaid for Holiday to show they were committed to build the best roster possible around Antetokounmpo.
While the trade was enough for Giannis to sign the supermax to stay in Milwaukee, it may not be enough to win them a championship if Holiday does not step up.
Holiday has had a rough playoff run with the Bucks this postseason.
While he has seen a slight increase in rebounds and assists per game, he has also experienced a slight drop off in points and has seen his shooting percentages fall off a cliff.
Jrue Holiday tonight: pic.twitter.com/bQFeeHBSFt
— LeBron’s IQ (@emanuelgodina) July 7, 2021
During the regular season, Holiday was shooting 50.3 percent from the field, 39.2 percent from three, and 78.7 percent from the free-throw line.
In the playoffs, those percentages have dropped to 41.7 percent from the field, 28.8 percent from three, and 67.4 percent from the line.
One possible explanation for this is the coaching strategy of Mike Budenholzer.
Budenholzer throughout his time with the Bucks has had a strategy of resting his players during the regular season as a way to prepare them for the playoffs.
This strategy tends to backfire when players see a big spike in minutes and are unable to take games off in the playoffs.
Whether or not this is what is affecting Holiday, he must overcome it and step up.