There were more than a few factors that contributed to the Milwaukee Bucks’ 122-114 victory over the Miami Heat on Monday night. The fact that Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard combined for 58 points is obviously a major reason behind the win.
However, there’s also no denying that Milwaukee’s bench significantly impacted the outcome of Monday’s marquee matchup.
Milwaukee Bucks Head Coach Praises Bobby Portis
One player who stood out in this one was Bobby Portis. As usual, the veteran big man came off the bench to give the team a massive boost. Portis finished with 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting, eight rebounds, two assists, two steals, and a block in just 19 minutes of play.
Bucks head coach Adrian Griffin dubbed Portis as “the people’s champ” after his massive performance against the Heat. The rookie shot-caller also said that Portis was a definite game-changer in Milwaukee’s second win of the season:
“Bobby, he just changed the game with his energy,” Griffin said, via Eric Nehm of The Athletic. “Speeding guys up with his ball pressure, getting deflections, getting turnovers, grabbing rebounds and pushing and making plays for each other. I mean, he was everywhere and that’s what we needed from him coming off the bench. When he plays that way, we’re a very tough team to beat.”
Milwaukee’s Bench Mob
It wasn’t just Portis who stepped up from the bench, though. Jae Crowder and Pat Connaughton each scored eight points apiece, draining two triples each. Summer recruit Cameron Payne contributed 11 points in 13 minutes with three 3-pointers.
“I thought our entire bench was phenomenal, just with their focus and intensity,” Griffin said. “Cam came in and hit some big shots. Jae was solid like always. PC, just a veteran leadership, just always solid. So it was definitely a total team win.”
It goes without saying that Milwaukee will need more of the same from their second unit moving forward if they are to reach their lofty objectives this year.
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