With Griffin sidelined, Pistons routed by Bucks

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With Griffin sidelined, Pistons routed by Bucks

MILWAUKEE — It’s tough to pinpoint the precise second the Detroit Pistons‘ spirit broke, they took so many blows.

Dwane Casey’s pregame announcement that Blake Griffin‘s knee was “too sore” for him to play in Recreation 1 of the workforce’s first-round playoff sequence in opposition to the Milwaukee Bucks foreshadowed the debacle that was about to happen Sunday. It solely obtained worse when Detroit took the courtroom. Pistons ahead Thon Maker — a fan favourite when he performed for the Bucks — was booed each time he touched the ball. Milwaukee mounted a double-digit lead by the tip of the primary quarter. Simply when it appeared issues could not get uglier, Andre Drummond was ejected.

“We picked it up as the sport went on,” Pistons coach Casey stated. “Nevertheless it was too late.”

The Bucks went on to defeat the Pistons 121-86 behind 24 factors and 17 rebounds from Giannis Antetokounmpo. All advised, the Bucks had seven double-figure scorers — probably the most in a recreation of their previous 20 seasons. Antetokounmpo had a double-double by halftime.

Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer equated Milwaukee’s dominant efficiency to “built-up readiness” after 4 days with out a recreation.

“I do not know in the event that they have been prepared for us,” Antetokounmpo stated. “We simply tried to give attention to ourselves.”

Griffin — wearing a maroon go well with — sat along with his palms folded in his lap, watching his workforce take a lashing on the courtroom. The Pistons have been in a position to snag the East’s remaining playoff seed largely because of Griffin. He performed in 75 video games for Detroit this season — probably the most he has performed because the 2013-14 season. In a few of them, he gave the impression to be in a substantial amount of ache and hobbled up and down the courtroom. Towards the tip of the common season, the miles caught up with the 30-year-old, and he sat out 4 of Detroit’s remaining seven video games.

Even when Griffin did play in opposition to the Bucks through the common season, Milwaukee swept Detroit within the groups’ 4 conferences. After Sunday’s recreation, Casey likened the Pistons with out Griffin to the Bucks with out Antetokounmpo or the 2016 Cavaliers with out LeBron James.

“If it was my determination, I might’ve performed,” Griffin stated.

By halftime, the Bucks had constructed a 27-point lead. However Milwaukee’s largest lead got here moments after Drummond was tossed.

Antetokounmpo had a jaw-dropping dunk from close to the free throw line, however minutes later, Drummond made positive there would not be a repeat efficiency. With simply greater than 4 minutes left within the third quarter, Antetokounmpo was shoved by Drummond, inflicting him to fall laborious. The foul did not appear malicious, however it clearly had the potential to be harmful. After a fast evaluate, the referees deemed the push worthy of a flagrant foul 2, which applies to contact that’s deemed each pointless and extreme.

Griffin was subsequently issued a technical foul after a dialogue of Drummond’s ejection appeared to get heated; the free throws that adopted put Milwaukee up 97-54.

“I’ve to get an evidence for that,” Casey stated of Griffin’s technical.

Drummond refused to reply any questions concerning the foul that earned him an ejection. In 26:16 earlier than being ejected, Drummond was a minus-45. That is the worst plus-minus previously 20 postseasons, in line with ESPN Stats & Data analysis.

Drummond was the third participant ejected this postseason, becoming a member of Golden State Warriors ahead Kevin Durant and LA Clippers guard Patrick Beverley, who have been ejected after receiving a pair of double technicals for repeatedly jawing at one another Saturday.

Casey stated he thought the foul ought to’ve been a flagrant 1 — which applies to pointless contact that is not deemed extreme — however stated he understood that the officers have been making an attempt to regulate the sport and set a tone. Budenholzer chalked the shove as much as playoff chippiness. The foul was a subject of dialog within the Bucks’ locker room after the sport, however Antetokounmpo stated he did not fault Drummond.

Antetokounmpo did not play a second of the ultimate quarter, and the Bucks received by 35 — the third-largest playoff victory in franchise historical past. When the sport was all however over, followers flocked to the exits and walked out into the April snow, chanting “Bucks in 4! Bucks in 4!”

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With Griffin Sidelined, Pistons Routed By Bucks
With Griffin Sidelined, Pistons Routed By Bucks
With Griffin Sidelined, Pistons Routed By Bucks
With Griffin Sidelined, Pistons Routed By Bucks
With Griffin Sidelined, Pistons Routed By Bucks

With Griffin Sidelined, Pistons Routed By Bucks

With Griffin Sidelined, Pistons Routed By Bucks