3 Takeaways From Magic-Bucks – Game 1
The first major upset of the NBA postseason took place Tuesday morning, when the 8th-seeded Orlando Magic knocked off the East's top-seed Milwaukee in Game 1 of their first round Eastern Conference matchup.
Here are 3 Takeways from the shocker in Orlando:
1. Khris Middleton's playoff struggles continue
Milwaukee's second All-Star, Khris Middleton, struggled to find his footing in Game 1, scoring only 14 points on 4-for-12 shooting from the field and going 2-for-6 from three-point range.
Tuesday's performance was a far cry from his regular season average of 20.9 points, 49.7% shooting from the field and 41.5% from three-point range, but it is in-line with the drop off in production come playoff time that we saw last season from Middleton, his first year as an All-Star.
After averaging 18.3 points on 44% shooting during the 2018-19 regular season, Middleton's numbers dropped to 16.9 points on 41% shooting in last year's playoffs.
Reigning league MVP and Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo recorded 31 points, 17 rebounds, and 7 assists in Tuesday's loss.
2. Lack of bodies doesn't hurt Orlando
Health hasn't been the Magic's strength in the bubble.
In the second game of seeding play, the Magic lost starting forward Jonathan Isaac to a torn ACL. Then, it was announced that fellow starting forward Aaron Gordon and reserve guard Michael Carter-Williams would miss Game 1 against the Bucks with separate injuries.
However, as it turns out, less was more for Orlando on Tuesday.
Six Orlando players scored in double figures for the Magic, led by All-Star center Nikola Vucevic's 31 points.
While the Magic struggled in seeding play, going 3-5 across eight games, in those three wins the Magic had at least six players reach double-digits in scoring.
3. Will this year be different for Orlando?
For the second year in a row, the Magic have upset a higher-seeded opponent in the first game of the first round of the playoffs.
Last season, the 7th-seeded Magic knocked off the 2nd-seeded Toronto Raptors in Toronto in Game 1.
Orlando, however, would go on to lose the next four games of that series.
Will they be able to reverse the trend this season, given that they will the Orlando bubble is devoid of a homecourt advantage?