How did the Bucks dominate the Warriors?
The Milwaukee Bucks came into Oracle Arena as a confident 8-2 team out to prove they're for real against the defending champs.
When the Bucks left the arena with their 134-111 blowout win, there was no doubt that they're on the right track.
While the Warriors were already missing defensive mastermind and leader Draymond Green, the Bucks took advantage of one of the Warriors' weaknesses--inside play.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had his way in the post and on drives. Warriors' bigs like Damian Jones or Kevon Looney didn't stand a chance against the long, quick strides of the Greek Freak.
The Bucks bullied the Warriors down low to the tune of an 84-34 points-in-the-paint advantage.
The Warriors, meanwhile, offered little resistance to the Bucks. While Jones, Looney, and Bell tried their best, their youth showed as Giannis and Eric Bledsoe could get to the rim at will. And Pat Connaughton, off the bench, provided a spark with his 15 points on an efficient 7-11 shooting.
On offense, it seemed as if every shot was tough for the Warriors. Nothing came easy against the Bucks' length. Without Draymond facilitating the offense, the Warriors sputtered. They started relying on isolations and fell back into the complacency that has been their biggest Achilles' heel the past few years.
When a team can force the Warriors into Kevin Durant isolations and make the Warriors start to not move as much on offense, they're in good shape. The Bucks did just that. They forced 18 Warriors' turnovers along the way.
The Stephen Curry injury didn't help any, but it also didn't affect the outcome. The Bucks did a good job of always keeping a body on Curry, rarely letting him spring free off screens. Curry merely had 10 points in his 26 minutes of play before the injury.
So, are the Bucks for real?
They destroyed the 2-time defending champs in Oracle. They walked in as the young, upstart team in the East trying to prove themselves.
They walked out making a statement that the Bucks are for real, they're here to stay, and the rest of the league should be put on notice that the Bucks aren't going away.