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NBA Recap: Magic Stun Bucks In Game 1
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The Orlando Magic surprised just about everyone, especially the Milwaukee Bucks, when it came away with a statement 122-110 win over the No. 1 team in the East on Tuesday. It’s a head-scratching loss for the Bucks, who likely overlooked the Magic with a much bigger prize on their minds, but in order to reach the NBA Finals, Milwaukee still has to get out of the first round. 

Milwaukee will have to be more disciplined on defense in order to not have a repeat of letting six Magic players score in double figures, and it will need more support from its deep bench to help Giannis Antetokounmpo’s great performance in Game 1. Orlando, meanwhile, will have to understand that after Game 1, Milwaukee will likely be more sound defensively, so a 35-point performance from Nikola Vucevic and 15 points from Markelle Fultz may not come as easily this time around. 

How to Watch Bucks-Magic Game 2

  • Date: Thursday, Aug. 20 | 6 p.m. ET
  • Location: Disney Wide World of Sports — Orlando, Florida
  • TV: ESPN | Stream: fuboTV (try for free)
  • Odds: Bucks -12.5 | Over/Under: 226.5

Storylines

Bucks: It really comes down to defense for Milwaukee in this game. The Bucks are supposed to have the best defense in the league, and yet they allowed the Magic to shoot 40 percent from 3-point range and nearly 50 percent from the field. That’s just completely unacceptable for a team that has championship aspirations right now. Milwaukee’s interior defense was especially problematic, as Orlando had no problem driving to the basket with little resistance. Brook Lopez and Antetokounmpo are supposed to be like a brick wall for the Bucks defense, but that was not present in Game 1. Milwaukee needs to tighten up significantly in this series so it doesn’t get shell-shocked again.

Magic: Orlando couldn’t have asked for a better start to the postseason, especially since both Aaron Gordon and Jonathan Isaac were out for various injuries. Nikola Vucevic knocked off his playoff demons and looked like the best player on the floor in Game 1, and solid contributions from four of the Magic’s five starters really put the pressure back on Milwaukee. No one expected the Magic to win even one game in this series, so they’re already in uncharted territory. We’ll see how well they can play against what should be more focused Bucks team over the course of this series. 

Game prediction

Milwaukee clearly was not expecting that offensive explosion from Orlando, and likely won’t let the Magic feel that comfortable again shooting 3s and penetrating the rim. The Bucks will be more locked in this game, although it won’t be a complete blowout. Pick: Bucks -12.5

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