TrueHoop readers and BRING IT IN listeners know David Thorpe has been talking about the Bucks’ good title chances all season. When Giannis shifted his attack in the middle of conference finals, David published a story saying this Giannis can win a title, and he picked them to, so long as Giannis was healthy. After the Bucks stumbled out of the gate against the Suns, David could see a way the Bucks would turn it around, and then documented a new wrinkle to the Bucks’ offense with the potential to stymie the Suns.
By Friday’s BRING IT IN, though, David said that he didn’t know who to favor, but that in the end his best guess was that Jrue Holiday couldn’t be terrible on offense forever. He foresaw a Holiday offensive recovery and a Bucks win.
That probably looked pretty crazy one quarter into the Suns Saturday night home game, as they rolled to a big lead before their delighted home crowd.
The Bucks started the second quarter with Giannis on the bench. Then Jrue Holiday came alive. Over about half a quarter, as the Suns went minutes between buckets, the Bucks were almost perfect:
Jrue Holiday made four of five, with a 3, and four assists,
Brook Lopez made two of three, with four rebounds,
Khris Middleton made three of four, with three rebounds and three assists,
Pat Connaughton made a 3,
Bobby Portis made three of four (including two 3s) with two offensive rebounds.
It happened fast, and it was decisive. It could very well be that we will look back at the second quarter of Game 5, when Jrue Holiday’s offense came alive and the Bucks roared back into the lead, as the turning point of the Finals. Holiday finished with 27 points and the best plus/minus of any player in the game.
Game 6 is Tuesday in Milwaukee.