Giannis' Game 5 Dominance vs. Bulls Proves Bucks Should Be Repeat Title Favorites

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIApril 28, 2022

MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 27: Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks drives to the basket against the Chicago Bulls during Round 1 Game 5 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs on April 27, 2022 at the Fiserv Forum Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images).
Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks meant business Wednesday, as the defending NBA champions polished off their first-round playoff series win against the Chicago Bulls with a 116-100 victory.

Simply put, the Bucks were full-throttle from the jump, soaring to a 34-18 first-quarter lead:

Jim Owczarski @JimOwczarski

Giannis Antetokounmpo went 5-for-5 from the floor and 5-for-7 from the free throw line to score 15 points. Jrue Holiday played the entire first quarter and scored 5 points and had 5 assists. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bucks?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Bucks</a> aren't messing around to start this one.

The Bucks led 60-42 at the half, with Antetokounmpo dropping 23 points. He ended up making his first seven shots and 8-of-9 in the first half.

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 23 points in the 1st half, the most in a 1st half in his playoff career.<br><br>16 of Antetokounmpo's 23 points came in the paint. The Bulls as a team had 16 points in the paint. <a href="https://t.co/Jdiy9xTbwW">pic.twitter.com/Jdiy9xTbwW</a>

Antetokounmpo ended with 33 points in 30 minutes and sat down the stretch as the Bucks reserves closed this one out.

The reigning NBA Finals MVP isn't in this year's NBA MVP discussion, but there really isn't a question as to who the best player in the world is anymore.

With Antetokounmpo on board, anything is possible for Milwaukee, even if they have an uphill road to climb as a No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Bucks probably deserve more credit than they've been given.

Tomer Azarly @TomerAzarly

Defending champs getting no love man, this is crazy 🤣<br><br>Bucks in 6

And that's largely because Giannis has been as dominant as ever in these playoffs.

NBACentral @TheNBACentral

Giannis Antetokounmpo in the first round: <br><br>28.6 PPG<br>13.4 RPG<br>6.2 APG<br>56.8% FG<br><br>Best player in the world? 👀🔥 <a href="https://t.co/2EcHf91CTX">pic.twitter.com/2EcHf91CTX</a>

ClutchPoints @ClutchPointsApp

Giannis Antetokounmpo DOMINATED the Bulls in their 5-game series 😤<br><br>27 PTS - 16 REBS - 3 ASTS - 52.6% FG<br>33 PTS - 18 REBS - 9 ASTS - 55% FG<br>18 PTS - 7 REBS - 9 ASTS - 58.3% FG<br>32 PTS - 17 REBS - 7 ASTS - 50% FG<br>33 PTS - 9 REBS - 3 ASTS - 73.3% FG <a href="https://t.co/3yfvAFTljz">pic.twitter.com/3yfvAFTljz</a>

Scott Grodsky @ScottGrodsky

<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bucks?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Bucks</a> MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo leads the NBA playoffs in plus-minus at +86.

Kendrick Perkins @KendrickPerkins

Giannis is the BEST Player in the world! Carry the hell on…

Nathan Marzion @nathanmarzion

Giannis' last 3 closeout games:<br><br>41.0 PTS<br>12.0 REB<br>66.7% FG<br>76.6% FT

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Giannis Antetokounmpo posted his 28th playoff game with 20 paint points, passing Tim Duncan for 3rd-most over the last 25 years.<br><br>Only Shaquille O'Neal and LeBron James have more. <a href="https://t.co/QaD4jPnLTA">pic.twitter.com/QaD4jPnLTA</a>

Now the Bucks will move on to play the No. 2 seed Boston Celtics beginning Sunday afternoon.