Going into the Bucks-Pistons’ first-round series, we knew it was going to be an uphill battle for Detroit, who just eked into the playoffs on the final day of the regular season and are without their best player in Blake Griffin as he continues to battle knee soreness and has no time table for return.
But nobody expected it to be as bad as it got on Sunday in Game 1. By midway through the third quarter, the Pistons had dug themselves a 40-point deficit as Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks continued to pour it on to a hapless Detroit team that never managed to find its footing.
Frustrations finally boiled over when Andre Drummond was battling Giannis for a rebound underneath the basket and aggressively shoved the Bucks’ MVP candidate as he gathered a board.
After a quick review, the officials deemed it a Flagrant 2 foul and ejected Drummond from the game. Drummond finished with 12 points on 4-of-9 shooting from the field and was a game-worst minus-45 for the night.
Meanwhile, the Bucks had five players in double figures heading into the fourth quarter, led by Giannis, who had 24 points and 17 rebounds at the start of the final frame. Barring a miraculous comeback, Milwaukee will take a 1-0 lead in their opening-round series against Detroit.