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NBA

NBA Playoffs 2019: Four takeaways from the Milwaukee Bucks' dominant Game 1 win over the Detroit Pistons

#Giannis

The Milwaukee Bucks, the best team in the NBA throughout the regular season, flexed their muscles against the Detroit Pistons in the Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.

In front of their home fans, the Bucks simply dominated from the outset as they ran away with the 121-86 victory. The blowout loss was further compounded in the third quarter when Pistons big man Andre Drummond was ejected for a Flagrant 2 foul on Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Antetokounmpo once again led the way in what has been a truly incredible season as he finished with 24 points, 17 rebounds and four assists in only 23 minutes.

Luke Kennard was the bright spot off the bench for the Pistons, ending with 21 points on 8-for-14 shooting from the field.

For more on how it all went down, here are four takeaways from the Bucks' Game 1 win…

The Bucks are a different beast

Milwaukee clearly watched the opening day of NBA Playoff action and saw two of their main Eastern Conference rivals fall to their underdog rivals.

They came out of the gate on fire, scoring the game's opening points on an alley-oop to Brook Lopez and they never looked back.

Within six minutes the lead had grown to 17 points and victory looked assured after the opening quarter behind the 38-18 lead.

Having a player as dominant as Giannis on your roster is a huge advantage, but don't be fooled; the Bucks are loaded. Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe and Brook Lopez all registered 14 or more points and combined to shoot 8-for-16 from beyond the arc.

Pistons struggled without Blake Griffin in the rotation

Blake Griffin was announced as out prior to Game 1 and the Pistons were never able to overcome the loss of their star forward.

The Pistons offense struggled throughout the entirety of the contest as they failed to overcome the Bucks' defense. Only two starters, Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson, made their way into double figures for scoring with Luke Kennard leading the way off the bench.

Griffin missed the final game of the regular season due to a knee injury, but will have had a week off by the time Game 2 rolls around.

The Pistons will be hoping he's healthy and that he can help lead the team back into the series.

Giannis is the most unstoppable force in basketball

We've heard him say it previously and Giannis just continues to show he truly is an unstoppable force on the basketball court.

MVP chants rang out around Fiserv Forum and it wasn't hard to see why. Giannis spun through the lane in the opening minutes to register his first points and the relentless assault on the rim just went on and on.

The Greek Freak ended Game 1 with 24 points and 17 rebounds, but the most important figure of all was his playing time - less than 24 minutes as he sat the final three minutes of the third and the entire fourth quarter.

Getting the win and plenty of rest means Giannis will be fresh throughout the series and can continue throwing down dunks from the free throw line.

Pistons need to find some hunger

Getting Blake Griffin back is the first key step. Unfortunately, Thon Maker never settled into a rhythm in the contest and was outplayed on both ends.

But he wasn't the only Pistons player who failed to deliver during the Game 1 Bucks route. Fellow starters Bruce Brown and Wayne Ellington didn't have an impact and looked flat from the outset.

Going up against the best team in the NBA was always going to be a tough ask, but the Pistons didn't put up enough fight to even fill fans with hope.

Coach Dwane Casey needs to rally his troops and turn them into hungry players willing to hunt and chase each and every ball.

They might not win the series, but they can at least put up a fight and go down with some pride.

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