Sep 27, 2021; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton (22) and forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) and guard Jrue Holiday (21) pose for pictures during Media Day at the Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks boast a 4-1 record in five games since the NBA All-Star break. 

In their current four-game winning streak, three of the victories are against top-5 opponents. 

Two of the team’s last three triumphs were versus the current No. 1 seeds in each conference. 

There’s one common theme for the Bucks: the Big 3 of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton has worked in marvelous unison and taken turns as the leading man. 

On March 2 against the Miami Heat, Antetokounmpo, Holiday and Middleton popped 28, 25 and 26 points apiece. Antetokounmpo added 17 rebounds and Holiday served 11 assists. Middleton sank a clutch 3-pointer from 26 feet with 13 seconds left that drew Milwaukee within one. 

Then Holiday put the game on his shoulders, bringing a jump ball the length of the court, leaning to his right on a hard drive to the left side of the hoop. He hoisted the game-winner off the glass to cap a 21-6 run by the reigning NBA champs and seal a 120-119 win over the top team in the Eastern Conference. 

Two nights later in front of a feral Chicago crowd, Holiday channeled a similar calmness in crunch time.

For three quarters, Antetokounmpo rattled fans at the United Center with an MVP-worthy performance, pouring in 34 points on 12-of-22 shooting and stashing 16 rebounds. But it was the veteran point guard who sealed the team’s 12th win over the Bulls under coach Mike Budenholzer in 13 tries. 

Holiday scored 11 of Milwaukee’s final 18 points vs. Chicago, including three consecutive baskets from close range in a span of 56 seconds. He netted 16 of his 26 and grabbed five of his eight boards in the fourth quarter, fueling the Bucks on an 18-10 run in the final five minutes to erase a 102-100 deficit. 

To the bemusement of everyone, Holiday delivered an even more climactic performance in the closing stages of Sunday’s Finals rematch, igniting a 22-9 run to knock out the NBA-leading Phoenix Suns. 

“Khash Money” paced all scorers with a season-high 44 points – Middleton made 16 of 27 shots and 5 of 9 from behind the arc – but Holiday propped up Milwaukee’s 132-122 win with 17 points in the fourth, the third-highest scoring final quarter in his 13 seasons and best since 18 against the Rockets last April.

Holiday and Middleton, who further purged the Suns for 16 in the fourth and scored eight of the game’s last nine points, were as lethal of a 1-2 punch as a 12th-round combination from a prized fighter. 

The duo’s dominance was needed, too, because Antetokounmpo finished with 19 points, his fewest since Dec. 8, and fouled out with 1:12 remaining. Holiday and Middleton picked up the slack seamlessly. 

In doing so, Milwaukee moved to 7-0 this season when its Big 3 combined for 79+ points. The trio reached that figure for the first time in 2021-22 against Orlando (80 points) on Dec. 30. 

The Bucks Big 3 scored in concert, again, Jan. 28 in a blowout win over the Knicks. The five other occurrences have taken place in the last month, beginning with 80 combined points against the Lakers on Feb. 8, 83 against the Pacers one week later Feb. 15 and each of Milwaukee’s latest three wins.   

The March 2 escape versus the team from South Beach marked a sweeter level of supremacy. It was the first game this season where Antetokounmpo, Holiday and Middleton each scored 25+ points.  

Looking solely at the three-game test the Bucks just completed – because it was dubbed as formidable of a stretch they’ll face before the playoffs – and aced, their Big 3 couldn’t have performed better. 

Holiday averaged 25.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 8.3 assists. Since the league reconvened, he leads the NBA in fourth-quarter scoring with 11.5 points per contest. 

Middleton averaged 30.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists. He was seven points shy of matching his career high (51) Sunday when the sun set on Phoenix. 

Lastly, there’s Antetokounmpo – the face of the NBA – who is on pace to record his fifth consecutive campaign with averages of 26+ points and 10+ rebounds, a feat only accomplished by five Hall of Famers: Bob Pettit (6), Karl Malone (6), Wilt Chamberlain (7), Kareem Abdul-Jabaar (8) and Shaquille O’Neal (10).

The “Greek Freak” averaged 27.0 points, 15.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists.  

They form arguably the most treacherous threesome in the NBA. Any of the three can score, or alter the flow of a game, in a number of ways. But, it’s their chemistry together that has the Bucks ascending.