It is WAY too early to feel comfortable running out the "Something's gotta give!" line, but here we are.
The Milwaukee Bucks face the Brooklyn Nets this evening after registering their first road loss of the season a flight away in Toronto. Milwaukee (0-3) and Brooklyn (0-3) are each searching for their first victories of the 2015-16 campaign. While the Bucks have made it to this point by combining a defensible offense with offensive defense, the Nets have settled for just being quite awful on both ends. Whose abhorrent approach will win the day? Let's watch!
Through the first three games of the season, the Bucks have allowed each opponent to score over 100 points, averaging 115.3 per game, 28th in the league. The Raptors were the most recent team to top that number Sunday evening, erasing a fourth quarter comeback attempt by the Bucks that ended up falling way short. Toronto knocked down five triples in the final period, three coming off the hands of Terrence Ross.
It's been a tough early stretch for the Bucks, who finished 2nd in the league last season in defensive efficiency (99.3). That's been turned around to 121.5 thus far, dead last in the league. Case in point: the Bucks' defensive rating against Toronto last night was a ghastly 119.4, and it actually lowered their average!
On the injury front, the Bucks have missed center John Henson (sore achilles) the past two games, while O.J. Mayo (hamstring) has yet to make his season debut. The Bucks could certainly use Henson's shot-blocking ability on the defensive end and Mayo's shooting off the bench.
Jabari Parker (ACL) will hopefully be back very soon. He's expected to get the green light from his New York-based surgeon this week, so it's possible we see him on Wednesday when the Bucks return home to face the Sixers. Tyler Ennis (labrum surgery) is making progress in his rehab and may return to the floor shortly.
One big bright spot has been the play of Giannis Antetokounmpo, who's turned in a pair of terrific individual performances in his first two games. With all the usual qualifications that come with these early-season numbers and trends, consider all the encouraging signs: Giannis is shooting more, scoring more, drawing more fouls, grabbing more rebounds, and picking more pockets than ever before. He's looked like a man on a mission, and if the Bucks are going to break out of this slump, it's looking exceedingly likely that he'll be the guy to do it.
Also Greg Monroe has been pretty chill.
Oh...oh Nets. What happened.
You were beautiful once. You had money, you had power, you had influence. You demanded attention and you set styles.
Jarrett Jack led you in shot attempts last night.
Your mascot was a bold take on a forgotten practice. You were ready to reinvent cool in the world of New York Basketball.
Andrea Bargnani was first off your bench last night.
|15/16 NBA Season|
|November 2, 2015|
|Barclays Center | Brooklyn, NY|
|FS Wisconsin | 620 WTMJ|
|Jarrett Jack||PG||Michael Carter-Williams|
|Markel Brown||SG||Khris Middleton|
|Joe Johnson||SF||Giannis Antetokounmpo|
|Thaddeus Young||PF||Johnny O'Bryant III|
|Brook Lopez||C||Greg Monroe|
|15/16 Advanced Stats|
|94.7 (26th)||Pace||95.0 (23rd)|
|93.6 (28th)||ORtg||104.3 (10th)|
|111.9 (27th)||DRtg||121.5 (30th)|