The Bucks have recently talked about pushing the tempo and attempting to play faster. They were successful in that aspect tonight. They played very fast. Unfortunately, they played the Sacramento Kings, who happen to lead the league in pace. The Kings ran the Bucks off their own floor, beating them 129-118 inside the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
The indifference towards defense from both teams started in the first quarter as the teams combined for 73 points in the game's first period and that continued through the rest of the game. Ultimately, the Kings shot 57.1% from the field and Rudy Gay scored 36 points on 21 shots.
For the Bucks, both Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo shined in the starting lineup, putting up 21 points on the night. Middleton also added six assists on the night and five threes (on eight attempts).
Both benches put up insane numbers as well. Only Omri Casspi, Marco Belinelli, and Darren Collison came off the bench for the Kings, but they combined for 54 points. Despite their great night, the Kings' bench only outscored the Bucks bench by 3 points as the Bucks' bench was able to put up 51 points on the night. Greivis Vasquez had a great night, posting nine points and seven assists in 16 minutes. John Henson also played well with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
After the game, head coach Jason Kidd said, "We gave them warm-up jump shots. They got our temperature and saw we did not want to play defense. They took advantage of it. That's as simple as it is."
It really was that simple. The Bucks decided to try to outscore a team that plays faster than they do and could not get stops when they needed it.
Now, go on the Internet and try to find out everything you can about what happened after the game!
(Spoiler alert: It appeared that there was some jawing between DeMarcus Cousins and O.J. Mayo in the final moments of the game that may have led to a shoving match between Cousins and Jerryd Bayless which eventually led to Mayo possibly being escorted from the building by his teammates.)
- The pace in the first quarter was unbelievable. The Bucks have worked recently on increasing their pace, but it may have not been the best thing against the Kings, who lead the league in pace.
- Vasquez-Bayless-Mayo-Giannis-Henson to start the second quarter. I asked Kidd about Monroe playing all 12 minutes of the second quarter on Monday during pre-game availability and he specifically mentioned Henson's poor play as a reason for Monroe playing the entire quarter. The lack of minutes might have woke Henson up.
- It's been a while since we've seen one, but Vasquez threw the lob to John Henson on a pick and roll. Henson looked good in the second quarter scoring eight points and adding four rebounds.
- Jerryd Bayless played the entire second quarter and the entire fourth quarter. He played just under 36 minutes on the night.
- After Gay stripped Antetokounmpo on a layup attempt in the fourth quarter, coach Jason Kidd came down to the other end of the floor to call a timeout. He promptly started arguing with official Zach Zarba. He knocked the ball out of Zarba's hands and ejected from the game.
- The trio of Greivis Vasquez, Jerryd Bayless, and O.J. Mayo looks really good together. Having two shooters on the wing with Vasquez makes him so much more dangerous. It just opens up so much more space for his drives and the roller.
- When Jabari Parker catches the ball behind the three point line, he immediately puts it on the ground or jab steps. This isn't a huge problem, but certainly dampers the excitement of anyone thinking he was going to start taking more threes this season.
- Every time Parker dunks, he is somehow still rising. It defies logic.
- I originally thought the Bucks looked really good offensively. Then, I realized just how bad the Kings are defensively. The Bucks were also terrible on the defensive side of the ball.
- It was a strange, strange night in the Bradley Center.