On Saturday night, the Bucks picked up one of the greatest regular season wins in franchise history as they ended the Warriors' undefeated start to the season. On Tuesday night, they were blown out by one of the worst teams in the league, who had won just three games in their first 24 tries this season. It was an ugly night in Los Angeles, as the Bucks fell 113-95 to the Lakers.
From the start, the Bucks lacked the focus that they showcased against the Warriors on Saturday night. There were missed rotations on defense, as well as plenty of offensive rebounds for the Lakers. The Lakers had no problems with the Bucks' defense, scoring 55 first half points. By the end of the game, they also tallied 18 offensive rebounds and over 30 second chance points.
Things only got worse for the Bucks in the second half. They were outscored 31-20 in the third period and allowed the Lakers to take complete control of the game. Despite performing poorly for most of the season, Kobe Bryant led both teams in scoring with 22 points on seven-of-15 shooting. He also added six assists and took over for multiple stretches during the game.
On the other side, Michael Carter-Williams led the Bucks in points (19) and shot attempts (18). Giannis Antetokounmpo put up 15 points, six rebounds, and five assists for another solid performance. Khris Middleton (16), Jabari Parker (12), and Miles Plumlee (10) also found their way into double digits on the night. Ultimately, though, their performances were nowhere near enough and the Bucks put together one of their more disappointing outings of the entire season.
Luckily, they'll be able to keep all their stuff in the guest locker room at the Staples Center overnight since they take on the Clippers on Wednesday night. Unluckily, the Clippers are 15-10 and just one week removed from blowing the Bucks out in Milwaukee. For a second straight night, tipoff is scheduled for 9:30 CST.
- Greivis Vasquez underwent surgery on his foot. The Bucks announced the news early Tuesday evening.
- Greg Monroe missed Tuesday night's game with a sore left knee from bumping knees in shoot around. With Monroe out for the night, John Henson moved into the Bucks' starting lineup.
- Parker had an absolutely gorgeous tip dunk in the game's first few minutes. (h/t @wha1en)
- Miles Plumlee saw his first non-garbage time action since early November. Chris Copeland also got some run in the first half with Monroe out.
- The Bucks exchanged baskets with the Lakers at the start of the third quarter, but eventually the Lakers went on a 10-0 run in the middle of the third quarter to take a 22 point lead and didn't really look back.
- The Bucks fouled the Lakers on three point attempts three separate times, including Bryant twice -- one a four point play.
- Kidd stayed with his starters a little bit longer than you would expect in a blowout, playing them late into the fourth quarter.
- Tonight was the Bucks' tenth straight road loss dating back to November 6.
- The Bucks didn't just lose to the Lakers, they were blown out by the Lakers. Tuesday night was the Lakers' most efficient offensive night of the season and only the fourth time all season they've held an opponent under 1.0 points/possession.
- If you've ever thought that the Bucks mismanage their young guys, take solace in Byron Scott coaching the Lakers.
- Antetokounmpo has looked really good with the second unit. He is confidently stepping into jumpers, even taking some pull-up jumpers recently. He is attacking the basket and making plays despite that second unit not providing him with a whole lot of help.
- West coast trips are brutal. They are, but as Frank and I said in our recent podcasts, the ultimate test for the Bucks was seeing if they could bring intense focus every night. They didn't do it Tuesday night. That is ultimately disappointing.
Not that he would single-handedly prevent this, but Greg Monroe seems important.— Dan Sinclair (@dan_sinclair) December 16, 2015
- This tweet from Dan was important. The Bucks have been roughly 12 points worse per 100 possessions with Greg Monroe off the floor this season. Though I don't think Monroe being on the floor would have changed much tonight, it might have helped the Bucks score a little bit more effectively and stick around in the game longer.
- Young teams struggle with their focus from night-to-night. They struggle to trust their fundamentals both offensively and defensively when their opponents go on a run. They struggle to communicate on defense. They often struggle on the road. The same can also be said of bad teams. This is a pick your own adventure bullet point.
- I think it really showed during the Golden State game, but when Antetokounmpo matures into his ultimate form as an NBA player, it will be as a playmaker and not a scorer. The Bucks organization has regularly said as much. In turn, I find the complaints of him not getting enough shots to be strange.