For the first time in nearly five years, the Milwaukee Bucks are six games over .500.
A 103-97 victory over the Brooklyn Nets was the Bucks' 29th of the season and their fifth straight at home. It didn't come easily though. The Bucks came out of the gates very slowly, and found themselves down as many as 17 in the second quarter. Jarrett Jack (who finished with 26p/8a) was able to manipulate the Bucks defense however he wanted to early on, and Joe Johnson (19p/6a) and Bojan Bogdanovic (13p) were hitting the open jumpers they were gifted. While Brooklyn hit 70% of their attempts in the first quarter, the Bucks had missed 10 straight shots at one point in the first half.
Then I imagine the following conversation happened in a team timeout:
Jason Kidd: Guys stop. This isn't good.
Bucks: Yes coa--
Zaza Pachulia: NOTHING EASY!!
Bucks: --ch...You got it coach. We'll play better now.
And they did. Milwaukee chained a few stops on defense once Giannis Antetokounmpo re-entered the game midway through the second quarter. A block of Deron Williams' shot against the backboard injected life into the Bucks, and Milwaukee rode a 23-11 stretch to only trail at the half by 5.
That momentum was carried over into the third quarter, where Milwaukee doubled up Brooklyn 32-16. While Giannis toyed with a triple-double, Jared Dudley continued to stroke it from the perimeter (5-5 from three for the night) and Khris Middleton turned around his slow shooting start to score 12 of his 18 in the third quarter.
Brooklyn worked their way back into the game a bit in the fourth, but a few late mistakes sealed their fate and Milwaukee was able to comfortably come away with the win. Ho hum, just another victory, am i right?
-- Fresh off of receiving Player of the Week honors, Giannis Antetokounmpo came up just short of a triple-double at 12p/9r/8a. He was driving, he was dishing, he was stroking jumpers (again) and generally causing havoc, which made his game-high +22 rating little surprise. And while some may have gotten frustrated that Jason Kidd left Giannis on the bench in the fourth, it's also important to remember that Giannis almost tallied a triple-double in 31 minutes. Oh, and he also threw down two more dunks (one technically not counting because it came after a foul, but STILL).
Ho hum here's Giannis just effortlessly impacting a game nothing to see here.
-- NEW WORD ALERT! Add it to your vocabulary immediately.
Giannfidence \yänfədəns\ : A feeling or belief that you can do anything, powered by a shooting sleeve— Jake Suski (@jakesuski) February 10, 2015
-- Like I mentioned earlier, Jared Dudley was perfect from three en route to a team-high 19 points. Remember when Dudley was acquired WITH a first-round pick for "cap relief" THANKS AGAIN, DOC!
-- If the Bucks are able to win Wednesday against the Sacramento, they'll have 30 wins before the All-Star Break. The last time they had that many wins before the break was the 1990-1991 season. That's 24 years. That's basically my entire life! My goodness.
-- Athletes shouldn't guarantee wins, Part 3,893:
Joe Johnson on Saturday about playing in Milwaukee: "I'm sure we should come out of there with a win." #HEYOOOOOOOOO— Frank Madden (@brewhoop) February 10, 2015
-- The Bucks have scheduled a press conference at 1:30 on Tuesday to reveal an "exciting new partnership that further strengthens the team’s bonds in southeastern Wisconsin." Team President Peter Feigin and GM John Hammond will be there, and we'll be covering it live...whatever it may be.