Following the Bucks’ disappointing 86-75 overtime loss to the Mavericks on Sunday, Frank and I got together to record the newest episode of Locked on Bucks.
Recording this episode was a bit strange because it was difficult to keep Sunday’s ugly loss from clouding our vision of the Bucks’ recent play. After Saturday’s 117-91 win over the Kings, we had a number of requests on Twitter to record the podcast as quickly as possible, and although it would have been a ton of fun, it might have just turned into both of us yelling, “DID YOU SEE THAT?!?!” about each of the game’s ridiculous highlight plays. So, hopefully, this podcast properly mixes in the positive with the negative. A recap of what we discussed:
- The three point revolution will be televised. During training camp, we heard a number of things about how the Bucks’ offense would change this season and one of the major tents of those changes would be an increased reliance on three-point shooting. Through three games, that was not the case. The Bucks were averaging 18.3 three point attempts per game, which was a modest increase from last season, but still second fewest in the league. In the four games since, the Bucks have averaged 30.3 three point attempts per game, the league’s eighth highest mark. That is a significant change and one that should not be overlooked.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo is having a massive impact on every Bucks game. The Bucks’ Net Rating with Antetokounmpo on the court: +9.3. The Bucks’ Net Rating with Antetokounmpo off the court: -14.5. No big deal. Just a 25 point difference per 100 possessions. In the Kings game, this was obvious because of the entire game bending to Giannis’ will when he was on the floor. He dominated the game in every aspect. In the Mavs game, this was obvious because of the entire game being a complete mess when Antetokounmpo was off the floor. Obviously, it’s more fun to see the former play out, but the latter was just as striking.
- Despite playing terrible, the Bucks could have (and probably should have) beat the Mavericks. This might be one of the most important things that was almost entirely lost because of the way that the Bucks played. There were four or five moments where the Bucks made plays that put them in the driver’s seat, but they just couldn’t close the door on the Mavericks.
- Jabari Parker’s jumpers. One week ago, we recorded a podcast talking about all the ways we thought Parker could be more effectively used on offense. The first thing we talked about was Parker’s willingness to shoot jumpers because he was always open. On Sunday, he shot open jumpers and even added a few jumpers off the dribble.
- Jason Terry played the final 16 minutes of regulation. There is no reasonable explanation for it. He made a couple nice passes to Teletovic for transition threes and even added an assist to Greg Monroe during that time, but J.J. Barea blew by him throughout the fourth quarter and he couldn’t hit a shot. Giving him the final 16 minutes of the game did not make any sense.
- It’s way cooler when Mirza Teletovic’s shot is falling. He went 7-of-9 from deep on Saturday and 3-of-7 on Sunday, including two transition threes at the start of the fourth quarter. It was fun.