Well, if you watched the game, it would probably upset you if I gave an in-depth recap of the first half. For those who didn’t watch, just know that it was pretty terrible. When the buzzer sounded, the Bucks were down by 18, 61-43.
While we were all hoping for a Toronto Game 6-esque comeback in the second half, it wasn’t meant to be. The Thunder kept pulling away and whenever the Bucks even began to sniff a comeback, Billy Donovan wouldn’t have any of it and called a timeout to neutralize any momentum swings.
Unbalanced scoring proved to be a major ache and pain for the Bucks, as Giannis Antetokounmpo was the only player in double figures with 28 points. When you’re going up against a team that boasts Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony, that’s simply not going to get the job done.
Three Main Observations
This team needs to find itself when Giannis is off the court.
I know, I know. Obviously, the Greek Freak is the life and soul of this team. But when he goes off the court, somebody needs to step up. You could argue not even step up, but just keep the boat afloat. When Antetokounmpo tallied his third foul in the second quarter, the Thunder plowed to obtain a massive lead, leaving it hard to find many positives in Milwaukee’s first half play.
Sooner or later, Milwaukee is going to have to learn to beat the big guys.
Jason Kidd gave me the quote to my above observation, by saying something to the tune of “They were an adult team.” Hopefully the Bucks can figure out how to defeat the adult teams of the NBA soon. With their three losses coming against perennial NBA Finals contenders, there’s room for improvement. On the brighter side, it’s good to know that the Bucks are defeating the teams they should be winning against. However, to make it deep in the playoffs, they’re going to have to gain an advantage against these upper echelon teams.
It’s going to be a tough going with Moose out.
I’ve always thought that fans have taken Greg Monroe for granted, and I’m worried it might show now. The Bucks were clearly rattled in the land down under last night, as Steven Adams terrorized Thon Maker & Co. on a consistent basis. I know his defense isn’t the greatest, but boy, does Milwaukee look lost when he’s not out there. We all know John Henson isn’t the answer at center for this team, and when Thon gets bullied around like he did last night, it doesn’t set a good precedent for the rest of the game.
Bonus Bucks Bits
- Coming into tonight’s game, Jason Kidd discussed the importance of Thon canning his “aggressiveness” out on the court and playing with a re-defined sense of assertiveness. It’s hampered Thon so far and has capped off what he’s been able to accomplish out on the floor so far this season. Last night, he only had two fouls but that was because he wasn’t getting the job done on defense. It’ll be intriguing to see how he rebounds against Charlotte tonight.
- Immediately in the game’s opening moments, it was open season for Thon down low. Steven Adams absolutely had his way, just overpowering with his authority. It would eventually lead to Jason Kidd putting John Henson into the game to alleviate the pressure.
- I felt as if I was watching the Badgers out on the floor during the first half’s scoring drought. I mean, it was pretty putrid. I had to force myself to actually pay attention to what was going on the floor. At times I didn’t want to, but had to. It was quite ugly, and I think that’s something we can all agree on. Scoring droughts are brutal, and that really acted as a spike strip on Milwaukee’s chances of winning.
- Russell Westbrook is good at basketball. I mean, obviously. But man oh man, is it incredible to watch him live and in person. The way he races down the court, yet keeps his head on a swivel and always, and yes, I mean always, makes the correct play astounds me.
- The Oklahoma City Thunder need a rebranding. It just doesn’t do enough for me, especially with a cool name like the Thunder. I know their name is supposed to resemble the “thunderous noise of a buffalo stampede,” but still — I think they can improve on it. Hopefully next year or soon after, they take my advice.