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Bucks vs Suns: Middleton and Brogdon Help Prunty Win His 2017-2018 Debut

Yes there actually was a game last night

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Milwaukee Bucks Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks played a basketball game against the Phoenix Suns last night. It clearly wasn’t the biggest news of the days with Jason Kidd being fired earlier in the afternoon. Sometimes teams come out to play inspired and energized after a coach is fired. Milwaukee did not get the memo, as they started the game down 10-2, but were able to turn it around. Phoenix got sloppy, and the Bucks jumped out to a four point lead thanks in large part to Khris Middleton locked in shooting wise. The second quarter had more sloppiness from both teams and the game went into halftime tied at 53.

Milwaukee started the third quarter strong but struggled to score any points to end the period, and went into the final quarter down three. Malcolm Brogdon got the fourth quarter going, with Eric Bledsoe sparking a run midway through the fourth, and Middleton closed out the game despite a late Phoenix run. Milwaukee was able to win 109-105 with Malcolm Brogdon at a career high with 32 points, Khris Middleton added 35 points while Eric Bledsoe had 19 points with seven assists.

Three Observations

Much like the first game in Phoenix, Milwaukee was able to force plenty of turnovers. Milwaukee forced 8 turnovers in 9 minutes of the first quarter. The Suns committed 22 turnovers, which translated to 23 Milwaukee points. This doesn’t mean that Milwaukee suddenly played efficient defense; Phoenix was careless with the ball, which is to be expected from an actual young team.

Without Giannis, Milwaukee needed its other players to step up. Middleton and Brogdon were the ones to shoulder the majority of the load, but Eric Bledsoe joined in the fourth quarter. It was a trade off on who would lead Milwaukee, with Middleton starting, then Brogdon, to Bledsoe and ending with Middleton again. Those three need to have that level of play to support Giannis and make the transition for Prunty more smooth.

It doesn’t matter if Malcolm Brogdon comes off the bench or starts, he seems to be a steady consistent player for Milwaukee. He did have the slump shortly after Eric Bledsoe’s arrival, but since then Brogdon has been making a strong claim to being Milwaukee’s second best player. Brogdon’s third quarter had him do all the things that we’ve all expected from him. Some baseline drives, hitting open threes, and even blocking a dunk. This was Brogdon’s best game by some distance, and while it might be best for Brogdon to come off the bench as a sixth man to give the reserves some quality, it’s hard to keep him out of the starting lineup.

Bonus Bucks Bits

  • Greg Monroe got the start after not playing 14 of the last 18 games, but made sure to give the BC his presence shouting “And-1!” within the first minute of the game.
  • Sterling Brown is ready to throw hands at all times and I’m here for it.
  • Milwaukee shot sixteen free throws in the fourth quarter while the Suns shot three.
  • Prunty was much more animated with the referees which was a welcome sight, particularly with Zach Zarba, Jason Kidd’s old nemesis, refereeing.
  • Milwaukee started the fourth quarter with a lineup of Delly/JET/Brown/Snell/Plumlee, which went as well as you would have expected.
  • I’m not 100% sold on Devin Booker, he’s just a high volume streaky scorer.
  • I’m still confused as how Eric Bledsoe made this circus shot in the fourth quarter.