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Milwaukee vs. Brooklyn: Bucks Cruise to Victory, 116-91

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Giannis Antetokounmpo achieves a 41/13/7 stat line in 33 minutes played

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Milwaukee Bucks Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday marked another Bucks victory in the Joe Prunty era, as the Bucks defeated the Nets with ease, 116-91.

The one and only Giannis Antetokounmpo was the shining knight in armor in his return for Milwaukee. Following his eight days of rest, the Greek Freak poured in an astounding 41 points that were strung together with 13 rebounds and seven assists. Oh, and he only did it in 32:54 total minutes played. Khris Middleton was the feature act of the night, finishing with 21 points, two of which came on an impressive alley-oop.

The action started with the Bucks shooting a piping 52.2 percent, granting them a 33-15 lead after one. The acceleration continued in the second quarter, as Giannis summoned halftime with a thunderous dunk and a 23 Bucks lead at 58-35.

The Nets were able to deflate Milwaukee’s lead to single digits heading into the final period of play, as a D’Angelo Russell run served as the wool to the flame. But from there, Giannis checked back in and it was all done and dusted. Milwaukee cruised to the finish line with ease and put another win under the belt of Joe Prunty.

The Nets are a very average basketball team, so therefore nobody really stood out in scoring for them. DeMarre Carroll and Russell were the two leading scorers on the night for the Brooklyn squad with 14 points apiece.

Three Observations

I didn’t scratch my head once at any Joe Prunty decisions.

Ah, yes. The good ol’ days when rotations were made up and the players’ performances didn’t matter. The Jason Kidd days! Thankfully, that didn’t happen tonight. Everything seemed so coherent and planned out. This tweet from Ben Thompson pretty much sums up everything I have to say regarding this matter:

Joe Prunty really has this team performing.

Sure, the Suns and the Nets aren’t the most flashy of teams in the National Basketball Association. We’ve all seen the passion he exhibits out on the floor and just how much he’s into the game, whether it’s the opening minute or closing seconds. Here are a few examples from tonight:

And finally, something that we’ve never seen in the locker room:

From all of the reports of Kidd playing mind games and deflecting any opinions that he might be wrong, this is very relieving to see. Let’s all cross our fingers and hope that the Bucks keep picking up the wins because of it.

Giannis looked very, very comfortable with his 3-point shot.

Of all his 41 points scored on the evening, the nine points that came from his 3-of-3 shooting from beyond the arc may have been the most impressive (besides that vicious dunk on Jarrett Allen). The way he approached the shot was in a calm, cool, and collective manner -- something we haven’t seen him exhibit too much before. And for those who are looking forward to that continuing in the future? Here’s some good news:

Let’s freaking go, baby.

Bonus Bucks Bits

  • After the game, Giannis was serenaded by hundreds of Greek fans. It was honestly one of the coolest things I’ve ever witnessed in person. Thanks to my kind editors (shout out Adam and Mitch!) not requiring a deadline after the game for this piece, I was able to stick around out on the floor and capture the action. If you’re interested, here it is:
  • It was great seeing Giannis back out on the court. Why? Because it’s fun watching him play basketball. He causes the national writers to tweet things like this:
  • Oh my goodness, were those Nets uniforms UGLY. Here’s an image I found of them, you be the judge. Just not my vibe.
  • While he didn’t fill out the stat line too much, it was good to see Sterling Brown locked in and ready to go after the events that happened to him. In his postgame presser, Joe Prunty mentioned exactly that. He was happy with how focused he was. That’s not an easy thing for anybody to do, let alone an NBA rookie.
  • This team seems so much more together following the relieving of Jason Kidd. The other night, I asked Joe Prunty about the chemistry and how the team is just looking like they’re having more fun on the court. He responded by saying that players from every player, from Giannis to Marshall Plumlee, are invoking a positive team spirit. Last night, he was asked about Antetokounmpo’s intensity and emotion on the court. Here’s what he had to say: