It’d be a pretty neck-and-neck game to start things off, with the Bucks wrapping up the first quarter holding a 30-29 advantage. The pair of Malcolm Brogdon and Ersan Ilyasova led the scoring in the opening 12 for Milwaukee with seven apiece.
Ilyasova would keep things chugging along as the next quarter progressed, mixed in with some promising play from Thon. Together, the duo strung together 25 to help pad a 62-53 halftime advantage for the home squad.
My oh my, that third quarter. In years past, we’ve seen the third quarter act as Milwaukee’s achilles heel. We’ve grown accustomed to see them come out of the locker room in sleepwalking fashion, trudging along the court without much focus. However, last night was quite different. The Bucks would grow their lead to 15 and generate a gap that they wouldn’t relinquish the rest of the night.
All in all, it was a magnificent night at the Brad—FISERV FORUM (I still haven’t gotten used to the new arena). Though the best players on the two teams weren’t facing off, the Bucks came out and earned every bit of that W.
Ersan Ilyasova led the way for the Bucks, finishing with a team-high 19 points. Six other players would register double figures on the night (E. Bledsoe and M. Brogdon with 17, K. Middleton with 14, D. DiVincenzo with 12, and Tony Snell / Thon Maker with 11 apiece.
For the Raptors, Serge Ibaka posted a game-high 30 points.
When the Bucks first signed him at the dawn of the free agency period, many were quick to throw criticism at the move. Granted, it’s only been a small handful of games, but in what we’ve seen so far, Ersan has shown his value out on the floor. On a night that featured Giannis on the bench, Ilyasova led the scoring duties, finishing with a team-high 19 points. The best part of Ersan’s game is that he’s versatile and contributes in all facets of the action — my favorite being the charges. They give me life. They are what make me get up in the morning. They are what motivate me. Okay, maybe that’s a little exaggeration, but you get the point. Ersan is a very good charge taker.
Hey, this Donte DiVincenzo kid is looking pretty good.
Oh, how nice it is to have a contributing first-round pick! Wait a second, didn’t Jaire Alexander hold Brandin Cooks to 12 yards on Sunday??? Hold on a second...
Imagine a world where the Packers and Bucks both hit on their first-round pick ... in the same year. It's happening, people. https://t.co/iPV0crDzxl— JR Radcliffe (@JRRadcliffe) October 30, 2018
So that would explain the pig that flew by my living room window this morning. In all seriousness, it’s been incredible to see how quickly DiVincenzo has made contributions to this squad. That pull-up 3-pointer from deep was one of the coolest shots I’ve ever seen in-person covering the Bucks. It ignited the crowd like the stroke of a match. Pure energy.
On a side note to all of our readers who are familiar with the Backyard Sports franchise...
I know they're spelled differently, but I'd go NUTS if DiVincenzo had Dante Robinson's theme song play after every basket pic.twitter.com/Rn4m0R9FXS— Gabe Stoltz (@Stoltzy3) October 30, 2018
Donte, if you’re reading this, PLEASE....that would ELECTRIC. I mean, just imagine the sound of these steel drums rocking Fiserv Forum after every basket from the rookie.
My only concern is the turnovers.
Early on, the Bucks were playing a little sluggish regarding turnovers. They’d finish with 17 on the night. They now have just over 17 a game (17.1 to be exact), which ranks as the fourth-worst in the league. It wouldn’t surprise me if they have a game where turnovers plague the chances of winning, nor would I be too worried. Though it remains a concern of mine, I believe this is something that Bud and his staff will work on smoothing out as we progress through the schedule.
Bonus Bucks Bits
- THAT JOHN HENSON PUT-BACK. He’s looking like a different animal out there. That was definitely the most athletic play I’ve ever seen him make. Also, it still is weird for me to see him launching threes at will. It’s just...odd.
- I mentioned it earlier in the video, but I have to mention it again. Ersan’s charges are the most underrated product in the NBA.
Ersan Ilyasova does a nice job of squaring up and taking the charge here. He's one of the best in the NBA at this pic.twitter.com/SiQEWDzKNh— Milwaukee Bucks’ Film Room (@BucksFilmRoom) October 30, 2018
I’m ready to run through a brick wall.
- One of the signifying characteristics of Bud is his ability to wring the most out of his players. Last night, we saw that with Thon. Though he has shown struggles and not exactly progressed as we all would’ve liked, it’s going to be a big season for Maker. Last night, he put out a great effort, registering a showing of 11 points and seven boards, all in an energetic fashion. Maybe part of it had to do with him going up against the Raptors. Whatever the reasoning, it was a promising game, and a performance that could set the tone for more to come.
- The lineup of Brogdon, DDV, Snell, Thon, Henson has really come through lately. It’ll be intriguing to see how this develops moving forward.
- We might have to start a DDV Cool Pass Club. The rookie showed his handles and dropped some pretty nifty dimes, including the one behind-his-head on the fast break. He’s shown that he’s an all-around fantastic athlete, and we’re only seven games into the young season.
- If you had told me that in a game where Giannis was out and Middleton would have single digit points through three quarters that the Bucks would tie the franchise 3-point record, I’d have said you’re a little crazy. Of course, that’s exactly what happened, because basketball is crazy. Once again, it’s a testament to Budenholzer and his coaching staff being able to play their style of basketball, even without their superstar out on the floor. Very encouraging to see.