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Milwaukee vs. Memphis: Bucks Crumble Against the Grizzlies, 116-113

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Milwaukee’s ice-cold shooting plagues them on a chilly night

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Milwaukee Bucks Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

In what was a rollercoaster of both emotions and a game, the Milwaukee Bucks were defeated by the Memphis Grizzlies, 116-113.

It was a pretty ugly first quarter for the Bucks. They’d shoot just 23 percent from the floor and enlist a porous defense that Memphis wasted no time taking advantage of. Moving into the second period, the Grizzlies built up a 29-19 advantage. The Bucks would slash into that lead a bit, but a continued cold spell would provide Memphis with a 48-45 halftime lead.

The Bucks would rise from the grave in the third quarter, ending the period on a 13-2 run capped off by an Eric Bledsoe slam. Moving into the fourth, Memphis led by just four at 84-80. Unfortunately, they’d hold on to that same lead and persevere to the end, winning by three and a 116-113 score.

The Greek Freak led the way for Milwaukee, posting a 31 points on the night coupled with nine assists. Khris Middleton followed him up with 15 points of his own. Eric Bledsoe (15 points) and Pat Connaughton (16 points) were the only other Bucks in double figures.

Three Observations

Unlikely contributions kept the Bucks in this one.

At this point, I should say likely contributions — especially with out Pat Connaughton has been balling out lately. That was the case again last night, as the Notre Dame product regained his place in the rotation (which was briefly held by Donte DiVincenzo) and made the most of it. His 16 points were a major key in the surge that pulled the Bucks back into this one and, for a little bit, the lead. Pair that with the solid outings of both Brook Lopez and Thon Maker, you get something that’s quite valuable in the NBA — a reliable bench. It’s pretty big to make that comeback without relying on one of your major scorers, as Khris Middleton was on the bench for a large chunk of that.

Despite poor 3-point shooting, the Bucks were able to stick around in this one.

It always happens to teams that live by this philosophy — live by the three, die by the three. Unfortunately, the Bucks embraced death, but it wasn’t a gruesome one. Although they went a yucky 9-of-35 from beyond the arc, they only lost the game by a single 3-pointer. If just five more of those fall in, I’m writing a totally different recap. However, that’s what happens in basketball, especially with this aggressive offense that Budenholzer has unveiled. Ultimately, I’m fine with it. This offense is going to win us a whole lot more games than its going to lose for us. Am I upset we didn’t win? Sure. Am I saying that you can’t point to little things? Of course not. I’m just saying that when you play a dangerous game like the Bucks do with their 3-pointers, it’s a risk — but when that risk converts, it does so in a major way.

Here’s a happy stat! Giannis Antetokounmpo went 11-of-12 from the free throw line.

Hooray! That’s definitely something to be proud of. After a rocky start from the charity stripe to begin the year, it’s so welcoming to see Giannis shoot at a 92 percent. That’s the sort of aggressiveness you strive for from him as well. It’s a well-known fact that he hasn’t been shooting as well as he’d like from the foul line up to this point. Now, let’s check in on our pal Frank Madden to see how he slept following that night from the Greek Freak:

Bonus Bucks Bits

  • Malcolm Brogdon has scored at least 20 points in his last three games, but last night was one to forget. In fact, he’d finish with a RPM of -30, which is by far the worst of his career. How’d that -30 accumulate? A 4-of-11 night from the floor, 0-for-3 from deep, eight points, four rebounds and zero assists. Yeah. No bueno.
  • The Grizzlies wore jerseys with their names beneath the numbers. I’m not a fan of jerseys with names beneath the numbers. It’s just...odd. Not bizarre, but...odd. It just rubs me the wrong way. Does anybody agree with me?
  • As I mentioned early on in this piece, it was quite the ugly first quarter and half for Milwaukee. Ice cold shooting plagued them early on, but despite all of that, the team showed resilience and clawed their way back into it. That’s what good things do in the Association — put forth large comebacks. Think about how many times the Bucks were on the other side of the coin last year. Speaking of last year, had this game taken place last season, the Bucks would’ve been down double digits the entirety of the second half. Such a night and day difference.
  • Milwaukee would have double-digit turnovers on the evening, which is something that you always hate to see. It especially hurt them in the early going, which is a large part of why Memphis had such big success. It’d slow down as the game progressed, but still, the Bucks need to work on those.
  • The Bucks would have plenty of opportunities to hit from deep, as the large majority of them were produced with great ball movement and were wide open. In the end, the cookie just failed to crumble their way. As I mentioned earlier in this, that’s what’ll happen with the live-and-die mentality — which I’m ultimately fine with.
  • This was very interesting:
  • While were talking about Budenholzer’s ejection, here’s where mind was at during that debacle: