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Milwaukee vs. Chicago: Bucks Stampede the Bulls

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Milwaukee’s huge 3rd quarter surge was all they needed to put away the Chicago Bulls.

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Milwaukee Bucks Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

It was a tale of two halves for the Milwaukee Bucks in their 123-104 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Friday night at the Fiserv Forum. The Bulls raced out to an 18-point halftime lead, and it looked like the Bucks were on their way to a disappointing home loss. However, Milwaukee got the message from head coach Mike Budenholzer at halftime and flipped the switch. The Bucks scored 46 points in the 3rd quarter, which proved to be the difference in the game. Their run completely sucked the life out of the Bulls.

Eric Bledsoe

Is it too far off to say that point guard Eric Bledsoe has been the MVP for the Bucks this season? Probably given Giannis is in the league’s MVP discussion, but Bledsoe has been great of late and finished with 25 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals in 30 minutes. He also shot 10-of-13 from the field and 3-of-5 from deep. Not only was he spectacular offensively, but he was also even better defensively. Bledsoe played some superb defense on Bulls guard Zach LaVine on Friday night, which is no easy task. He held him to 15 points on 6-of-20 shooting. Eric Bledsoe finished a team-best plus-19 and was even doing stuff like this. He looks like a completely different player this weekend. Having a good coach matters, folks.

Khris Middleton

He did a little bit of everything in Milwaukee’s victory over Chicago last night. Middleton chipped in 23 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists, and 2 steals in 33 minutes while hitting 9-of-15 shots. He was a Swiss Army knife against the Bulls, whether it was scoring, facilitating, or defending. His passing was on full display against the Bulls, and he threaded the needle multiple times for assists. When Middleton is on like this, the Bucks are extremely difficult to defeat. He’s good at this basketball thing.

Tony Snell

Shout out to Tony Snell. He’s been very efficient for the Bucks this season and he deserves some love. He scored 11 points in 17 minutes while knocking down 5-of-7 shots against Chicago. Snell is hitting 50% of his shots and 45.9% of his tries from downtown. He’s been very efficient picking his spots this season, and has been more comfortable putting the ball on the deck. Let it be known that he did this, too!

Bonus Bucks Bits

  • Giannis was “Giannis” on Friday. He finished with 23 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 blocks in 32 minutes. He shot 8-of-15 overall and 2-of-4 from deep. It’s remarkable how efficient Giannis Antetokounmpo has been this season in fewer minutes. He had a few highlight plays on both ends of the floor, but this was by far the best moment of the game.
  • Brook “Splash Mountain” Lopez got the best of his brother Sideshow Bob Robin Lopez last night, He netted 14 points on 4-of-8 shooting from deep and added two blocks to his ledger. Brook Lopez has been tremendous for the Bucks on both ends of the floor this season... he’s cooking with gas.
  • THON MAKER ALERT! 9 points in 18 minutes, BUT he was plus-3 in the win. He struggled with his shot (3-of-10), but he looked comfortable letting it fly. He’ll need to step up with John Henson out 12+ weeks.
  • Malcolm Brogdon looked pretty meh to me. Although he finished with 13 points, he forced a lot of tough shots around the basket. He’s been able to get to the rim which is great, but Brogdon has made some poor decisions the last few games. He did knock down 3-of-5 threes, though.
  • The Bucks hit 18-of-43 threes (41.9%) and shot 50.5% overall. That’s good.
  • It’s never great to see the Bucks get down big, but they’ve responded very well to adversity this season under Mike Budenholzer. The Bucks have built themselves into a few sizeable early deficits this season, but have always clawed back. Got to love the heart from not only the players but the entire coaching staff.