When the best team in the NBA plays one of the worst teams in the NBA, the better team gets a resounding win at home. That didn’t happen tonight for the Milwaukee Bucks, as they lost 114-116 against the Phoenix Suns. Milwaukee looked like a team that wasn’t taking the Suns seriously for the majority of the game, getting off to a slow start and playing sloppy basketball on the offensive end. The Suns were simply happy to make the shots that they were given. Milwaukee finally decided to try and went on a run to slim the lead to one heading into the fourth, before taking a six point lead with a little over two minutes left. Back-to-back Suns threes tied it before a vintage Jamal Crawford jumper won it for the Phoenix. Milwaukee can hopefully take that disappointing loss into their second game of the back-to-back against the San Antonio Spurs tomorrow night.
Giannis dunks >>>
While the three ball for Milwaukee wasn’t quite falling, the Bucks best offense was give Giannis Antetokounmpo the ball and let him use his footwork to get dunks. Giannis’ improved strength and patience has given him plenty of chances at the rim, and he’s putting on a Shaq-like performance. Giannis is playing so much like Shaq, that teams might be better off just hacking him once he has the ball to avoid getting dunked on and hope Giannis’ free throw woes continue.
Just keep shooting
Sometimes, you have hot shooting nights and the Bucks have had plenty of that. Other times, you’ll get shooting performances like we saw in this game. The Bucks shot an ice-cold 10-44 from three for a frosty 22.7%. Brook Lopez was the epitome of a frigid shooting night, missing all twelve of his three point attempts. None of them were bad looks; they just didn’t fall. It’s ok to have a slump but you still have to shoot your way out of it. The same goes for Tony Snell, Thon Maker, and even Khris Middleton. When your offense lives by the three and dies by the three, you will end up having nights like this.
Bench mixed night
Milwaukee’s bench has been a strength this season, but unfortunately on the offensive end, it didn’t happen for them tonight. The bench consisting of six players combined for 23 points, which wasn’t enough against Phoenix’s 34 points from four players. Pat Connaughton was able to hit a pair of threes, while Ersan Ilyasova was getting putbacks to fall, however the rest of the bench was ineffective. Despite that, the bench’s defensive efforts were the reason the Bucks were able to get back in the game. Ersan was able to draw a couple of charges while Matthew Dellavedova and Pat were able to make some plays defensively. The bench had Erasn end with a +5, Delly with a +6 and Pat with the usual +14. It wasn’t enough to help the Bucks win, but it was good to see the bench play enough defense and know to just give Giannis the ball and let him do the lifting offensively.
Bucks Bonus Leftover Bits
- Milwaukee must have been in a food coma as they looked lethargic for the majority of the game. There were times in the first half that Milwaukee’s offense had little to no ball movement. This is a factor on why the offense struggled so much.
- Giannis was the only starter to have a positive net rating with 8.6. Malcolm Brogdon had a -23.5.
- Eric Bledsoe’s defense on Devin Booker in the 4th quarter was truly a great performance.
- The winning shot chart is very frustrating to look at.
- To end this on a happier note, here is Giannis doing jaw dropping things.