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Milwaukee vs. Chicago: Bucks Sneak Past Bulls, 116-113

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A late Khris Middleton 3-pointer was the final ingredient in a close win for Milwaukee

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

In a game many would find frustrating and stress-inducing, the Milwaukee Bucks were able to escape with a 116-113 victory in the second Border Battle of the season vs. the Chicago Bulls.

Milwaukee would crawl slowly out of the gates in this one. Like we saw last game, the Bulls came out with an aggressiveness that the Bucks couldn’t match. Early on, Milwaukee failed to get Giannis his looks. (But right after I typed this, he jumped out to a quick eight points — which I was expecting). However, a quarter of the Bucks going 0-for-7 from deep would play into themselves down double digits after one, 40-30.

Moving onward through the game, the Bucks began to find themselves more. Threes began to fall and the team didn’t look as lost as they did in the first quarter. However, a slew of turnovers would keep the Bulls neck-and-neck, as they trailed Milwaukee by just a single point at half, 63-62.

Things would remain closer than many would’ve liked throughout the rest of the game. If the Bucks ever had a surge, Chicago would punch them right back in the mouth and tighten the valve. It’d remain a common theme throughout the 3rd and 4th quarters, and would eventually be broken by a Khris Middleton 3-pointer from straightaway with just over five seconds remaining. That would be enough for Milwaukee to secure a 116-113 victory.

It was another ho-hum day at the office for Giannis Antetokounmpo, as the Greek Freak nearly posted a triple-double with his 36/11/8 stat line. It’s just remarkable how accustomed we are to that. Malcolm Brogdon was the second act of the night, stringing together a 24 point performance.

For the visiting Bulls, Zach LaVine and #OldFriend Jabari Parker each tallied 24 point games of their own. Ryan Arcidiacono shot 6-of-12 from the floor (including three 3-pointers), earning him 22 points on the evening.

Three Observations

Eric Bledsoe’s shot chart boggled my mind.

Usually when those words are strung together to form a sentence, it means that he put up too many shots. However, last night was so bizarre. He only had three shots attempted on the night. Yes, three. Part of me still thinks it’s an error in the stat book (it’s not). I mentioned in my Rapid Recap how it was somewhat comforting that the Bucks were able to have other players step up down the stretch in a scenario Bledsoe has frequently found himself in this season. In our Brew Hoop chat, both me and Kyle were waiting on Bledsoe to take drives to the rim in order to penetrate the Bulls’ defense, but that moment never came. Just an odd night all around for the Bled Show, but hey, it wasn’t disastrous, so I’m all for it.

Malcolm Brogdon is going to cause #BucksTwitter to capsize.

In a season that has started with sailing smooth waters on Twitter dot com, it seems we’ve reached our first stormy seas — and Malcolm Brogdon is the cause. Here’s my take. Yes, Malcolm Brogdon can elicit some bonehead decisions. It’s frustrating that he fails to find Antetokounmpo on the fast breaks. It happened a few times last night, and when it did, the offense stalled and sputtered. Oddly enough, the Greek Freak is always cognizant of where Brogdon is when the ball is his hands, especially when he’s situated in the corner. However, 24 points on a career 6-of-6 night from beyond the arc is nothing to dismiss either. In the end, I’ll end my case by saying I think it’s time Bud experiments by taking Brogdon out of the starting lineup and replaces him with Pat Connaughton or Donte DiVincenzo, just to see what results garner.

After being out two games, Ersan comes back and does what he does best.

...which is taking a charge. I mean, this is something that he’s been doing his whole career. We all know that. I remember me and my brother always joking about it during the Fear the Deer campaign back in 2009-10. Ersan hasn’t changed one bit, and last night was no different. Immediately after entering the game, he got his feet set, and boom! Business as usual. He’d earn another one later in the game as well. I had to ask Bud about that in his presser:

Big praise from Coach. And wow, what a few nights for the charge and the state of Wisconsin after Brad Davison took five charges and helped the Badgers knock off North Carolina State.

Bonus Bucks Bits

  • I don’t understand why the Bucks didn’t target Jabari more. Whenever they did, it worked with ease. They sort of were reluctant that he was even there, and never utilized it to their full strength. Just a tad frustrating considering we all know how vulnerable Jabari is to any volatile offense that’s thrown at him.
  • I can’t get over those Giannis pogo stick dunks from underneath the basket. It’s like a jaguar stalking down its prey. You think it’s just going to walk away, but bangI He leaps and makes his move. Absolutely astonishing. Now, we just need David Attenborough narrating some of Giannis’ dunks.
  • The crowd at live sporting events are always great, especially in clutch time. There may be nothing better than when a late, clutch 3-pointer falls for the home team. That was the case with Khris Middleton and the Bucks last night:

In fact, that 3-pointer may’ve been the loudest I’ve heard Fiserv Forum after any single shot. All of the excitement had been bottled up prior to that due to the fact that this was an unsettling game.

  • I love talking about the opposing team’s jerseys, so let’s talk about the Bulls. Last night, they went with their black alternates with red numbers. Those are my favorite. They look so sleek and fresh. I’m not afraid to admit it since they’re the pesky Bulls, but those may be a sneaky top-10 or top-15 uniform in the league.