The Milwaukee Bucks suffered a disappointing 118-103 loss at the hands of the Portland Trail Blazers in the raucous Moda Center on Tuesday night. Here are three Bucks that stood out in their stinging defeat.
It was a rough night at the office for Malcolm Brogdon.
The savvy combo-guard had arguably his worst performance in a Bucks uniform this season, finishing with only 4 points on 2-8 shooting in 27 minutes of action. A lot of his shots were forced last night, which is very uncharacteristic of him. He had the unfortunate task of guarding C.J. McCollum to start, and that quickly went downhill as C.J. finished with an easy 40-point barrage. Brogdon also found himself switched on to Portland big man Zach Collins a few times defensively, and that too did not end well for the President. This was a very odd showing from Brogdon, who typically is a model of consistency for the Milwaukee Bucks. He’s lined up for another tough defensive test on Thursday when the Bucks travel to the Bay and face off against the Golden State Warriors. This was definitely a performance that he’d like to forget.
Giannis Antetokounmpo shot only two free throws the entire game.
We all know how aggressive Giannis is when he’s driving to the hoop, and for him to only go to the foul line once is pretty audacious. There were countless times where the Greek Freak would clearly get walloped while driving to the basket, but there was no foul called. Unfortunately, this has been a reoccurring theme so far this season where Giannis gets hacked and the referees swallow their whistles. Kudos to Giannis for keeping his composure, though. I wonder how long it will be before he gets whistled for a technical foul? Free throws aside, he still finished with 23 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists while shooting 11-18 from the field. However, the 6 turnovers he committed are quite concerning. He’s got to clean up the carelessness with the basketball and not try to do too much at once. It’s clear that he’s still getting acclimated with head coach Mike Budenholzer’s offensive system. Patience is of the essence.
Brook Lopez was making it rain from downtown.
The Bucks’ big man hit 6-10 threes en route to 22 points in 30 minutes of play. He’s done an incredible job of spacing the floor this season, and it has paid huge dividends for the Bucks. Although he might get a little trigger happy at times, his value offensively cannot be understated. He’s also been great defensively and on the boards this season for the Bucks, but he had a little bit of trouble with the Bosnian Beast, Jusuf Nurkic on Tuesday night. Nurkic was constantly jousting for position on the boards against Lopez and was certainly a thorn in his side all night. It seemed like Nurkic was getting his hands on the offensive boards a ton last night, finishing with a team-high three for the Blazers. He was not the only one to struggle with the physicality of Nurkic, though. He’s one of those guys you hate to play against but would love to have on your team.
Bonus Bucks Bits
- Point guard Eric Bledsoe rode the struggle bus offensively on Tuesday night. Although he had 7 assists compared to only two turnovers, the speedy point guard shot a forgetful 2-12 from the field and scored only 5 points. He also finished a team-worst minus-14. The Bucks are not going to win many games when he scores in single digits to say the least. However, he did do an admirable job defensively on Damian Lillard. He held him to 13 points on 5-15 shooting.
- Tony Snell continues to have a sneaky solid season thus far. He hit both of his attempts from deep against Portland in 17 minutes and is now shooting a blistering 46.4% from three this season. More importantly, his overall field goal percentage is up to 58.1% this season compared to just 43.5% last season. Snell looks a lot more comfortable under Mike Budenholzer and has been picking his spots more effectively this season.
- The Milwaukee Bucks continue to “let it fly” from deep this season. They connected on 16-42 shots from three (38.1%), and each player on the Bucks roster has the neon green light from downtown. It’s crazy that the Milwaukee Bucks hit 16 shots from deep and still lost. It’s hard not to be encouraged with how well Milwaukee has been shooting the ball from deep this season.