Having won two straight games before Wednesday night, Milwaukee had a chance to start of a promising stretch on the right foot...and they fell flat on their faces in the first half, only mustering 43 points due to positively putrid shooting. The Pacers, on the other hand, were as hot as the Bucks were cold, and even if their offensive numbers ended up being merely “good,” good was all they needed to keep the Bucks at bay. Milwaukee somehow closed the gap to single digits late in the fourth quarter, but alas, it was not to be.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was a primary focus of the Pacer defense, and he failed to get anything going on his way to 12 points (on only 7 shots), 10 rebounds, and 7 assists, and had a game “high” +/- of minus-31. Elsewhere, the Great Khris Middleton Slump of 2018 continued, as he looked completely out of sorts on offense with 10 points (on 4/18 shooting) and 8 boards. The Bucks can often compete in games where one or the other underwhelms, but rarely when it’s both or this badly.
Eric Bledsoe did his part to keep Milwaukee afloat, putting in 26 points, 6 assists, and 2 steals, and Brook Lopez (who was ice cold too) added 15 points and 4 blocks.
For Indiana, Myles Turner dominated tons of Pacer possessions while putting up 23 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 blocks, while Thaddeus Young put up 25 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 steals (with some strong offense when the Bucks tried going small). Bojan Bogdanovic contributed 16 points, and Victor Oladipo, who was listed as questionable beforehand and played under a minutes restriction, added 12 points, 10 boards, and 6 dimes.
Stat That Stood Out
There were so many numbers that stood out, and all of them for the wrong reasons. But the biggest reason (statistically, anyway), was the Bucks’ miserable shooting, going 11/43 from three, including only 5/20 in the first half. Once again, the problem with living by the three is that, just often enough to make you worry, you die by the three, and that’s exactly what happened to Milwaukee tonight. Particularly in the first half, Giannis would drive and (correctly) dish the ball when he was swamped by defenders...and no Buck could hit a shot to keep things close.