In a highly anticipated game at Fiserv Forum on a nationally-televised Friday night game, the Milwaukee Bucks were ousted by the World Champion Golden State Warriors, 105-95.
Despite the loud atmosphere, the Warriors would bolt out strong from the gates. However, despite the Bucks shooting 1-of-12 from deep and Giannis not scoring his first points until 50 seconds remaining in the quarter, Milwaukee relatively kept them in check. Moving into the second quarter, it was 27-22 in advantage of the visitors. Turnovers would keep Milwaukee in the game, as the Bucks were down just six at half, 57-51.
At the end of three, that lead for Golden State wouldn’t change much. Moving onward into the final quarter of play, they held on to a 83-76 advantage. It could’ve been slightly closer, but some questionable calls on Ersan Ilyasova blocked some momentum that would’ve been helpful to see go Milwaukee’s way.
From there, the Warriors’ firepower would prove to be too much to handle for the Bucks. Milwaukee would attempt to make it close, but to no avail. It was impossible to put a crack in this team. Late into the night, the game was finally decided, with the Warriors nabbing a 105-95 win.
It wasn’t a high point total night for any individual player, on either team. Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 22 points would be the game-high, while Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry each had 20 apiece for Golden State.
The main difference in this game was shooting.
I know it’s cliche to say, but when one team goes 17.9 percent from three while the other goes 41.3 percent from the arc and converts on 19 of them, it’s going to be extremely difficult to win a basketball game. However, this is what can happen when a team like the Bucks can both live and die by the three. These games are bound to happen, especially to a team that can take advantage of it like Golden State can. I don’t have a problem with it, as long as we win more games than we lose because of it. But that’s the drawback that comes with this version of an offense.
The intensity is always so much fun for these games.
Last night was the first time I had ever gotten chills walking out of the tunnel. The music was playing, the players were out on the court warming up, and every seat was packed. The smoke was in the air from the pyrotechnics when the Bucks came out. It literally felt like the NBA Finals. It also made me recognize again just how pumped these players must get running out onto the floor. Not to steer too much away from basketball, but it also remembered of the Packers’ entrance to Super Bowl XLV and just how big the scene was:
I always loved how Atari Bigby separated himself from the rest of the pack. Also, the Packers need to get back to the freaking Super Bowl. Don’t muck up this coaching search, Murphy.
Both sets of Splash Brothers hurt the Bucks.
Co Brew Hoop-founder Alex Boeder says it best in this tweet:
Bucks umm lead the NBA in threes made this season.— Alex Boeder (@alexboeder) December 8, 2018
Tonight they have made as many as the Splash Brothers.
Except the Splash Brothers in this scenario are Jonas Jerebko and Alfonzo McKinnie.
Granted, Klay and Steph had 20 apiece, but Jonas Jerebko and UW-GB product Alfonzo McKinnie made a huge impact on this game as well. Although it was just a combined 21 points on the night from the two of them, the timeliness of those shots were what proved to be so crucial. Whenever the Bucks seemed to make it close, either they were swatted away by a 3-point shot before they could tie it up, or when they did tie it up, they were greeted with a 3-point shot on the other end. There was nothing they could do. And when Jonas Jerebko has a podium game, you know the Warriors were moving the ball around well.
Bonus Bucks Bits
- The Bucks did a great job of inflicting turnovers in the first half and getting points out of them. It was a large part of what allowed them to stay close in such a sloppy performance. In the first half, Golden State coughed up 13 of them, but limited it to just five in the second half. I asked Andre Iguodala about that postgame:
Forgot to put this out last night. The Warriors had 13 turnovers in the first half and just five in the second. I asked Andre Iguodala about that and what the difference was: pic.twitter.com/IHn5x9hzcN— Gabe Stoltz (@Stoltzy3) December 8, 2018
I don’t think anybody was really expecting a team as well-coached as Golden State continue that problem.
- It was a rough night on the floor from Malcolm Brogdon. His -12 RPM was the lowest of any Bucks starter, and like nearly every other Bucks starter, he just couldn’t rev up his engine. Given his success lately and how much of an asset he’s been to the team in games as of late, I don’t think it’s anything to worry about it. The team shooting 17.9 percent from deep was a large part of it, as the President converted on only 1-of-6 from deep.
- If there’s any positive from the Bucks’ shooting woes, it’s that they were able to keep things so close against the World Champs. I kept anticipating the Warriors to blow the doors off this one, but it never came. Milwaukee kept it to single digits down the stretch, and honestly, kudos to them for that. Granted, a six point deficit against the Warriors seems like 15 given how fast they can bury you, but still, impressive nonetheless.
- The point where this game turned was when Ersan got a taste of his own medicine and picked up those two offensive fouls. Both times, it looked like the defenders’ feet were not set. I believe the Bucks were down by just four at the time, and each time, the Warriors converted on the other end. Questionable calls by the zebras are always frustrating, but it’s even worse when its against the Warriors, when you know your opportunities are slim.
- Last, it was cool seeing Steve Kerr talk about how this Bucks team is a team they could meet “again this season.” It really shows how it’s not the end of the world that the Bucks lost this game. The team is still near the top of the East and the Warriors view them as a team they could definitely matchup with in the Finals. Getting that sort of respect is a privilege in the NBA, and Bucks fans should be excited at the fact that Steve Kerr views them as a team of that caliber.