The Milwaukee Bucks had their four game winning streak snapped tonight as they lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves, 108-89. On Monday night, the Bucks benefited from a horrifically cold shooting Philadelphia 76ers and they must have caught the Sixers’ bug as they finished the night shooting 37.6 percent from the floor and 20.7 percent from three-point range. Milwaukee was never able to get into a consistent offensive rhythm, and unlike their last meeting with Minnesota, were unable to crawl out from the large hole they dug themselves into in the first half.
Any momentum and flow the Bucks were hanging onto left their clutches early in the second quarter as Malcolm Brogdon exited the game after an awkward take off on a breakaway layup. It was reported shortly after that he suffered a left quad tendon strain. The initial and immediate diagnosis sounds infinitely better than anything knee related, but a tendon injury is still less than ideal. I feel like using, “strain,” is a substitute for, “we don’t quite know what’s going on here but it’s definitely at least strained.”
Giannis Antetokounmpo was frustrated all night as Minnesota packed the paint whenever the Greek Freak touched the ball. He finished with 17 points and 15 rebounds on nearly 43 percent shooting. Giannis’ reliance on getting points in the paint was mitigated by the Timberwolves’ constant lane contact and presence. Having big bodies in front of him all night forced Antetokounmpo to take tough shot after tough shot. When he was unleashed on the fast break he made the most of it, however.
Giannis slams it home and the #Bucks are on an 8-0 run!— FOX Sports Wisconsin (@fswisconsin) February 2, 2018
Watch on #FOXSportsGO: https://t.co/UBazkuBhN6 pic.twitter.com/k33zObf8sR
Giannis ended his night grimacing off the court and then spent the last handful of game time minutes getting looked at by the training staff on the bench. Dagnabbit.
With Eric Bledsoe out of commission due to an ankle injury, Tony Snell was inserted into the starting lineup and could only muster two points while going 0/6 shooting from three-point range. Snell’s lackluster performance was the norm throughout most of the lineup, unfortunately. Khris Middleton did his part scoring a team-high 21 points, but was largely inefficient and found himself in foul trouble early on. On a night lacking positive takeaways, Sterling Brown put Jimmy Butler on a poster in the first quarter.
Fast break SLAM!! pic.twitter.com/e3MQ7MXDxz— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) February 2, 2018
Brown was issued a technical foul for his post-dunk stare down and words directed at Butler. Sterling Brown is a certified MF-er.
Minnesota’s All-Star duo of the aforementioned Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns combined for 52 points, 64 percent shooting, and a net rating of +39. The Timberwolves only converted on seven three-pointers but they did a lot of damage bullying their way to the basket and knocking down mid-range jumpers. The T-Wolves did a heck of a job on the defensive end altering and forcing Milwaukee into tough shots and getting lucky that the Bucks could not consistently knock down an open jumper.
Stat That Stood Out
20.7 percent - as it was mentioned above, the Bucks shot a measly 20.7 percent from beyond the arc tonight. A majority of their looks were open and/or in rhythm. It was just simply not their night to knock down the shots they needed to in order to crawl out of the early deficit. Middleton was the only Buck to convert more than one three-pointer going 2/7 from deep. Had D.J. Wilson not knocked down a garbage time three, the Bucks would have finished with a 17.9 percent conversion rate. Yikes.