Frustrations continued for the Bucks at the BMO Harris Bradley Center on Friday night, as they were unable to snap out of their slump. They ended up falling to the Indiana Pacers by a 103-96 score.
Man, what a weird first quarter. Both teams shot poorly, everybody was uncoordinated, and there were five technicals. When the 12 minutes were up, Milwaukee clung to a 21-18 lead. The chippy style of play would continue in the second quarter with the Bucks jumping back in front by a single point, 46-45.
A cold draft swept through the BC during the third quarter. Seriously. It saw the Bucks crumble and give up a slew of Indiana runs, which eventually piled up to a 78-67 advantage to the visitors.
The Bucks would finally come alive in the fourth quarter, scratching and clawing all the way back to make it a four point game. Giannis would attempt a three to make it closer, but catch nothing but air, essentially sealing this one. From there, Indiana would ice things at the charity stripe.
Khris Middleton was the high man for the Bucks, finishing with 30 points. Giannis Antetokounmpo would post a 24 point performance, which included 10-of-12 from the free throw line. Eric Bledsoe rounded out the scoring with 15 points.
Victor Oladipo was the key to victory for Indiana. His hot second half pushed his point total to 21 on the night. Consistency was featured throughout the rest of the Pacers lineup. All other starters would post double figures and Lance Stephenson came off the bench with 16 points.
That was one of the weirdest games I’ve ever seen.
This game is nonsense.— Matt Velazquez (@Matt_Velazquez) March 3, 2018
Matt sums it up pretty good in this tweet. When a game features five technicals in the first quarter, it’s not an ordinary walk in the park. I mean, it was simply bonkers. It reached an ultimate head-scratching stage when Giannis was given a technical for simply saying that the refs were wrong for having Indiana in the penalty. I mean, didn’t you hear? It’s now against the rules to hurt a ref’s feelings. Khris Middleton said postgame that the chippy attitude featured was a unique situation and that it definitely played a hand in the game outcome, or at least made a significant impact. Let’s hope for the Bucks sake that we don’t see a repeat of this in future games.
Giannis (and the team) continue to experience frustrations in putting together a consistent game.
Yet again, the Bucks fell short of putting together four strong quarters. It’s been a re-occurring theme for Milwaukee, as they simply cannot figure out a correct formula. In particular, Giannis found it difficult to make an impact in the third quarter. Teams continue to just wall off his access to the hoop in the paint and its showing its effectiveness in the box score. ESPN Milwaukee’s Eric Nehm asked Giannis about this in his postgame availability, and he provided an interesting response:
Post-game, I asked Antetokounmpo, "How do you try to get out of something like this? Where it is starting to maybe roll into the next game where you are struggling a little bit there...how do you try to get out of it?"— Eric Nehm (@eric_nehm) March 3, 2018
His response: pic.twitter.com/vDmFNm1zQ5
(40 point performance against Philadelphia confirmed)
How about the JET on the defensive end of the floor???
Man, oh man! Jason Terry with the defensive performance! He’d receive the start in the absence of Tony Snell, and man did he make his minutes worth it. He recorded THREE blocks (which I believe tied a career high). Never in my wildest dreams would I have dreamt that Jason Terry could put forth that type of performance. He was simply everywhere. Ever since Kidd’s firing, it seems like he’s stepped up his game on both levels. If Snell is out again Sunday evening against the Sixers, it’s imperative for the JET to have a repeat performance.
Bonus Bucks Bits
- When the Pacers initially revealed their jerseys, I was not a fan. I had no clue what they were thinking. They looked hideous. But man, I’ll tell ya — seeing them in person really made them pop and they may be one of my favorite uniforms now. It’s not a sash, but that yellow stripe seemed like an optical illusion out there.
- We all know Sterling Brown plays with a chip on his shoulder. The same goes for Lance Stephenson. The two nearly came to blows in the first quarter. Thankfully, it didn’t escalate any further, otherwise it could’ve been nasty. But it was probably the high point of that wacky first quarter.
- So, in other news, Eric Bledsoe is a magician:
That dime from Eric Bledsoe— SB Nation (@SBNation) March 3, 2018
( : @nba) pic.twitter.com/qymbyJ7S1O
Like, seriously — howwwwww.
- Last night’s game saw Thon Maker play less than five minutes. Joe Prunty told us postgame that it was to see what kind of matchups they could earn with Tyler Zeller and John Henson, but you have to think a large part of it was due to Maker’s recent struggles. Also, last time out against Indiana, Domantas Sabonis took Thon to school. Nonetheless, don’t be shocked if you see Thon get similar minutes Sunday against Philadelphia.
- Victor Oladipo is a special player. He may have only had 21 points, but the way he dictated the game flow for the Pacers down the stretch was something to watch. Mad respect towards him.
- Finally, Lance continues to be Lance:
Milwaukee fan just yelled at Lance, “Stephenson are you crazy?” Lance looked up, thought a second and shook his head yes. I love the NBA.— David Benner (@PacersDMB) March 3, 2018