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Milwaukee vs. Atlanta: Bucks Obliterate Hawks, 144-112

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The Bucks are very good and the Hawks are not

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Milwaukee Bucks Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Milwaukee wouldn’t waste much time getting their engine started in this one. A nifty shimmy to the left on a 3-pointer from Brook Lopez got the gears going, and they sped up fast. I swear I saw smoke emitting from the floor. A swarm of threes, majestic ball movement, and all around top-notch awareness separated them from Atlanta with ease. When the first quarter wrapped up, the Bucks carried a mammoth 43-14 lead.

It’d be the same story, different quarter for the second. Nothing really changed. Just pure simplicity for the hometown team. In fact, after a Jason Smith 3-pointer, the lights went out. Yes, that actually happened:

Heading into the locker rooms at half, Milwaukee strung together a 76-43 lead.

From there, it was easy sailing. The Hawks didn’t make a single effort in coming back, as Milwaukee continued to blanket them throughout the remainder of the game. Ultimately, it’d result in chants of “Six more points! Six more points!” as the Bucks neared 150 points towards the tail-end of the game.

In a nutshell, this was a fun game.

All five Bucks would tally double-digit points, with George Hill, Ersan Ilyasova, and Tony Snell all reaching that club as well.

For Atlanta, DeAndre’ Bemby was the high point scorer with 19 on the night. Dewayne Dedmon wrapped up his contributions with 14. John Collins, Alex Len, and Jeremy Lin all had 12 of their own.

Three Observations

Well, that escalated quickly.

Like, wow. If you blinked, you missed the first 25 points scored by the Bucks tonight. They wasted no time in this one. Everyone hinted at how nice it was that the squad got in such a fluent rhythm right out of the gates. Atlanta never even came close to sniffing the lead all night long. This was nearly as perfect of a game that a fan could imagine. I seriously could’ve published my Rapid Recap before the first quarter wrapped up.

All of the starters played under 23 minutes.

Considering the Hawks are sitting at the No. 12 slot in the East and the Raptors are No. 2, this was massive. How relieving is it to know that you gave everybody some well-needed rest on a back-to-back? Pretty freaking relieving. A few years ago, you may have never even had that luxury. Given the frustrations that Toronto showed against San Antonio, it could add fuel to the fire. Also add in the implications of tomorrow night’s game being a possible tiebreaker and the stakes get even higher.

Ersan Ilyasova continues to be a Milwaukee folk hero.

I mean, literally, you can’t write a script like this. Just seconds after coming in for the first time in a slew of games following a broken nose, Ersan immediately earned a charge. How poetic is that? It’s even better when he grinds out a gritty 10 points on the night. Having him back in the mix could very well be a monumental change to this lineup and make this team even better. We all saw his contributions last year in Philadelphia and it’ll be intriguing to see how he plays in the second half of the season in Milwaukee.

Bonus Bucks Bits

  • Coming into last night, the Bucks had won their last four games by 10+ points. Last time I checked, 32 is more than 10, so chalk that up to the last five games. They’ve now won eight games by 20 or more as well. The team with the best point differential in the league just keeps doing some wild things. With the win, Milwaukee is now a season-high 17 games over .500.
  • Yo. Giannis really had 8/6/7 in the FIRST QUARTER. Like, what??? The man is a machine. That’s the only downfall — since Milwaukee was so good, we barely saw Giannis scratch the minutes with his potential. Oh well, I don’t think many people are complaining.
  • The depth on this squad is insane. Listen to this stat. Per Bucks PR, Milwaukee’s 144 points were the most scored by any team in the NBA without having a 20-point scorer since the Cavaliers on 12/17/91. The Bucks also had 12 players score at least eight points — the most by any team in a game since the 1976-77 season. Talk about DEPTH.
  • Jason Smith really looks like he came from balling it up on the court at the downtown YMCA and got plucked from the stands. Especially with that bald spot of his. I mean, the man literally shot the lights out:
  • Khris Middleton went 4-of-4 from beyond the arc last night, continuing a small flurry of games that he’s shown success in. I talked to Mike Budenholzer about that:
  • I’m still unsure on Atlanta’s uniforms. They just don’t feel right. That neon greenish color still is sticking out too much for me. What do you guys, think?
  • Although he shot threes and didn’t dunk at all, it’s always a treat to watch Vince Carter play. One of the few players in the league that I remember watching when I was a toddler. So awesome to see him still producing.