Well, for the first half of their Wednesday night tilt against the Boston Celtics, the Bucks looked like a well-oiled machine on both sides of the ball in the first half. The second half, though, was a completely different story.
Here are three observations for Milwaukee’s frustrating loss 116-105 loss.
The Milwaukee Bucks needed more from their MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Celtics were without Jaylen Brown, and pesky guard Marcus Smart took over the duty of guarding the Greek Freak. We know Giannis is a rhythm player, but he just could not find anything against an undermanned Celtics team. While he finished with 22 points, 14 rebounds, and five assists, he just could not assert himself. The 8-of-13 shooting is good, but the 6-of-10 free throw shooting continues to be anything but encouraging, particularly with two air balls on one trip. He turned the ball over three times and looked out of control on countless drives to the basket while finishing minus-6 in 34 minutes. This loss is not on Giannis, I expected him to assert his dominance on a team dealing with a few injuries to key players.
If Brook Lopez could get it together, that would be great. Splash Mountain struggled with his shot yet again, making only 2-of-8 shots and 1-of-5 tries from deep. Through four games, he is shooting 7-of-23 from deep and an uncharacteristic 40.7 percent from the floor. That is a far cry from his 45.2% mark from the field and 36.5% from deep. Defensively, the blocks have been there at 2.7 per game. However, his defense in pick-and-roll situations has been abysmal. There is still plenty of time to figure it out, but the sooner, the better.
Is there a more frustrating player to watch right now than Eric Bledsoe? There’s no denying the talent the shifty point guard possesses, but he has not looked like himself thus far. I get it, he’s still recovering from a rib injury, but the Bucks have not been benefiting by his decision to play through it. Against the Celtics last night, he scored only seven points while dishing out five assists in 28 minutes. He shot 3-of-8 from the floor and was thoroughly outplayed by multiple Celtics guards. I remain fairly optimistic about his rest of the season outlook, but the early return has been not great, Bob.
- Khris Middleton torched the Celtics to the tune of 26 points while knocking down 10-of-15 shots from the field. Middleton was the Bucks most consistent player on Wednesday night, and whenever the Bucks needed a bucket, he was there. What would he average if all 82 regular-season games were against the Celtics?
- There was way too much Pat Connaughton for my liking against Boston. He finished minus-9 in 21 impact-less minutes.
- Each member of the Bucks finished with a negative plus-minus...except Brook Lopez (plus-6).
- After a great shooting first half, the Bucks ended shooting 46.3% from the field and 31.1% from deep.
- Milwaukee turned the ball over 15 times. Yikes.