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Milwaukee vs. Orlando: Bucks Blanketed by Magic, 103-83

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A dismal night shooting the basketball dooms Milwaukee

NBA: Orlando Magic at Milwaukee Bucks Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

In a game that didn’t feature Giannis, it’d take the Bucks a little longer than usual to gain their footing. Though they’d start out up 8-0 after six quick points from Eric Bledsoe, the offense would sputter to a 29 percent from the floor. At the end of one, Orlando would cling to a one-point advantage at 20-19.

The shooting wouldn’t improve in the second. Milwaukee would fall further behind and not emit much of any flavor on the offensive side of the ball. The dismal 3-points shooting continued with the Bucks putting forth a 17.6 percentage (3-of-17). They’d head into halftime down ten, 59-49.

Things would continue to crumble in the third. Orlando would expand their lead to 79-64, and Milwaukee’s 3-point shooting would shrink to 16 percent. It wasn’t too pretty. It’d be the same tune in the final period of play, and Milwaukee would eventually wave the white flag by putting their Wisconsin Herd lineup in.

Eric Bledsoe was the one of the lone positive signs for the Bucks, concluding his night with 19 points, 11 boards, and five assists with just a single turnover. Jonathan Isaac posted 17 points for the Magic, followed by a 15 point outing from All-Star Nikola Vucevic.

Three Observations

There is zero reason to worry after this loss.

Obviously, this was a game that the Bucks were supposed to win, but that doesn’t mean that the world is in shambles since that didn’t happen. These sort of nights happen in the NBA. Teams sputter. It happens to the best of them. It was also a back-to-back, so there was already some understanding to the fact that they could lose coming into this. It doesn’t mean much. At the end of the day, the Bucks are still 41-14. Let me repeat that. At the end of the day, the Bucks are still 41-14. Also, at least we weren’t the Celtics, who coughed up a 28 point lead to the visiting L.A. Clippers and then fell by an eleven point lead. Yikes.

This game solidified Giannis in the MVP race.

Would the Bucks have won if Giannis would’ve been out on the court? There’s no way to tell for sure, but there’s a strong likelihood that they would’ve. The opposing defenders would’ve gravitated towards him, thus opening up clear shooting spaces for other players on Milwaukee. That plus his usual 25-30 point output may have been enough to close the deficit on this one. What does the MVP stand for? Most Valuable Player. It’s not the MPP (Most Popular Player). We saw what this team looked like without Giannis, and it wasn’t the prettiest of sights.

Holy cow, does Terrence Ross know how to take it to the Bucks.

We really should be saying our blessings that Terrence Ross wasn’t included in the Fultz deal, because that could’ve caused some trouble. It really seems that he develops a killer instinct whenever he clashes against Milwaukee, and last night was no different. He’d wrap up his night with 15 points, nine of which would come on some insanely-high level difficulty shots. For me personally, he’s in the Jack Wilson category of opposing team’s athlete’s. Who’s Jack Wilson, you may ask? The Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop from 2001-2009. I swore he’d always do his worst damage to the Crew. Every team has a player that always exhibits strong performances against them, and for the Bucks, one of them is Terrence Ross.

Bonus Bucks Bits

  • I originally had this slated out as Malcolm Brogdon not playing well, but really, you have to include the entire lineup outside of Eric Bledsoe on here. Just putrid shooting out there by all the guys. Not much more you can do other than say yikes, shake it off, and move on to Chicago.
  • With that being said, Eric Bledsoe did have himself a nice game. 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting strung together with 11 rebounds and five assists is quite the stat line. Oh, and no turnovers! I’m still a little disappointed he wasn’t rewarded with an All-Star bid this season, as he really has earned it. But nonetheless, it’s very positive to see him contributing when the majority of his teammates are having an off-night.
  • The Bucks sure could have used that throw-in that was supposedly included in the Mirotic deal...
  • Back-to-backs are not Milwaukee’s best friend. This was their eighth of 13 back-to-backs this season, and following last night, their record is 5-3. It goes to show that we could see this scenario again — one in which Bud sits Giannis to opt in some rest. Let’s just hope the team doesn’t shoot 32.6 percent from the floor.
  • Last, going back to shooting, it’s the game of odds that shows this poor night was bound to happen. During the Bucks’ six-game win streak, they were shooting at a 51.6 percent, while holding opponents to just 43 percent. Well, both of those stats came to an end last night — so time to start a new streak!