In a night where the purple and green from the iconic Bucks’ uniform combination was spread throughout the arena, the Bucks cruised past the Minnesota Timberwolves, 140-128.
The energy was overflowing at Fiserv Forum with it being 90’s Night. Everybody was pumped up, and rightfully so. The Bucks would start off hot — especially Giannis, who quickly put in 11 points. In a nutshell, it was the complete opposite of Thursday night vs. Boston. Going into the second period of play, Milwaukee clung to a 35-32 advantage.
The fast pace would continue into the second quarter, with both teams passing the 50 point mark midway. Mike Budehnolzer definitely wasn’t pleased with what he saw, as the Wolves took a 70-69 lead into the locker room.
And any halftime speech that Budenholzer may have given about defense? It didn’t take immediate effect. The Wolves quickly kept cruising at a leisurely pace with a speedy 15 points in just four minutes. It’d result in Minnesota taking a 109-107 advantage into the final quarter.
But for as how bad as the Bucks were playing, they made their comeback look simple. A 16-2 run would be all that Milwaukee needed. Sometimes there are games that make us realize how special this team is, and this was one of them.
For the Bucks, seven players (including all five starters) would register double figures. All-Star Khris Middleton would be the top scorer, rattling off 28 points. Giannis Antetokounmpo was a single point behind him with 27, and just three assists away from another triple-double. Nikola Mirotic and Ersan Ilyasova both had double-digits off the bench.
Derrick Rose would lead Minnesota with 23 points.
Want a crazy stat that shows how good this year’s Bucks team is?
So, this stat from the Washington Post’s Ben Golliver really captures just how insane this squad is:
140-point games by the Milwaukee Bucks— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) February 24, 2019
-- 5 times in 59 games under coach Mike Budenholzer
-- 4 times total in previous 30 seasons combined pic.twitter.com/bT6ifCvCVz
Did you read that? Take a second to close your eyes and take a deep breath. Now read it again. THAT IS A REAL STATISTIC. Isn’t that pure insanity? I asked Khris Middleton what he could attribute it to postgame and he immediately pointed to the pace and the threes. He noted that the clips that they’ve been shooting at this season is much higher than any of the other years he’s been here, and boy has it. We still have 23 games left, which is 23 more opportunities for the Bucks to score 140 points in a game. I think this won’t be the last time we see them pass that threshold.
Speaking of Khris Middleton, the #PayHim crowd got a lot of fuel for their argument.
This game is the perfect example of why the Bucks will be paying Khris Middleton a lot of money this offseason. I understand it may not be what some of you want to hear, but I’d imagine this is what ownership sees and is willing to pay the big bucks (no pun intended) for. His 28 points marks the 25th straight performance of double-digits for K-Midd, as last night made fit in as a perfect complement to the Greek Freak. When he strokes the ball like he did in that third quarter, this team is not dangerous, but absolutely lethal. Add in the combo of a red-hot Mirotic and an Ersan that produces, watch out.
I still cannot fathom that Milwaukee has already surpassed last year’s win total.
I know everybody’s talking about it, but when you really sit down and think about it, that’s a wilddddddd stat. If any casual NBA fan asks you why Jason Kidd was a bad coach, you don’t talk about the free throw debacle with Middleton. You don’t talk about him not playing Malcolm Brogdon. You go straight to that statistic. That’s all the firepower you need. With 23 games left, it’s pretty exciting to look at the standings and realize there’s a legitimate shot for this team to hit 60 wins. Pretty incredible to sit and recollect how far we’ve come in just over a calendar year. `
Bonus Bucks Bits
- Okay, time to dive into the halftime show that everybody is talking about:
Ja Rule is playing at halftime here. Can we make sure the water and bathrooms are working properly here at Fiserv Forum?— Gabe Stoltz (@Stoltzy3) February 24, 2019
I did not watch the halftime show. Instead, I went downstairs and ate a hot dog. I am very content with my decision to do so:
Ja Rule just did the @bucks 90s night halftime show and well... pic.twitter.com/efa7fpgTAA— Complex (@Complex) February 24, 2019
Yeah. No thank you. Ja Rule, you should be in jail. Next bullet point!
- Is there anything better than Giannis hitting a three? Last night, we got to see it happen not once, not twice, but three times! That 3-point percentage of his continues to climb, and boy, has it been a joy to watch. Fingers crossed that he continues to improve.
- I still can’t believe what Anthony Tolliver did. Like what. the. heck. I don’t know if we briefly fell into an alternate universe for that possession, but that almost seems more logical than what actually happened. In his postgame comments, you could tell that Giannis was disappointed that he wasn’t going to be able to face him again this season. However, he’s definitely looking forward to meeting them next year.
- From one unconnected poster to a successful one, we go to Brook Lopez ending Dario Saric’s career...
Brook Lopez ends Dario Saric pic.twitter.com/MIYYF0iyWW— The Render (@TheRenderNBA) February 24, 2019
Unfortunately, a technical foul was called...
a technical foul has been called on brook lopez for ending dario saric's career— Gabe Stoltz (@Stoltzy3) February 24, 2019
- Now, it’s time to talk about 90’s Night. The Bucks’ green and purple uniforms are the best one that the team has ever worn. It’s such a unique color combination. So nostalgic. The only other team that I can think of that wore it were the Arizona Diamondbacks. It’s really too bad that the NBA allows only five jerseys for the year, as I’d love for the Bucks to honor these glorious threads by putting them on for a few games. Who knows, maybe down the line they’ll do something similar to the 2013 season and wear the iconic Buck jersey a few games.
- I’m going to end this Extended Recap with my tradition for every 90’s Night game — a brief discussion of 90’s cartoons. Here’s my Mount Rushmore: Rocket Power, Hey Arnold, Rugrats, and Recess. I’m interested to hear everybody’s take on this. Forget the Middleton debate, this is the real conversation!