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Milwaukee vs. Chicago: No Giannis? No Problem

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The Milwaukee Bucks picked up a victory at Fiserv South last night in Chicago.

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Chicago Bulls David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Giannis Antetokounmpo-less Bucks pushed their winning streak to five with a 117-106 road victory over the Chicago Bulls. Things got off to a less than ideal start for the Bucks, as they found themselves down 38-25 at the end of the first quarter. However, Milwaukee was able to regain control midway through the second period and kept Chicago at arm’s length throughout the rest of the game. Are the Bucks better without Giannis Antetokounmpo? My column:

Jokes aside, here are three Bucks who stepped up with the absence of the Greek Freak.

Nothing but respect for the President.

It was another consistent game for Malcolm Brogdon who finished with 22 points and 5 assists while converting on 7-of-15 field goals. With the Bucks struggling a bit early and forcing things, he was able to calmly hit some shots to help stabilize things. He’s not going to wow you with his athleticism, but his determination to making winning plays is superb. He knocked down 4-of-7 three-point attempts and is now shooting 41.3 percent from deep. He is on his way to a well-deserved payday.

Ersan Trillyasova back.

Ever since breaking his nose a few months ago, it’s taken a while for Ersan to get back on track. However, the last handful of games he looks back to being the “Ersan” of old which is tremendous news for the Milwaukee Bucks. Drawing the start for Giannis, he finished with 10 points and 6 rebounds in 24 minutes while also ending plus-25 (!!!!!!). He sank 4-of-7 shots, and his increased production on both ends of the floor certainly bodes well for the Bucks, especially with the playoffs not all too far away.

Surprise! Early Planet Pat minutes.

Connaughton’s playing time has been erratic for the last few months, but it’s no secret that whenever he’s on the floor he is always hustling. Last night against the Bulls was no different. With George Hill and Sterling Brown out, he got the early call and played 28 minutes with 10 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists while making 4-of-10 shots. His three-point percentage is down to 28.6 after going 2-for-8 last night, and he also passed up a handful of open looks. There have been numerous times this year where he’s had a wide open look from deep but elected to drive and put up a floater. Let it fly!

Bonus Bucks

  • Khris Middleton contributed 22 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists in 27 minutes. He was cooking in the second quarter (12 points), but was a bit inconsistent throughout the second half. However, he did get to the free throw line 10 times. Khris “star calls” Middleton?
  • Point guard Eric Bledsoe scored only 8 points and really wasn’t asked to do too much offensively with Giannis out.
  • Brook Lopez added 13 points while blocking 5 shots and continues to amaze this season as a rim protector.
  • THREEEEEEKOLLLLLLA. Mirotic finished with 13 points in 23 minutes including hitting consecutive three-pointers in the third quarter to help put the Bulls away. Can you believe the Bucks stole him from the Pelicans?
  • In 20 minutes, D.J. Wilson made the most of his opportunities (7 points, 8 rebounds). He hadn’t played in Milwaukee’s first two games out of the All-Star break, so his minute situation will be something to monitor for the next few weeks.
  • CHRISTIAN WOOD SURVIVES!!!! He did only score 2 points, but boy was they loud.
  • The Bucks shot 46.2 percent from the field and hit 17 three-pointers. They also dished out 26 assists compared to only 8 turnovers.