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Milwaukee vs Atlanta: Unlikely Lineup Falls after Unlikely Putback

The most obscure starting lineup yields a loss

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Atlanta Hawks Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t think we will ever see a starting lineup again like the one that graced the Milwaukee Bucks 135-136 OT loss to the Atlanta Hawks. If there was ever a time where the term “weird flex but ok” was applicable, this was it.

Yes that was a real lineup in a regular season game. The Bucks were without Giannis and Middleton going into the game and while Eric Bledsoe was available on the bench, he didn’t play either. If the Bucks were not in playoff contention, this would be a tanking lineup that would make Chicago and New York jealous. But unlike those teams, Milwaukee played the Hawks into overtime but lost on a Trae Young last second putback after Brook Lopez tried to bat away an inbounds pass. The magic number for home court throughout the playoffs is still at 2.

One Observation: We really need to talk about this lineup...

I’m still baffled this was the lineup. The Bucks only played eight guys, which included Tim Frazier playing the whole game to notch the first 20 point, 15-assist Bucks game since Monta Ellis in 2013. The game was a great test to see what these bench guys can do; the playoffs are a few weeks away and there will be competition to see who gets some burn in a shorter rotation.

Guys like D.J. Wilson, Sterling Brown, and Pat Connaughton will make the cut, but it’s a question of how much they’ll play that continues to linger. Colson and others are just playing to try and make the roster. It is interesting that the Bucks, even when resting guys, really go for a short rotation of eight guys. This also happened in Cleveland last week and it was similar in the Utah game as well. I see Budenholzer doing this as a way of empowering and trusting his guys to deliver in his tried-and-true. He believe they can win these games and they almost pulled out the victory.

Bonus Bucks Twitter Bits

  • The Bucks and Hawks combined for an NBA record 116 threes. That’s crazy to think about, but it’s also a sign of the changing NBA.
  • Tim Frazier played the entire game. He’s going to feel sore later today....or not
  • I guess Colson has a body frame like Jabari. I don’t see it but that’s just me
  • These two tweets I think perfectly describe this game
  • Sterling Brown followed up his career best performance against the Clippers with another career highlight by going for 27 points. It felt like a flashback to Summer League the way he controlled the game and drove to the basket.
  • Milwaukee’s players did a fine job of converting at the free throw line, going 22-23 while the Hawks were just 10-17, which helped the Bucks stay in this one.
  • The Bucks went 10-18 (55.5%) from deep in the first quarter. They went just 7-37 (18.9%) in the ensuing three periods.