If you didn’t go to bed before midnight last night, we sure hope you do tonight. To help aid you, rest easy knowing that the Milwaukee Bucks squeaked past the Minnesota Timberwolves, 106-104. I can’t think of a better way to describe the vibe of this game than this tweet from former Bucks analytics guru Seth Partnow:
Extreme “it’s January 1st, is somebody going to make some greasy brunch already?” energy both on and off the floor so far.— Anchorage Man (@SethPartnow) January 2, 2020
It was weird. It was just weird. Maybe the young Wolves’ energy and effort really did carry them to keep the game close all the way through, and maybe the Bucks had too much fun on New Year's Eve, I don’t know. It was just a weird game, way tighter than it should have been, and I’m glad it’s over. Credit to the Timberwolves for pushing the Bucks to the brink, and credit to the Bucks for prevailing.
As is tradition, Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way with 32 points, 17 rebounds, and 4 assists. Khris Middleton (13 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists) had an uneven outing, and Eric Bledsoe (10 points, 6 boards) only played 20 minutes as he returns from his avulsion fracture. Brook Lopez (11 points, 6 blocks) had a rough shooting night but helped keep the Bucks’ edge on defense when they needed it most.
For Minnesota, Shabazz Napier (22 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists) picked up as much of the slack left by Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins as he could manage. Six other Wolves scored in double-digits, reflecting the team-first approach they’ve taken while missing main contributors in Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.
Stat That Stood Out
The Bucks technically have one of the league’s best offenses, but nights like tonight make it tough to believe when they shoot so poorly. At least on three-pointers, the rim had a lid on it all night long, as the Bucks shot only 9/36 (25.0%).
Shoe That Stood Out
This is a holiday bonus section of the Rapid Recap, only because Giannis wore a new version of his Zoom Freak 1s that made fans everywhere race to their local sneaker supplier to find out how they can get a pair or three. I mean, look at these: