The NBA is a make or miss league, and the Milwaukee Bucks barely made anything on Sunday night in their 130-110 road loss to the New York Knicks.
The Bucks never got into any sort of rhythm offensively which proved to be their demise. With the starters unable to hit open shots, Milwaukee getting no support from their second unit did not help, either.
Said he'll have to look at the tape to determine the exact hows and whys, but just acknowledged when an opponent shoots it that well they were not only hot, but probably had too many clean looks at it. https://t.co/46wXqR7KdK— Jim Owczarski (@JimOwczarski) December 28, 2020
"We couldn't throw a rock in the ocean tonight." - Bobby Portis— Eric Nehm (@eric_nehm) December 28, 2020
What Did We Learn?
The Bucks had a decent amount of roster turnover in a shortened offseason so it is no surprise to see them struggle outside of the gate. Jrue Holiday is being asked to lead a team and learn a whole new offense in less than a month, and D.J. Augustin has already missed one game and was signed on November 28th.
The starting five has already shown flashes of brilliancy but there have been some hiccups as well. The spacing offensively has been off at times, but this is something that will improve over the course of the season. It’s only been two games!
First highlight dunk of the year for Giannis. Brought back the NY mean mug. pic.twitter.com/phVfKctXEH— Bucks Nation (@MKEBucksNation) December 28, 2020
New York just could not miss from anywhere. While the Bucks did surrender a fair share of open looks, it also felt like each heavily contested shot was going in, too. It’s the NBA, it happens. Elfrid Payton made all three of his three-point attempts, Alec Burks and Frank Ntilikina combine to hit eight...I mean, come on. When is the next time that will happen? I believed this game was more of how poorly Milwaukee played compared to the Knicks. The Bucks manufactured a ton of open looks and just could not convert.
Although Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton combined to score 49 points, it felt like neither of them got a chance to get going offensively. Outside of a small spur in the first quarter, both players found it difficult to have a stretch of knocking down consecutive buckets. A large factor in that is because the Bucks had to constantly take the ball out because the Knicks shot 54.1% from the floor and 59.3% from deep. Giannis did have some nice moments in the third quarter where he was getting to the foul line at will but the game script did not bode well for either of them. It’s much more difficult to get in a rhythm when you are needing to take the ball out from under the hoop.
The New York Knicks look like a competent basketball team! Coaching really does make a difference, eh? Tom Thibodeau has his guys playing hard and their young pieces will benefit from the coaching change. I am a huge Mitchell Robinson guy and he made a huge impact in 35 minutes. His line on nine points and six rebounds won’t make you bat an eye, but his presence around the rim made things difficult for the Bucks on both ends. I thought he was especially effective on the offensive glass, he created an abundance of second chance opportunities because he was getting a finger on every missed shot. He has finally been freed.
- Jrue Holiday is still figuring it out. I am encouraged by his poise on both ends of the floor and he has already developed solid chemistry with the starting unit in a short period of time. He played 28 minutes and scored eight points on four-of-10 shooting. He did look a little out of sorts offensively on a few possessions, but that is to be expected.
- Bobby Portis #revengegame ended with him scoring 17 points with seven rebounds off the bench. He is a bit too aggressive at times offensively for my liking, but he is great in transition.
- Brook Lopez was a minus-25 in 21 minutes. Yikes.
- D.J. Augustin was creating plenty of open looks in just 14 minutes of play. He scored only two points but he is such a deadly, precise passer in the pick-and-roll.
- Are we sure Kevin Knox is an NBA player?
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