The Milwaukee Bucks showed absolutely no signs of rust in their first game since the all-star break as they routed the hapless Detroit Pistons by 20 points.
This game was close for the first two and a half minutes before the Bucks took complete control almost effortlessly. The ball was hopping around the court crisply and the defensive rotations were outstanding. This Pistons roster of castaway Bucks players are definitely not world beaters, but seeing Milwaukee come out and send a message early like they have not skipped a beat was encouraging.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was a man amongst boys last night.
We all know that Giannis is a mismatch for any opposing team, but seeing him operate against this Detroit team was like watching a grown man play against little children on a Little Tikes basketball hoop. His first bucket of the second half of the season was a dunk, because, of course, it was. He also added a beautiful baseline Kobe-esque fadeaway jumper to boot in the first quarter. It did not matter if one, two, or three defenders were draped all over him, he was still getting to the basket with ease. He dropped 33 points, 16 rebounds, four assists, and blocked three shots in only 32 minutes. He converted on 13-of-23 shots from the field and 7-of-11 free throws. Giannis was also a game-high plus-39.
When Giannis is hitting shots like this, no one stands a chance. pic.twitter.com/p2D1Q7g5dI— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) February 21, 2020
Khris Middleton continues to torture his former employer.
You can count on Middleton torching two teams: the Boston Celtics and the Detroit Pistons. He has elevated his game immensely this season and has shown no signs of putting his foot off the gas. In 32 minutes, Middleton converted on 11-of-18 shots for 28 points while also adding eight boards. He also drained 4-of-5 attempts from deep and is sitting at 43.8% from deep thus far. Can you say, “elite!” It did not matter the area on the court, he was dropping buckets on everyone. Whether it’s from the inside, or outside, Khris Middleton has it all.
Eric Bledsoe was “quiet,” but he put together a solid all-around effort in the victory.
While he added 19 points, four rebounds, and six assists, I thought his biggest impact was on the defensive end of the floor. His on-ball defense was solid as per usual, but his rotations were excellent. He was constantly in the right place and the right time and helped prevent the Pistons from swinging the ball around to an open shooter. Bledsoe’s game took a bit of a dip prior to the all-star break, so hopefully, some extended rest did his mind and body good. I mean if there’s any game to get back on track, it’s against the Pistons.
- The former Bucks squad of Tony Snell, John Henson, Brandon Knight, Thon Maker, and Christian Wood combined for 45 points. Although I must admit, Christian Wood is probably the most elite garbage time player in NBA history.
- The Bucks made only 10 three-pointers and still scored 126 points.
- Milwaukee finished the victory with 24 assists compared to only seven turnovers. Nice!