The Milwaukee Bucks continue to run through the NBA and destroy whichever opponent is on their schedule. In a potential 1 vs. 8 seed first-round playoff matchup, the Bucks had no issues handling the Orlando Magic on Saturday night.
The Bucks came out guns blazing from deep early, and while the Magic kept Milwaukee’s lead to single digits for the first quarter and a half, the Bucks pulled away at the end of the second frame to secure a 112-95 win.
We finally got the Brook Lopez game we’ve been waiting for.
It seems like we have all been collectively saying for the last few months that Lopez is due for an offensive explosion, but it just hasn’t happened this year. Maybe playing in the same city as Disney World is all Brook needed to get out of his offensive funk? He was in a rhythm early, hitting a few jump shots and adding a few tough baskets inside to boot. He looked offended that Nikola Vucevic would “try” and defend him. In all, Splash Mountain dropped a season-high 23 points while making all five of his triples. It was awesome to see him hoist it up without hesitation and it felt like the Bucks were really trying to get him going offensively tonight. Mission accomplished. Oddly enough, he failed to record a blocked shot in the win. Nit-picking aside, he finished plus-27.
Don’t look now, but Wesley Matthews is heating up from deep.
Milwaukee’s offense in the first quarter was hitting shots at a high-rate, and Wes played an integral role in the O getting off to a fast start. He hit a handful of treys in the first, including a beautiful step-back three-pointer over Evan Fournier. Like Brook, Wesley has been the other guy we have been waiting on to bust out of what seemed to be a season-long shooting slump, and it appears that is finally coming to an end. He scored 12 points in 33 minutes while making 4-of-9 shots from deep, and he was a game-high plus-32. Over his last 10 games, he is now up to 46% shooting from distance while averaging eight points.
Khris Middleton continues to shoot lights out despite being heavily guarded.
Last night seemed like the first night all season that an opposing team keyed in on defending Khris Middleton on offense. Needless to say, it did not matter. Khris was being hounded all-night by Magic defenders but was still managing to shake them loose to get himself open. He dropped 21 points, 13 rebounds (career-high), and six assists in 32 minutes. He did miss some good looks from deep but still managed to sink 8-of-15 shots from the floor. Is he the best midrange jump shooter in the NBA? His stroke is just absurdly pure. I am not sure what has gotten into him the last month, but watching him play basketball and torment opposing defenses has been a treat.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 19 points, 18 rebounds, and nine assists in the win. Naturally, the Bucks were chucking up bricks when he was one assist away from a triple-double. Anyways, he did not have his best game last night, but it did not matter. How many players can put up 19/18/9 on an “off” night?
Giannis told Fultz to get outta here pic.twitter.com/14UAZd9aaW— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) February 8, 2020
- Eric Bledsoe added 18 points and eight assists in 32 minutes. It was another up and down game for Bled that featured a few head-scratching turnovers. But he still had a handful of nice plays last night, including abusing MCW for an and-one layup. He is strong.
- I swear Terrence Ross is only good when playing versus the Bucks.