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Milwaukee vs. Denver: Shorthanded Bucks Fall Short In Denver, 109-95

We knew the Bucks would be shorthanded last night, but not that SHORTHANDED.

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Denver Nuggets Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

We knew before opening tip versus the Nuggets in Denver that Milwaukee would be without Giannis Antetokounmpo, George Hill, and Eric Bledsoe. It was not abundantly clear that they’d also be missing Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez, and Donte DiVincenzo as well in their 109-95 road loss.

As shorthanded as they were, the Bucks still made it a game until the last few moments of the final frame. Even when the Nuggets raced out to a double-digit lead early, the B-team found themselves back in the game after stringing together some stops and converting at the offensive end.

Even though the Bucks lost their third-consecutive game, I was still very pleased with some of the developments we saw on Monday night.

Three Bucks

We got a “Kyle Korver game!”

With Milwaukee playing without all of their key contributions on the offensive end, it was hard to guess who would be the go-to player. Well, it was Kyle Korver who might have taken more shots than dribbles last night! He was instrumental in keeping the Bucks within contact of the Nuggets throughout last night’s contest. Whenever the away team needed a bucket, they went to Korver. He scored a season-high 23 points in 24 minutes off the bench while adding five makes from three-point territory. He has the prettiest jumper in NBA history. It’s so effing smooth.

Thanasis Antetokounmpo showed some nice flashes on both ends.

He got the start, and while he only played 19 minutes, he made the most of them. He started his night by dishing out two assists to Robin Lopez from deep and added a make from 11-feet out. He certainly tried to emulate Giannis Antetokounmpo on his drives to the basket, and while it was not as smooth, he was still able to gain a bit of separation to make a play. He also added a highlight-reel rejection on Denver big man Mason Plumlee, whom he met at the summit after making a fantastic defensive rotation. He ended the night with nine points, six rebounds, three assists, two steals, and one block. Doing a little bit of everything, just like his brother.

Wesley Matthews is in a rut offensively.

His tough road trip continued on Monday night as he converted on only 2-of-11 shots from the floor for nine points in 32 minutes. It looked like he snapped out of his offensive funk last week, but the month of March has not been so kind to Wes. I’ve noticed that he has been forcing the issue offensively as of late by insisting on driving to the basket and throwing up a prayer. Definitely not his forte. He’s shooting only 34.2% from the floor and 26.9% from deep this month. The activity on the defensive end will always be there, though, which still makes him a valuable play.

Bonus Bits

  • Sterling Brown got all the minutes he could handle. He played 26 minutes and added 16 points, six rebounds, and three assists. He even got the chance to make some plays as a ball-handler, which I don’t think he has ever done in a Bucks uniform. Not sure that will happen ever again, though.
  • D.J. Wilson :(
  • 50 of the Bucks 90 shots from the field came from three-point territory.