With the seeding games finally in the rearview mirror following a thorough 119-106 thrashing of the Milwaukee Bucks by the Memphis Grizzlies, I venture to guess no Bucks fan will look back on this 8-game stretch with much fondness despite the four-month layoff from actual basketball. With no Giannis Antetokounmpo due to his headbutt, D.J. Wilson grabbed the reins and Milwaukee’s first quarter got off to a rocky start as they trailed Memphis 21-22.
And if the first quarter was rocky, the second was closer to an avalanche, with Milwaukee sputtering en route to a 60-50 disadvantage come halftime. Their starters were roundly outplayed throughout the half, a trend that spread to the entire roster in the second half. The team blew chunks in the third before a too-late surge in the fourth. And so ends the great seeding game experiment for Milwaukee, who will start prepping for their first round matchup with the Orlando Magic next week.
At least Brook Lopez continued his strong bubble play, leading the team with 19 points and nine rebounds despite just 6-14 shooting. Unfortunately, Khris Middleton’s 5-13 performance meant that he narrowly missed out on the 50-40-90 season that’s been all the talk during these seeding games. At just 49.7% overall, it’s still a feat worth celebrating, and also a great reminder how arbitrary these stat markers are, given Middleton will never be mentioned among that club for the rest of time, except perhaps by Bucks fans. Frank Mason and Donte DiVincenzo also combined for 35 points.
Middleton fell short. Made just 5-of-13 today.— Eric Nehm (@eric_nehm) August 13, 2020
Made 471 of the 947 shots he took this season, which is 49.73600845 percent.
49.73% FG / 41.53% 3PT / 91.70% FT for the season.
The Grizzlies’ Dillon Brooks pummeled the Bucks to the tune of 31 points on 12-18 shooting. Ja Morant struggled to just 5-17 shooting and 12 points, but tacked on 13 rebounds and 10 assists for the triple-double. Jonas Valanciunas picked up some scoring slack with 26 of his own.
Stat that Stood Out
Milwaukee took 39% of its shots from the midrange, a far cry from the typical 25.5% they boast normally. Only the San Antonio Spurs take a higher percentage than 39% from the midrange during the regular season. The absence of Giannis and, by extension, inability for Milwaukee to get to the rim shone through in this one, leading to a relatively abysmal day from the floor when their 3-point stroke ended at just 13-41 (31.7%).