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Milwaukee vs. Dallas: Bucks Stumble in Overtime

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It looked like the Bucks took control in the third quarter - but Dallas did not go away.

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Dallas Mavericks Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks went back and forth with the Dallas Mavericks, with both teams trading punches early. The Mavericks raced out to an early lead and maintained it for the majority of the first half. After halftime, it felt like the Bucks were able to regain momentum and control of the game. However, Luka Doncic did not let the Mavs lose. What a special talent.

Three Observations

Giannis Antetokounmpo had a “rough” evening against Dallas. While he did finish with 34 points, 13 rebounds, and five blocked shots, he was out of sorts offensively at times. Credit to the Mavericks defense though, they made Giannis work for every bucket. Antetokounmpo fell in love with his jumper a little too much for me last night and his struggles from the free-throw line hurt the Bucks quite a bit. He made his first four attempts but missed seven in a row at one point. He finished 7-of-14 from the line (including two airballs), the hitch in his for is...ugly. Furthermore, he finished minus-16 and had four turnovers (to one assist) all while fouling out.

Wes Matthews tried! But ultimately, Luka Doncic had Wes dancing all night with an array of fancy footwork and crossovers. Luka completely dominated from the opening tip, pouring in 36 points, 14 rebounds, and 19 assists while turning the ball over only twice. He plays the game very slow but methodically. He broke down the Bucks defense countless times and made a handful of beautiful passes. To have 19 assists compared to only two turnovers is pretty unfathomable...especially against Milwaukee’s defense. Luckily for Wes Matthews, though, is Luka pretty much dominates whoever he goes up against.

Disney World has reincarnated the 2018-2019 form of Brook Lopez offensively. This was a great matchup going into the game and Lopez exploited Dallas’ front-court. He was also bombing from deep - making 6-of-12 attempts in the loss. The majority of his makes were well beyond the three-point line and you can clearly see he is shooting with much more confidence than he was prior to the COVID-19 stoppage. In the end, he dropped 34 points and if he keeps up his improved shooting, it’s extremely difficult to see an opposing team take down the Bucks.

Bonus Bucks

  • Eric Bledsoe looked spry and it looks like he’s starting to put some of the rust behind him. I noticed he was moving much faster offensively and attacked the basket a bit more than he did in his first game back. Bledsoe finished with 15 points, five rebounds, and four assists while shooting 6-of-10 from the floor.
  • Khris Middleton added 21 points, six rebounds, and 11 assists. His passing has taken on a new realm in the bubble and he’s trying to be more aggressive with the ball in his hands as a playmaker. He still dribbles a bit too fast for my liking on fast breaks, but that’s just me nitpicking.
  • Pat Connaughton was great for Milwaukee last night - finishing a team-high plus-26 in 24 minutes. He provided the Bucks a nice spark on both ends early when Dallas was in the driver’s seat.
  • George Hill...ugh :( he has not played well since the restart