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Milwaukee vs. Miami: Heat Trounce Short-handed Bucks

Not much to take away here.

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Miami Heat Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Well, unfortunately, the Milwaukee Bucks will not go 82-0 this season as they suffered their first loss at the hands of the Miami Heat, 137-95. It was about as bad as the final score indicates.

The Bucks were already short-handed going into this game with Bobby Portis, Semi Ojeleye, Donte DiVincenzo, and Rodney Hood all on the mend. However, their depth took another big blow when the team announced both Brook Lopez and Jrue Holiday were going to sit out this contest. An early opportunity for rest? Some trolling on Bud’s behalf, perhaps?

What Did We Learn?

Well, only two games in here, but we did not learn much from last night’s loss...and that’s okay! The Bucks didn’t have much to work with and they were rolling with the punches and played anyone who had a pulse. Heck, I think if I was on the bench Bud might’ve subbed me in.

It was clear that the Miami Heat had this game circled on their calendar, and for good reason. I would too if my squad got absolutely embarrassed in the postseason last year. Well, pop the bottles, Miami! Congrats on winning the title in October.

Three Observations

A silver lining in this blowout was that the young Bucks got PLENTY of burn. Missing half of your roster helps, too, but these regular-season games will be invaluable to the development of both Jordan Nwora, Mamu, and even Georgios for that matter. I think we all agree that the Bucks will drop a few more regular-season games due to load/injury management, and that’s is 10000% okay! Why? Because not only does it give Milwaukee a chance to look at what they have, but an opportunity for them to fight for a rotation spot. Sandro and Nwora practically played the same amount of minutes, but I thought Mamu (for spurts) looked the part offensively. I enjoyed watching him crash the offensive glass and keep possessions alive. He ended with 12 points and four rebounds. Nwora struggled mightily from the field, shooting only 3-of-12 in 26 minutes. He does have great awareness offensively and was in the right spot for the majority of the night...he just couldn’t get those shots to fall.

It was another lesson for Giannis Antetokounmpo against the Miami Heat. Credit to the home team as they defended him well, regardless of how many able bodies the Bucks had at their disposal. We saw them defend him a little differently in their first matchup of the season as they played either a deeper zone on the elbows or threw late double-teams when Giannis caught the ball and had his back to the basket. Make no mistake, the box score won’t show it, but Antetokounmpo made a multitude of beautiful passes while navigating out of double-teams. It’s up to his teammates to make the shots, and that obviously did not happen. However, this does give the Bucks something to get ready for the next time these two squads square off against one another. Antetokounmpo played 23 minutes and added just 15 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, and three steals.

Kyle Lowry was very underwhelming in his Miami Heat debut. He scored just five points while shooting 1-of-8 from the floor in 24 minutes. He did exit briefly in the first after rolling his ankle on Pat Connaughton’s foot while driving to the basket. While Lowry is a good basketball player, I question how much he elevates Miami’s ceiling...he’s up there in age and is very prone to injury. The key for MIA is Bam Adebayo, and he was the best player on the floor in their season-opener. He contributed 20 points and 13 rebounds while converting on 9-of-13 shots. He noticeably took a step back in essentially every facet of his game last season, and I wonder if his time in the Summer Olympics will get him back on track. While he does play for a conference rival, Bam is a smart player and fun to watch.

Bonus Bits

  • The Bucks shot 38.1% from the floor and it seemed like they were stuck on three points in the first quarter for 10 minutes.
  • Georgios scored a career-high eight points in 18 minutes off the bench.
  • Khris Middleton scored 10 points on 4-of-14 shooting. Nice of him to pay homage to the 414 area code.
  • Tyler Herro added 27 points but he is the last of my worries, call me a hater, but I think he is one of the more overrated players in the league.
  • You don’t have to “take it easy” when you get blown out, but there’s also some value in maintaining perspective...