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Rapid Recap: Bucks 119, Pacers 109

The smallball-by-necessity Bucks come up victorious again.

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NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Indiana Pacers Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Editor’s note: apologies for this not-so-rapid Rapid Recap. Apparently we needed a longer preseason!

Once again without several key rotation players, the Milwaukee Bucks came up big, this time against the Indiana Pacers, 119-109. Box Score

The Bucks were once again without two starters, as Jrue Holiday and Brook Lopez missed the game with minor injuries. Well, that’s three starters if you count Donte DiVincenzo, who still hasn’t made his debut, and ditto for Bobby Portis, the Bucks’ backup center. This thinness led to Milwaukee going with a Dual Antetokounmpo starting lineup, with Thanasis serving as the functional center alongside little brother Giannis.

The Pacers were able to capitalize on Milwaukee’s lack of size here and there, but ultimately the Bucks controlled the game and overcame the height disparity. The Bucks are rarely the smaller team, but small or big there’s still no defense for Giannis Antetokounmpo, who came one assist shy of a triple-double (30 points, 10 boards, 9 dimes). Khris Middleton (27 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds) picked up a fair amount of slack as well, serving as one of the main playmakers for the depleted Bucks. Grayson Allen had a big game with 19 points, and Pat Connaughton added 13 points and 7 boards off the bench.

Stat That Stood Out

There were a number of stats that we could go with here, but I’m choosing to focus on the 14 minutes of playing time that went to Myles Turner, the starting center for Indiana who – along with each and every teammate – had absolutely nothing for Giannis on defense. The Pacers are under new management this season, and Rick Carlisle must not be pleased with how easily Giannis was able to pick apart the Pacers, particularly in transition. Indy Cornrows’ Caitlin Cooper tweeted about the Indiana defensive efforts during the game, and her feed is worth checking out to get a perspective on what they were trying to do. It just to happens that, as with most defenses against Giannis Antetokounmpo...nothing worked.

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