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Milwaukee vs. Atlanta: Bucks Couldn’t Get the Stops Against Hawks

Too high of a hill to climb

Milwaukee Bucks v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images

After a tough loss against the Boston Celtics that was without Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee was hoping to turn its fortunes around Sunday night against the Atlanta Hawks. Giannis was able to return while George Hill was out, but that didn’t make enough of a difference as the Bucks lost 100-120 which ended their road trip with a 2-3 record.

What did we learn?

It’s been said A LOT but this was a game that Milwaukee badly missed Brook Lopez. While Atlanta did a lot of damage from three early in the game, the Hawks were able to get points in the paint and second chances. The Bucks allowed 15(!!!) offensive rebounds to the Hawks thanks to a combo of not boxing out, tips and long rebounds that led to Atlanta outrebounding the Bucks 30-51. Brook being out there would significantly reduce that issue but it was clear that Giannis and Bobby cannot run the zone drop scheme effectively and Atlanta just got whatever they wanted. Yes, Brook has gotten exploited by this Hawks team but him being there makes the his teammates better.

Three Bucks

Grayson Allen still hitting shots: When the Bucks offense was struggling in the first half, there was one bright spot for Milwaukee and that was Allen. Grayson finished with 18 points on 7/11 shooting from the floor which included 4/7 from three. The Bucks had some designed plays where he would come off screen and catch and shoot and it worked. Sadly, it felt like they went away from that in the second half.

Milwaukee’s bench did itself no favors: I get it, with Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez and Donte DiVincenzo out, plus George Hill for this contest, it does mean players who are better suited for the bench either start or get extended minutes. Semi Ojeleye and Jordan Nwora each had 22 mintues off the bench and struggled to contribute on either end of the floor and ended with a +/- of -20 and -21 for the two. Rodney Hood didn’t make any impact and Justin Robinson tried his best. There will be better days but this was not the best of nights for those guys.

Trae Young was simply ungaurdable: Whether you love him or hate him, Trae Young is a guy who requires your full attention. He can definitely shoot his team out of games but when he gets hot, there isn’t much anybody can do with him. Young was pulling up threes from the logo and off the dribble which led to him shooting 8/13 from three; and he was then able to dribble past Milwaukee and get buckets near the rim too. With him getting hot and teams showing higher on screens, he was able to set up his other teammates with 13 assists. There isn’t much you can really do when he plays like that and you simply have to tip your hat to it.

Bonus Bucks Bits

  • Giannis made some really nice passes, especially in the second half.
  • Atlanta outscored Milwaukee 52-34 in the paint.
  • Despite the Hawks early three point barrage, Milwaukee only made one less three than them (14 vs 15)
  • Besides the frat bros (Grayson and Pat), Jordan Nwora was the only Buck to make more than one three.
  • Milwaukee had their largest lead, 2 points within the first three minutes of the game, less than a minute later the Hawks took the lead and never looked back.