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Milwaukee vs. Memphis: Grizzlies Out Muscle Bucks, 128-115

Turnovers, poor interior defense doom Milwaukee

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Milwaukee Bucks Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

It was a difficult night for the Bucks, as turnovers and points in the paint would be too much for them to handle. They’d fall to the Memphis Grizzlies, 128-115.

Memphis’ defense could cause plenty of trouble for the Bucks in the opening quarter of this one. It’d be a reason as to why the Grizzlies were able to seize momentum at times throughout the period. However, the Bucks were able to slice things down to four heading into the second, 35-31.

The Grizzlies would go on a run to start the second quarter and break things up, forcing the Bucks to take some timeouts to think things over. Turnovers would continue to plague Milwaukee, providing Memphis ample opportunities to score. At half, the Bucks trailed, 69-59.

The visitors would keep the momentum going to start the third. Their lead would balloon to 16 points, forcing Milwaukee to call a timeout. The Bucks were unable to get over any hump from there, finding themselves still down by double-digits going into the fourth, 100-89.

Milwaukee would scratch and claw their way back into single digits, but the Grizzlies just proved to be too much for them to handle. Whenever it seemed that the Bucks were able to mount any sort of momentum, the Grizzlies would answer with a big shot on the other end. That’d result in them leaving Fiserv Forum with an impressive 128-115 victory.

For the Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo seemed to be back to his normal self. He finished with a game-high 28 points and 11 rebounds. He was two assists away from a triple-double.

Grayson Allen led the Grizzlies with 26 points on the evening, including seven 3-pointers.

What Did We Learn?

Turnovers were a large part of why the Bucks fell behind early in this one, and it was a reason as to why they were unable to cap off any comeback attempt they made on the evening. It just seemed that they were a little bit lackadaisical at times — sort of finding themselves in a sleepwalking type of state. Meanwhile, Memphis was the complete opposite — alert and taking advantage of any stumble the Bucks made. That style of play really made it difficult for Milwaukee to put any dent in the deficit.

Three Observations

No matter how close the Bucks got, the Grizzlies had an answer.

This was really the story of the second half. While the Grizzlies did hold a double-digit advantage throughout a majority of the game, there were times where the Bucks were able to slice things to single digits. The only problem? Whenever they did that, the Grizzlies had an answer. Jrue Holiday called it a tease. Grayson Allen had a large role in that, especially in the fourth. His seven threes in the game seemed to come at the most inopportune times, popping the ballon of any sort of comeback attempt the Bucks were putting together. Just frustrating in that aspect for Milwaukee.

Memphis also dictated the paint.

Milwaukee’s interior defense really struggled, as Memphis seemingly willed their way to whatever they wanted down low. The final tally would show 60 points to 40 points in favor of the visitors. Just a very frustrating night for the Bucks in the paint, as they were bullied down there all evening. When a team can exhibit their will that easy, it can be backbreaking at times, and that sort of seemed to be the case for the Bucks. Looking ahead at the schedule and seeing Philly there twice next week, it’ll be imperative for the Bucks to improve in that facet of the game.

In terms of moving the basketball, Memphis outmatched Milwaukee.

Head Coach Taylor Jenkins praised his team’s ability to move the basketball in his postgame presser, as the Grizzlies racked up 31 assists on the night. On the other side of the coin, Milwaukee registered 27, but Bud still feels that there is room for improvement. That was one of his main talking points in his presser, discussing their inability to move the basketball and how necessary that is to play strong basketball. It’ll be intriguing to see how the squad looks to improve on this Monday vs. Phoenix.

Bonus Bucks Bits

  • Grayson Allen was absolutely huge for the Grizzlies. He’d be the leading scorer for Memphis, finishing with 26 points, including seven threes. Every time I heard his name, I immediately experienced PTSD from the 2015 National Championship. Yes, I’m still salty from that. That game was reffed completely differently in the second half and you cannot convince me otherwise.
  • Speaking of Wisconsin, this was cool to see. Go Badgers!
  • Brook continued his hot streak in this one. He’d total 17 points on 5-of-13 shooting, which included four threes. The only downside was some of his shots seemed iffy and unnecessary at times. However, he’s been huge lately for the team and will need to be considering Embiid is going to be coming to town next week.
  • Desmond Bane is fascinating to watch. Just an absolute sniper. There was one point last night where he was running the fast break down the right wing and immediately stopped on a dime at the perimeter and sniped home a three — just nothing but net. He’d conclude his outing with 16 points on a crafty 6-of-10 shooting. He’s going to be a fun player to watch develop.
  • Bobby Portis scored six points on the night. That put an end to his double-digit scoring streak, which reached seven games.