What We Learned
Jeff Teague has more than just a little left in the tank. With D.J. Augustin shipped to Houston, the Bucks needed a backup point guard who is capable of facilitating with the second unit. In this case, Teague’s fit in Milwaukee is a no-brainer.
It’s only been three games and last night was Teague’s best performance in a Bucks jersey. He played 16 minutes and made 5-of-7 shots for 16 points. He nailed both of his three-point attempts and what I enjoy the most about his game is how he initiates contact when driving to the basket. I can see how it would be annoying for opposing defenders to guard him. Furthermore, his quickness is very subtle...he goes 0-60 in a blur. The highlight of his night was a beautiful bounce pass to Bobby Portis who was streaking to the rim in transition for a dunk.
Stephen Curry is not human and odds are you have heard that sentence before! All I can say is “wow” after his immaculate performance in Golden State’s come from behind win over the Bucks. He started off rather slow by his standards but quickly erupted for a 20 piece in the third and ended the night with 41 points on 14-of-21 shooting. The degree of difficulty on the jumpers he made in the fourth quarter was laughable and his dagger three to Milwaukee’s heart late in the fourth to give GS the lead might go down as one of the toughest shots made this season. The Bucks defended Curry well and Jrue Holiday did everything in his power to try and slow them down...but let’s be honest, who is slowing him down when he is in that kind of zone. Curry has revolutionized the NBA with his three-point shooting ability and is a joy to watch on the basketball court. Sometimes, you just have to tip your cap.
It was an unfortunate end to a rather solid game (28 points) for Khris Middleton. His scoring came in waves and he did end the first half strong by going on a personal 4-0 run right before the break to narrow Milwaukee’s deficit. The third quarter was Middleton’s best as he made three perimeter jumpers and sliced through the lane for two baskets from close range. However, that’s where the fun ended as he failed to make a basket in the fourth quarter. The Bucks were down one with the ball and a chance to win...Middleton inbounded, or should I say, threw the ball away but it was fortunately recovered and the ball ended up back in his hands where he hoisted up a heavily-contested three over Andrew Wiggins. It was blocked by Wiggins and the Bucks failed to capitalize after Pat Connaughton corralled the offensive rebound (more on that later). There was more than enough time for him to pass it out or look for a better shot. Wiggins has been one of the better perimeter defenders this season, so it was NOT a great look. Granted, the play went down the toilet from the start due to his errant inbounds pass.
Jrue Holiday continues to impress without Giannis Antetokounmpo. 29 points on 11-of-18 shooting while having to defend one of the best players of our generation is no easy feat. While Curry got the best of him a few times, I enjoyed how Holiday remained persistent offensively and looked for different ways to score. He had his jumper working both inside and outside, but the way he was used in the third quarter helped open up different avenues offensively for the Bucks. He operates the dunker spot so well and has an innate ability of finding the open man from under the basket. His one-handed lefty pass to Middleton in the corner who drained the three in the third was yet another example of his high basketball I.Q.
- Donte DiVincenzo...oof. He was all over the place again and had a tough night shooting the basketball (2-of-8). It was odd to see him out there down the stretch with how poorly he was playing.
- Thanasis Antetokounmpo provided a lift off the bench and made all four of his shots for 10 points in 20 minutes. Two of those makes were thunderous dunks where it looked like he was mimicking Giannis on those attempts. He plays hard (not always smart) whenever he is out on the floor and has earned the minutes he is currently getting. Although, when Giannis returns, there’s about a 0% chance he sees 20 minutes again.
- Bobby Portis added 13 points and 13 rebounds in a spot start.
- Pat Connaughton had a chance to win it for the Bucks but threw up a wild attempt at the rim after grabbing the three-pointer that was blocked by Wiggins with time expiring. It didn’t look like he was aware of the clock when he got the ball which is unfortunate because he had enough time to come down with the basketball. That is a lot easier saying this from the couch, though.
"We gotta get that rebound and we win the game. I think, it's just you gotta go get it and you gotta pursue it." - Mike Budenholzer on the Bucks' final defensive possession— Eric Nehm (@eric_nehm) April 7, 2021