With Milwaukee’s playoff opponent decided minutes before tip, the Bucks rested all of their starters/key contributors.
Jordan Nwora is a walking bucket. Now, this sort of volume (23 shots) probably won’t happen anytime soon but it was encouraging to see the rook take advantage of his opportunity in a big way. Aside from Jeff Teague, he was the only source of consistent offense and was scoring points in a variety of ways. His shot off the dribble is so smooth and he makes it look effortless. He does not play like a rookie offensively, that’s for sure. His lack of defensive prowess is a work in progress but if he can improve slightly on that end he could be a key cog next season. However, his time will come. He ended the night scoring 34 points and hauled in 14 rebounds in 36 minutes.
Jeff Teague’s ability to create contact on the offensive end is a big plus. Aside from Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks lack someone who can drive to the basket and create contact to get to the foul line. This has been an area where Teague has excelled in his entire career and he got to the foul line 12 times on Sunday night (10 makes). It will be interesting to see how much he plays in the playoffs, but against a team like Miami, being able to penetrate and get them into foul trouble early will throw off their defense. With the Bucks missing practically everyone, Teague contributed 23 points, three rebounds, seven assists, and three steals in 34 minutes. Albeit in smaller spurts, I believe he will help Milwaukee in the postseason.
Elijah Bryant had a successful NBA debut. With minimal time to get acclimated with Milwaukee’s system, Bryant played 32 minutes in the loss but showed us flashes of what he is capable of offensively. Like Nwora, his jumper looks effortless, and his release is smooth. He did a little bit of everything, tallying 16 points, six rebounds, three assists, and one blocked shot. There’s no doubt that he is a hard worker, but finding him minutes with the Bucks at full strength won’t be easy. It will be interesting to see how he develops with the Bucks, and while you can guarantee he won’t see meaningful minutes this postseason, there are definitely worse options to have as a 14/15 man off the bench.
- Sam Merrill was rather forgetful in a spot start, shooting 1-of-9 for two points.
- Pat Connaughton scored 15 points in 25 minutes and was rather underwhelming.
- The regular season is FINALLY over. THANK YOU.
- Justin Jackson scored nine points off the bench and provided some positive moments on both ends of the floor.