A 5-6 first quarter from deep off quality passing around the Timberwolves defenders propelled Milwaukee out to a 34-26 lead following the first quarter. The hot shooting continued in the second, but the Wolves kept within spitting distance as the Bucks held a 61-54 advantage at half. Minnesota’s defense allowed penetration and kick-outs aplenty as the third quarter continued, allowing Milwaukee to stake a 95-84 lead heading into the fourth. Minnesota kept trying to make runs at the Bucks, but timely responses by Milwaukee coupled with the Wolves missing three-pointers made for a fairly drama-free victory. They now have a quick turnaround for a Saturday night game in Milwaukee against OKC.
The T-wolves hounded Giannis; he was fine making them pay. Chris Finch clearly came in with a game plan of sending extra defenders in Antetokounmpo’s way each and every time he gathered the ball anywhere within the arc. From there, it was easy picking for him to diagnose the defense and find the open shooter on the perimeter. Bounce passes, cross-court, it didn’t matter. It’s no coincidence that the Bucks had one of their best three-point shooting games of the season tonight. He didn’t really have it going from a scoring perspective throughout most of the contest, but found a rhythm late in the fourth after stacking up points at the free throw line during the game. He got the 30th triple-double of his career late in the game on a Beauchamp dunk, finishing at 26 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists.
More MarJon incoming? Beauchamp was quick on the trigger for both of his first corner triple attempts. He’s looked noticeably more comfortable as he’s gotten more opportunities to try and find his role on the offensive end. I also thought he did a more than serviceable job shutting down D’Angelo Russell, who theoretically has enough wiggle and speed to try and get past the longer Beauchamp. He did well enough that Bud even put him back in for a second stint in the second quarter. If you were looking for growth, just think back a few games ago when he was in transition with Giannis and fumbled the ball on a pass. In this one, he got the ball in the fourth and finished through contact. Bud keeping him in the rotation throughout most of the fourth is a promising sign for Bucks fans hoping to see the young prospect more this year. He ended with 14 points and five boards, his first double-digit scoring effort of the season, including this beautiful blow-by late.
Jrue Holiday is riding a wave. He couldn’t buy a bucket to start this season, but the Timberwolves shoddy defense really had no answer for him in this one. He capitalized multiple times by taking them off the dribble for lay-ins at the tin, but also had his pull-up game working and was hitting catch-and-shoot jumpers too. With a facilitation game from Giannis as the Wolves shaded defenders his way, Holiday took advantage of the lack of attention paid to him. Milwaukee needed someone else to pick up the scoring slack with Khris still out, and Holiday has looked as good as ever these last several games. He put forth a 29 point, eight rebound, six assist night with zero turnovers.
Bonus Bucks Bits
- I really don’t mind Grayson Allen ever taking an opportunity to drive to the basket, particularly in the absence of Pat Connaughton and Khris Middleton at the moment. Milwaukee needs all the players it can that are capable of getting into the teeth of the defense. I don’t even mind that he’s missed a ton of shots there, but all I ask is that he doesn’t jump in the air and turn it over. Either shoot or kick it out cleanly before the other team gets it if you’re going to leave your feet. He’s turning it over at the highest rate since his rookie year, and the Wolves got him in the first quarter.
- You don’t usually get an incredible tat-tat-tat passing sequence that ends in a Giannis catch-and-shoot triple, but we did tonight with Grayson and Jrue dropping dimes in this triangulation that wound up with a three.
- Here’s a glimpse at MarJon’s corner shooting.
- Rudy Gobert shot a three-pointer in this one. It missed short. By a lot. That’s all.
Rudy Gobert takes and airballs his first three pointer pic.twitter.com/oR0XDlYeMA— CJ Fogler AKA Perc70 #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) November 5, 2022
- Seeing a team like Minnesota, which ranks bottom ten in defensive rebounding, versus an elite team in that category like Milwaukee just laid bare the difference in executing that portion of the game. Time and again you could see Giannis or other Bucks working to box out or outmuscle and outleap Timberwolves to ensure they snared the rebound. Meanwhile, the Wolves let almost anyone hop in and volleyball bat the ball back out for another Bucks shot.
- BOBBY! BOBBY! Chants broke out and were quite audible in the opposing arena during the third quarter following his technical. He had some really timely buckets though to quell Minnesota momentum throughout the night. He finished with 18 off the bench.