Another day, another dollar, another loss for the Milwaukee Bucks who loudly continued their run of the league’s worst road offense (104.7, second-worst being the Heat at 106.6) in a throughly forgettable 100-118 road loss to the Brooklyn Nets.
The opening of the game had similar vibes to Wednesday’s loss to the Cavs: Giannis could score, everyone else was bricking, and the Nets created opportunities to hit jumpers or score off screen actions. Jrue Holiday at least woke up in the back half of the first including a closing trick shot from behind the basket to leave Milwaukee down 29-36 after the first quarter. Brooklyn cooled a bit — sans some Nic Claxton circus shots on his own mini 6-0 run midway through the second — but Milwaukee racked up 7 turnovers and managed to score a grand total of 3 points as a team in the final 4:42 of the half. Still behind 47-60 at the break.
Things looked like they were going to be quite bleak after the beginning of the third quarter. Brooklyn jumped out to a 21 point lead lead before a mini Bobby Portis run helped stabilize the situation. Jrue and Giannis helped close and kept the Bucks somehow within reach, down merely 75-85. Milwaukee just could never get Brooklyn down under that 10 point lead, however. Despite a 12 point run by Brook Lopez — who finished with 23 points and 5 rebounds — the Nets were just far more adept at executing on the offensive end. Bucks lose again and drop to 22-10 on the season and 1-2 on this road trip.
Stat That Stood Out
0 - Giannis Antetokounmpo did not score a point, nor get up a shot attempt up during his six minutes on the court in the start of the fourth quarter. On the one hand, Brook Lopez was on fire and so the focus of the offense was on getting the ball in the other big man’s hands. On the other hand, Giannis had to put in a lot of effort all night battering through a long-armed and physical Nets interior defense. Until the offense figures out a consistent plan B, it’ll remain largely on Giannis’s shoulders to carry the team forward on a nightly basis — his usage rate remains at a career-high 38.7%