clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bucks Weekly Report Card: January 27

What grades do we send the Bucks home with this weekend?

Denver Nuggets v Milwaukee Bucks Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Injury fortune remains fleeting for the Bucks, but even as Serge Ibaka remains away from the team, the Bucks should be able to weather a shorthanded frontcourt as Bobby Portis’ knee heals. Role players keep hitting their strides during this stretch, and early indications are that they can keep it up around a healthy big three. Wednesday notwithstanding, the offense is still slowly inching upward: even an average 114.7 this week is one of the higher weekly numbers I’ve seen this year.

Giannis Antetokounmpo: A- (last week: injured)

2 GP, 28.7 MPG, .567/.500/.667, 31.0 PPG, 13.0 RPG, 4.0 APG, 6.5 TPG, 1.5 SPG, 0.0 BPG

Obviously, turnovers were a massive issue for Giannis early in Wednesday’s tilt, but he showed some poise by hitting his free throws in the face of both self-inflicted and Denver-inflicted issues. Interestingly, those trends reversed as the game went on.

Khris Middleton: B+ (last week: injured)

2 GP, 15.1 MPG, .400/.500/1.000, 9.0 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 3.5 APG, 3.5 TPG, 0.5 SPG, 0.0 BPG

Two pretty identical efforts off the bench suggest that this particular return might go more smoothly than Middleton’s initial debut in early December. The main barometer is his shot, but I’m more encouraged by how much easier his playmaking looks now compared to then.

Jrue Holiday: A- (last week: A+)

3 GP, 34.1 MPG, .475/.286/1.000, 21.3 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 6.7 APG, 3.7 TPG, 1.0 SPG, 0.0 BPG

Turnover issues came more from the top of the roster than anywhere else this week, and Holiday was the main culprit in the later stages of Saturday’s game. He remains effective in all other areas, and his stepback is absolute money.

Brook Lopez: B+ (last week: A)

3 GP, 30.2 MPG, .405/.133/.800, 12.0 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 1.0 APG, 1.3 TPG, 0.0 SPG, 3.3 BPG

For the first time in a while, Lopez’s shotmaking failed him in multiple outings, but thankfully, his rim protection is trending back up after a slight lull. His minute load shouldn’t change with Portis out, so he’ll be there to box out; grabbing those boards is up to others.

Grayson Allen: B (last week: A)

3 GP, 26.5 MPG, .438/.308/.857, 8.0 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.3 TPG, 2.0 SPG, 0.7 BPG

In Giannis’ absence, Allen assumed a larger offensive role last week which dialed back considerably over these last three. The counter actually came in the form of his playmaking; he sometimes creates decent looks for others as he works within the offense’s flow. He remains pretty active defensively (three steals in each of the last two) and does well on ball.

Bobby Portis: B (last week: B-)

2 GP, 27.0 MPG, .607/.636/.000, 20.5 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 2.0 APG, 0.5 TPG, 0.5 SPG, 0.0 BPG

When Portis’ 3P% finally started coming around in recent weeks (he’s now up to 34.1% on the year), he’s now due to miss a few weeks with a minor MCL sprain. Defensively he’s mired in a bad stretch, so the rest might do him some good.

Pat Connaughton: A (last week: B-)

3 GP, 33.1 MPG, .636/.588/.667, 13.3 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 2.3 APG, 0.7 TPG, 0.7 SPG, 0.0 BPG

An absolutely huge night behind the arc and on the glass boosted the otherwise sloppy Bucks when they needed it, so Connaughton’s success rate is back up too (34.7%). He’s always been a great rebounder regardless of who he’s playing next to, and he’s who I’m looking to in part to make up Portis’ usual production.

Joe Ingles: A- (last week: A)

3 GP, 24.8 MPG, .583/.556/.000, 6.3 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.0 TPG, 1.3 SPG, 0.3 BPG

Quietly, I think Ingles has been the most consistent Buck off the bench in recent weeks, even if he’s only in double digits once every week or so. His shot is there (now up to 36.1%) and so far, he seems to work well alongside Middleton.

Jevon Carter: B (last week: D+)

3 GP, 13.0 MPG, .583/.556/.000, 6.7 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.3 TPG, 1.0 SPG, 0.3 BPG

Firing away from deep in a blowout saved Carter from irrelevance this week, as he’s still a bit maddening with the ball in his hands. I feel like I always say this, but he needs to find a way to fit in offensively without being deleterious. Dialing your own number is a very fine line to toe, and it goes poorly more often than not with him.

George Hill: B (last week: A)

1 GP, 18 MIN, .333/.333/1.000, 5 PTS, 1 REB, 2 AST, 0 TOV, 1 STL, 0 BLK

Appearing once per week after appearing in all of Milwaukee’s first 29 tilts this season is actually suiting Hill pretty well. Maybe it’s the freshness or merely veteran steadiness, but he’s rarely harmful on either side of the ball when he plays.

Wesley Matthews: B (last week: incomplete)

2 GP, 11.1 MPG, .600/.600/.000, 4.5 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 0.5 APG, 0.5 TPG, 0.0 SPG, 0.5 BPG

I could say the same things about Matthews, and he still looks spry enough defensively to justify actual rotation minutes. When these two guys are DNPs, it’s no cause for alarm. They’re simply 36, and it’s January. His role could ramp back up in February.

Jordan Nwora: C+ (last week: B)

3 GP, 10.8 MPG, .500/.167/1.000, 4.0 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 1.7 APG, 0.3 TPG, 0.3 SPG, 0.3 BPG

It’s easy to assume that Nwora is being showcased for inclusion in an upcoming trade, and to his credit, he hasn’t looked unplayable recently. Racking up some boards and dimes in Detroit is a nice bonus. Beauchamp hit something of a rookie wall the other week, so Nwora is also giving a guy whose minutes already soared past his G League totals some blow.

Mike Budenholzer: B+ (last week: B+)

2-1 W-L, 114.7 ORtg (19th), 109.6 DRtg (6th), 5.1 NetRtg (7th)

Overall numbers look a bit better this week even as Giannis and Middleton are shaking off the rust, but it’s hard to take much away from socking the Pistons and sneaking by the depleted Nuggets. Bud’s rotations are getting interesting, though. Lineups with three or four of Holiday, Ingles, Middleton, and Giannis show up every night for reps. These are ones that many fans are dreaming on for the postseason, and so far they’re clicking.

Incomplete: A.J. Green (2 GP, 9 MIN), MarJon Beauchamp (1 GP, 8 MIN), Thanasis Antetokounmpo (1 GP, 5 MIN), Sandro Mamukelashvili (DNP), Serge Ibaka (DNP)

Turnovers are a key problem for this year’s squad, and the Bucks know it. As suggested, this is something to address from the top down, starting with Giannis and Holiday. Perhaps increased minutes and ballhandling duties for Middleton will tamp down mistakes and keep the other two stars out of trouble. Short-term, I’m not really concerned that Milwaukee will be wanting for Portis’ size or rebounding (they should still be elite on the boards without him) in the schedule ahead, but can one of Connaughton or even Ingles maintain the double-digit scoring average their reserve corps needs? Can Allen feature more alongside the second unit?


How would you grade the Bucks’ performance this past week?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    (5 votes)
  • 77%
    (38 votes)
  • 10%
    (5 votes)
  • 0%
    (0 votes)
  • 2%
    (1 vote)
49 votes total Vote Now

What are your individual grades? Let me know in the comments below.