On the second night of a back-to-back, the Milwaukee Bucks took another loss, pushing their record to 5-6. Now let’s take a look at how the starters, bench, coaching staff, and opposition graded.
Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
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This one wasn’t pretty. After a disastrous second quarter the night before leading to a loss, the Milwaukee Bucks came out with a pretty strong first half, where the game was tied. After that, however, it was all Miami.
It is nearly impossible to win a basketball game when you are outscored 48-25 in the second half. Yes, that’s right. Milwaukee scored just 25 points in the entire second half.
For the second straight game, Michael Beasley was one of the main bright points for the squad. He was fairly efficient as he scored and snatched a double-double with his points and rebounds. Aside from Beas, however, and there was not much else to latch onto for Bucks’ fans.
As the primary ball handler and point guard for the team, Matthew Dellavedova continues to excel as a passer. He finished this game with nine assists, and in accordance with just two turnovers, his ball distribution was great. Yet, he was just 0/7 from the floor. In order for the Bucks to be successful, Delly needs to start shooting the ball better. His ability to stretch the floor was out of commission against the Heat in a game where Milwaukee desperately needed to see some consistency from the floor.
As one of the lone bright spots for Milwaukee against the Heat, Tony Snell buried four three-point shots. With the Bucks only making 10 as a team, he nearly accounted for half of those makes on his own. He also tallied six rebounds without committing a single turnover. The Bucks certainly do not want to see Snell become their leading scorer night in and night out, but at the very least he showed some potential as a scorer on a night in which Milwaukee severely struggled to put up points.
A stat line of 14 points, seven rebounds, and four assists is a pretty good night for most players in the NBA, but not for Giannis Antetokounmpo. With the way the Greek Freak has played to this point in the season, a game like this is just an off night. It was another game, however, where it was obvious that Giannis struggles when he gets into foul trouble. He seems to lose his intensity in attacking the basket when he has picked up fouls early, and if the Bucks are to succeed, the team relies on the play of their star. Just an off night, so don’t worry Bucks’ fans.
On an overall bad shooting night for the Bucks, Jabari Parker was one of the leading factors. He attempted 20 shots in the game, and was only able to connect on five. Despite showing confidence in his skills with these shot attempts, especially from behind the arc, but sometimes shots just aren’t falling.
And when Jabari isn’t scoring….the Bucks struggle. Although Jabari and Giannis as the “cornerstones,” they need some help. As for right now, the team lives and dies by the duo, and that needs to change for the team to become more consistent. The two can only handle so much at a time, so hopefully they do not get worn out playing 35+ minutes every night for a full season.
Since stepping into the starter’s role, John Henson has looked much better. His numbers have obviously been increased based on the change in minutes, but his impact on the floor has meant far more. Statistics cannot tell the whole story on a player, and it is clear that Henson is playing solid defense even without blocking shots and has done an excellent job keeping plays alive with his hustle. This was on display again in his match-up with Hassan Whiteside. Despite Whiteside cleaning up the glass for 17 rebounds, he was held to just 12 points, which is six below his season average. Might not have been the best performance, but hopefully it shows some progression as a starter for John.
In what seemed like another rough game for Plumlee, he did receive his third-most minutes in a game this year. With that, however, he turned in another lackluster performance. He is not called upon to do much on either end of the floor, but committing two turnovers and three fouls while doing very little positive is not a good sign. He needs to become more consistent with his ball security and hopefully that will lend him to a better role moving on.
Telly was fine. I’m not sure there is another word for it. He got a few good looks from the perimeter and he knocked down one of those three. That is basically all he is called upon to do in the offense, and he accomplished that. All in all, a pretty average game given the fact that he only played 12 minutes.
This was not a horrible performance for Brogdon, as he still contributed to the team with his defensive acumen and offensive poise, but he couldn’t get anything going as a scorer. It is not a good sign for a team when their starting and backup point guards combine for zero points on 0/14 shooting from the floor. At least they had off nights at the same time, so hopefully they both have breakout games against the Warriors.
One minute. No judgment here.
So Terry wasn’t too bad in this one. He again played 16 minutes (!!!), but there were not too many issues. He took one shot, a three, and buried it. Not much else to note from him. It is puzzling to see the aging veteran receiving 16 minutes while last year’s first round selection Rashad Vaughn, who has looked somewhat solid so far this year, has been buried at the end of the bench.
THON GOT A MINUTE. That is about all I have to say on this. For more analysis, see Vaughn, Rashad.
It is hard to put 100% blame on the head coach when his team shoots just 32.9% from the floor, but this was not a well-coached game either. First of all, where was Greg Monroe? Through seven games, Monroe was clearly the Bucks best option at center and after receiving just seven minutes the night before, Monroe was benched in a DNP-CD against the Heat. In three games against the Miami Heat last season, here is what Monroe raked in:
Now I am not saying that Monroe would have made up for all of the team’s woes in this game, but it is hard to fathom him playing absolutely no minutes. There are several other questions surrounding the minutes distribution in this one, but as I continue to stress, it is too early to judge how the rotations will play out. But those rotations have to get solidified at some point, and it is much better to be sooner rather than later…
Coming into this game on a six-game losing streak, the Heat looked like a team that desperately wanted a win at home. And boy, they got one. Despite the game being tied at halftime, the squad flipped a switch for the second half, where everything went their way. Dion Waiters, although 0/5 from three-point land, led Miami in scoring with 23, but it was star center Hassan Whiteside who caused the Bucks the most trouble.
Whiteside calmly delivered 12 points and 17 rebounds, but not so quietly swatted seven (!!!) Bucks shots. Overall, the Heat did not shoot the lights out (40%), but it was their defense that shut the Bucks down completely. Milwaukee is a team that thrives when it can attack the paint, which was defended strongly by Whiteside. With his tremendous defensive impact on the game, the Bucks were held to just 32.9% shooting from the floor. This was an outstanding defensive output that allowed Milwaukee to score only 73 points, but is it replicable for them to win more games? Doubtful.
The Heat are most likely to hover near the bottom of the Eastern Conference, but with a player like Whiteside, they can always strike up a defensive game like this one.