Milwaukee Bucks: Takeaways From Win Over Orlando Magic
The Milwaukee Bucks ended their three-game losing streak with a 93-89 victory over the Orlando Magic last night. With that, we break down what stood out the most for the Bucks in the win.
The three-game slump has been busted for the Milwaukee Bucks, thanks to a 93-89 victory over the Orlando Magic last night.
Coming off the heels of their thrilling matchup with the Golden State Warriors over the weekend, it was very fair to wonder how the Bucks would respond facing the Magic on Monday night. As has been the case many times before in similar situations, the Bucks came out incredibly listless and the Magic struck quick, going on a 16-2 run to start the game.
That prompted Bucks head coach Jason Kidd to make a radical switch, taking out prominent players like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker and Matthew Dellavedova in favor of reserves in order to get something going.
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Slowly but surely, that worked for the Bucks, in large part due to the Magic going quiet from the field and turning over the ball more times than they could count as they finished with 18 turnovers in the first half.
With the likes of Parker and Antetokounmpo getting more in rhythm in the second half, the Bucks were doing their best to keep the lead at an arm’s length from the Magic, that is when they had control of it.
In what’s starting to become a recurring pattern, the Bucks arguably looked their finest going center-less to start the fourth quarter, going on a 16-2 run. But the Bucks’ nine-point lead diminished as the Magic clawed their way back in the game and made it too close for comfort down the stretch.
Nonetheless, the Bucks still prevailed, albeit a little less emphatically than we’d have liked and they notched their sixth win on the season as a result.
So with that to set the score, it’s time to dive deeper and look at what or who stood out the most for the Bucks in the win.
Super. Cool. Beas.
There’s no way many anticipated seeing this heading into the year, but Michael Beasley was exactly what the Bucks needed to get things going last night.
Entering the game at around the seven-minute mark, Beasley gave the Bucks (and the crowd) their first signs of life for the night. Beasley did so by jumpstarting the offense as soon as he entered the game, hitting his first three field goal attempts on the night.
That carried over once both Parker as well as Antetokounmpo returned the floor later in the first and Beasley came away with the first true highlight on the night (no nail polish was scuffed or damaged during this successful dunk attempt).
Finishing the night with 14 points on 7-of-14 shooting in 19 minutes, Beasley’s 10-point first quarter couldn’t have come at a better time. While Beasley’s effectiveness gradually declined over the rest of the game, he still managed to be a net positive on the team as he finished with a +5 plus-minus.
It’s not something we should expect to happen more times throughout the season, but it was great to see the best of what Beasley can offer, especially when the Bucks needed something most.
Jabari Parker Can’t Lose
Despite a rather lethargic start, Jabari Parker turned in a very solid performance against the Magic last night.
He arguably started the slowest out of anyone, scoring his first points midway at the 6:19 mark in the second quarter. That got the ball rolling for the 22-year old and it wasn’t until after the start of the third quarter where Jabari really made his mark on the game.
In a span of three minutes and thirty-eight seconds, Parker came alive by hitting four consecutive three-point attempts. Although it didn’t do much to separate the game at the time, it made up exactly half of the team’s three-point makes when it was all said and done (Jabari finished 5-of-7 from deep).
While Parker’s scoring never came close to the heights of his three-point outburst for the rest of the game, his breakaway dunk off a steal to effectively seal the game definitely put a cap on a great scoring night.
In spite of not scoring for nearly the first 18 minutes of the game, Parker finished as the team’s leading scorer, scoring 22 points on 8-of-17 shooting. Along with his scoring output, Parker added three rebounds, three assists and three steals in 35 minutes.
All in all, last night was just a continuation in Parker’s growth as a three-point shooter. It certainly didn’t start that way by any means, but all that matters is how Parker ended the night, both literally and figuratively.
The Return Of The Triple-Double
Similar to how Parker started the game, Giannis Antetokounmpo started last night’s game without much fanfare. However, that wasn’t much to stop what ended up being his first triple-double on the season.
Giannis put his bad start aside after re-entering the game at the 1:53 mark of the first quarter. From there, Giannis started to make his impact on the game in a variety of ways.
Scoring-wise, Giannis’ 21 points (on 6-of-13 shooting) was anchored by his perfect night at the line, going 10-of-10. With that, he added in 10 rebounds, which was the last to come in his triple-double effort.
But arguably where Giannis looked his best against the Magic was his playmaking. Although it did come with a number of turnovers (four, to be exact), Giannis routinely made sound, highlight worthy passes throughout the night, including this behind the back gem to Mirza Teletovic.
Giannis’ 5 steals and 3 blocks were just the cherries on top of the sundae (or in this case, greek yogurt) that was a terrific night for the 21-year old. It also put him in some great company, if I do say so myself (Andrei Kirilenko!).
Giannis Antetokounmpo became the 4th player since 1984 to finish with 20 PTS, 10 REB, 10 AST, 5 STL, 3 BLK. Others are Jordan, Hakeem, AK47.
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) November 22, 2016
Although it came on more sudden than any prior triple-double of his, last night was just an example of how much of a force Giannis can be, even under a less than an ideal start.
The Moose Was (Sort Of) Loose
The ongoing Greg Monroe saga has captured the imagination of more than just Bucks fans over the last several days and last night was no exception.
As was the case the last couple of nights, Monroe took a backseat to both Miles Plumlee and John Henson with Kidd preferring to roll with two centers. And due to foul trouble once again for both Henson and Plumlee, Monroe entered the game at the 8:26 mark of the second quarter.
Getting his biggest run of playing time since the Grizzlies game, Monroe finished the rest of the second quarter playing solid, supportive minutes for the Bucks. Only going 1-of-4 from the field, Monroe’s only points came on a notable fastbreak bucket, courtesy of Malcolm Brogdon.
Monroe’s outing last night was basically an abbreviated summary of how his season was faring up until the two center rule from Kidd. In fact, his +9 plus-minus ended up being the second-highest on the team, with just Giannis ranking ahead of Monroe.
For now, we can only hope for Monroe to seize on the opportunities he can get at this point. At this rate, he will probably will get some burn if Plumlee and Henson force Kidd’s hand with their foul trouble.
Obviously, there’s no way of knowing whether this minuscule effort does something to change the situation for Monroe. Being as delicate as it is, it’s something that certainly won’t go away after each and every passing game until something gives.
The Bucks will have quite the layoff due to the Thanksgiving break, but they’ll return to action Friday night, taking on the Toronto Raptors at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
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