Jan 10, 2017; San Antonio, TX, USA; Milwaukee Bucks small forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) blocks a shot attempt by San Antonio Spurs center Pau Gasol (16) during the first half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Article continues below ...
The Milwaukee Bucks took home a nailbiting victory on the road over the San Antonio Spurs last night. With that, we break down what stood out the most in the game.
Under less than ideal circumstances, the Milwaukee Bucks came out on top over the San Antonio Spurs in surprising fashion last night, winning 109-107.
With both teams having key players either out entirely or battling through illness, like in Giannis Antetokounmpo’s case, an interesting stage was set before the game tipped off. For the Bucks, though, they were forced to play in catch up mode not long after the opening jump.
Drawing the lead within reach only to have it only spike back up again, the Bucks were without many constants throughout the majority of the first half.
That was reflected into head coach Jason Kidd‘s rotation as we saw scarcely used players like Miles Plumlee and Thon Maker (!) for stretches, in hopes to get something going.
Trailing by only 6 entering the second half, the Bucks started to find some offensive consistency by getting some much needed contributions from multiple players. As such, any run from the Spurs would become more few and far between as the Bucks would regularly answer back with a counter of their own.
While keeping that offensive attack going in the fourth quarter, the Bucks tightened up their defense, forcing the Spurs to work for every shot. That eventually resulted in the Bucks taking control of the lead at the 2:56 mark of the fourth and despite a few late scares, they wouldn’t let go of it to ensure the huge, come from behind win.
In 48 minutes, the Bucks held the lead for 3 minutes and 41 seconds tonight.
Jan 10, 2017; San Antonio, TX, USA; Milwaukee Bucks small forward Michael Beasley (9) shoots the ball over San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard (2) during the second half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
It’s Beas-ness Time
Not to discount others who we will get to over the next couple of slides, the true star of the show last night was one Michael Paul Beasley Jr. Fresh off of celebrating his 28th birthday, Beasley decided to carry over that celebration onto the court last night.
With Giannis struggling in his limited run, Beasley wound up getting the lion’s share of minutes over Giannis, even going as far as starting in his place at the start of the second half. That’s where he notably rose to the opportunity, playing all but seven seconds(!) of the half.
As the Bucks gradually clawed their way back into the game, Beasley was a key figure in their comeback. His ability to score at will, whether driving to the lane or setting up shop for a patented mid-range jumper, gave the Spurs problems all night long and would continue to do so as the game wore on.
Finishing with 28 points, five boards, four assists, two steals and three blocks, there’s no other way to put Beasley’s night other than absolutely sensational and it was by far his most impactful game in a Bucks uniform. It truly was the definition of “Super Cool Beas.”
Jan 10, 2017; San Antonio, TX, USA; Milwaukee Bucks power forward Jabari Parker (12) shoots the ball as San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Danny Green (14) looks on during the second half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Jabari Parker #NBAVote
While Beasley wound being the closer last night for the Bucks, the player that kept them afloat early was Jabari Parker.
As they struggled to find any rhythm early on, Jabari was the one giving the team early signs of life, thanks to his hot start from the field as well as from deep (Jabari shot 2-of-3 from beyond the arc on the night). Scoring 16 points in the first half, Jabari did his best holding things together as the Bucks tried to figure out something to keep up with the Spurs.
Although he cooled off for the remainder of the game in terms of scoring, Jabari managed to find other ways to make an impact like doing work on the glass (he finished with 8 rebounds) even while dealing with foul trouble.
Arguably, the biggest highlight of Parker’s night came late in the game as he converted an impressive coast-to-coast bucket that helped give the Bucks their first lead since opening minutes of the game.
You wouldn’t say it was a dominant performance by any means, but Parker, under unusual circumstances, helped provide an early spark when the Bucks were certainly at their worst on the night. And while others would take the lead as the game wore on, it’d be hard to say where they’d have been without Parker to set it all up.
Jan 10, 2017; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker (9) drives to the basket past Milwaukee Bucks shooting guard Malcolm Brogdon (13) during the first half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Brogdon’s Bringing Savvy Back
Coming off his career-high performance against the Washington Wizards, Malcolm Brogdon was at it again last night as he continued to show great poise coming through in the clutch once again for the Bucks.
The beginning, however, was a different story as Brogdon was one of the many Bucks who struggled out of the gates, with the biggest lowlight coming when Kawhi Leonard picked his pocket emphatically midway through the first quarter.
Eventually, Brogdon started to settle into the game during the second quarter and he finally got on the board at the 7:51 mark after burying a much needed triple. He even got some payback on Leonard too, baiting him on a near half-court heave to draw a shooting foul late in the first half.
Brogdon’s highlights in the second half wouldn’t came late until the deciding stretch of the game.
As the Bucks were in the thick of mounting their comeback late in the fourth, Brogdon was instrumental in playing off of Beasley as he did his magic. Down by 2 with just 1:20 left in the game, Brogdon spotted up from the right corner to bury the deciding shot of the game after Beasley was swarmed by multiple Spurs before dishing the ball off.
In total, 17 points, six rebounds and six assists, all done in a little over 25 minutes is just another strong showing to add to Brogdon’s rookie campaign. And may I remind you he was the 36th overall pick in last year’s draft too.
Jan 10, 2017; San Antonio, TX, USA; Milwaukee Bucks center Greg Monroe (15) shoots the ball over San Antonio Spurs center Dewayne Dedmon (3) during the first half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
The Moose Would Not Be Excused
In another solid showing in his own right, Greg Monroe played a key part in the Bucks’ victory last night. Playing 28 minutes, Monroe did a little bit of everything last night, some of it coming at deciding times.
Going 7-of-13 from the field, Monroe helped give a consistent scoring punch from mostly down low/around the rim, especially late in the game. Although he could have had a few more scores or trips to the line had a couple of calls gone his way, Monroe’s 14 points on the night gave him double figures in scoring for the sixth straight game.
In addition to his scoring, Monroe played a factor on the boards as he led the Bucks in rebounds with nine on the night (four offensive, five defensive), helping the team fight against their recent poor rebounding trend.
Lastly, Monroe flashed off his playmaking skills, garnering four assists during his time on the court. The biggest of his dimes came late in the game where he passed out of a coming double team to set up Brogdon for an open three-pointer to make it a one-point game with nearly four minutes to go.
While Monroe’s contributions for the night will be overshadowed by the likes of Beasley, Parker and Brogdon, being the team’s best big man on the floor once again hopefully won’t go unnoticed or more importantly, unappreciated.