Victory is here again: Bucks 92 – Celtics 85
|John Henson, PF 34 MIN | 6-13 FG | 1-2 FT | 13 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 2 TO | 13 PTS | +2
Called upon to start at center, Henson responded with a double-double and three blocks in the most minutes he’s had since … Milwaukee’s last win against Cleveland on November 6. A few times he struggled to deal with the size and strength of Jared Sullinger, but that’s a small price for Larry Drew to pay when you factor in Henson’s shot-blocking, rebounding and scoring.
|Khris Middleton, PF 18 MIN | 2-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | -7
He kind of blended into the background as Antetokounmpo and the rest of the Bucks took center stage. That seems like a stronger recipe going forward for Milwaukee than Khris Middleton leading the team in any category.
|Ekpe Udoh, PF 39 MIN | 4-9 FG | 1-4 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | +7
He’s now cracked 10 rebounds twice this year. He’s heading for some new personal bests all over the place. Udoh still looks woeful when he catches anywhere near the hoop with a person by him, but if he were a better rebounder, his combination of defense and rebounding would give more credibility to his minutes.
|Brandon Knight, PG 31 MIN | 7-14 FG | 3-4 FT | 9 REB | 8 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 20 PTS | +4
Well, this guy is a guy people could get used to. Way more command of himself than he’s had often this season. Knight kept pushing the ball and showing composure and making open shots. Drew raved about his defense after the game as well. He contested a lot of shots that the Celtics guards took and didn’t give up much ground. Plus, he kept his turnovers down against a notoriously aggressive defensive point guard in Avery Bradley.
|O.J. Mayo, SG 31 MIN | 9-14 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 22 PTS | +3
The Mayocoaster heads toward another peak. Seven times this season he’s scored 20 points. Nine times this season he hasn’t scored 20 points. Up and down he goes. Mayo didn’t just live by the three on Saturday. He shot the mid-range jumper as well as he has all season and made a number of difficult floating shots that haven’t fallen for him all season.
|Zaza Pachulia, C 22 MIN | 0-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 2 PTS | +5
Drew said before the game that his old and current center pal has been playing hurt lately, so he’d be moving him to the bench to try and rein his minutes in a bit. Hopefully we’ve seen the last of Pachulia’s minutes being a higher number than John Henson’s.
|Giannis Antetokounmpo, SG 28 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-2 FT | 7 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | +16
He was everything to everyone. He moved well off the ball, something that he hadn’t been doing much before Saturday night. He rebounded well, he was willing to lead the break off those rebounds, he was a passer, he shot the three well again … he was everything people want.
Also, I’m a tough grader. I think he was great, but I’m not tossing out A’s for 10 points and seven rebounds in 28 minutes. So it’s no knock on him that he didn’t get an A. I’m just a jerk like that.
|Caron Butler, SF DNP SORE LEFT KNEE MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS | Missed the game, did not appear to be missed.|
He stuck with John Henson and gave Giannis the minutes many have been clamoring for. Both of these things were more out of necessity than desire, as Ersan Ilyasova and Caron Butler both missed the game with injury. But sometimes people stumble onto things in weird ways and are aware enough to realize they’ve stumbled upon something. It sounded like both Ilyasova and Butler would be missing a little bit of time, so Henson and Giannis will have an opportunity presented to them over the next week.
Four Things We Saw
- Milwaukee’s zone was far more effective Saturday night in Milwaukee than it was Friday night in Charlotte. A possible difference? Giannis. Well, Giannis combined with Henson. I asked Coach Drew after the game how his length affected the Bucks’ zone.”They both have length. Both guys, with their length, are very rangy. I don’t have a problem with those guys if they get caught with a point guard on the perimeter. They are so long and they both know how to gap a quicker guy and use their length to their advantage.”It seemed like Giannis did a great job of being aware of where he needed to be and how to impact those around him. Drew mentioned that both of them got caught up behind Jared Sullinger and the Bucks had to adjust to that. Aside from that, both handled the zone very well.
- Vitor Faverani grabbed 18 rebounds when he played the Bucks earlier this season. He had zero on Saturday night. HE WOULD NOT BE FORGOTTEN.
- Milwaukee’s nemisis all year has been the opposing team’s offensive rebound column. They were able to take control of the glass behind strong efforts from Henson, Udoh and Giannis on Saturday and it paid great dividends.
- This sign: