Miroslav Raduljica was the Bucks' 14th different starter this season. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)
Miroslav Raduljica was the Bucks’ 14th different starter this season. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)
Milwaukee Bucks 111 Recap | Box Score 114 Cleveland Cavaliers
John Henson, PF Shot Chart 37 MIN | 7-12 FG | 4-4 FT | 10 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 18 PTS | -17

Part of the reason the Bucks stayed close enough in the fourth quarter is that Henson protected the rim on one end and made all of his free throws on the other. Another solid double double.

Khris Middleton, PF Shot Chart 50 MIN | 5-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | +8

Back-to-back games of 50 or more minutes are a testament to how much Larry Drew counts on Middleton. His three-point shots were falling, but his shots on the move were mostly duds.

His missed boxout allowed the tip-in that forced overtime.

Miroslav Raduljica, C Shot Chart 17 MIN | 2-6 FG | 3-5 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | -4

Raduljica started his first-ever NBA game, as Coach Drew elected to match Andrew Bynum’s size. After a 1-5 FG, plodding first half, Miroslav rustled up a pile of free throw attempts at the start of the third quarter when the tempo picked up.

Bynum made him look like a genuine first-time starter with a long up-and-under move for a dunk.

Brandon Knight, PG Shot Chart 35 MIN | 6-20 FG | 4-4 FT | 14 REB | 8 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 17 PTS | -5

Knight had 17 points, 14 rebounds, 8 assists and 3 steals to fill up the boxscore. In fact, no NBA player had posted numbers that high in each category until tonight.

But Knight still could do a better job directing the offense. His passes occasionally get deflected or miss their mark, and there aren’t enough of them. 20 shots is too many.

Also, Kyrie Irving scored 39 points.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, SG Shot Chart 23 MIN | 2-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | +1

Giannis Antetokounmpo, starting shooting guard, needs to better learn how to control his aggressiveness in the opening minutes. He can still be an above-average defender without fouling. Instead, he can lay back a bit and redirect his aggression to the defensive glass.

Random side note: If the Bucks are going to make him their inbounds pass defender in key situations, they need to make sure he knows the rules.  He is reaching his long arms way over the plane of the baseline.

Ekpe Udoh, PF Shot Chart 28 MIN | 4-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 10 PTS | +3

His defense was below his usual standard, but that’s a high standard. The rotations and switches were clunky instead of automatic. He had more than one professional offensive move in this game, so that was a nice bonus to see.

Nate Wolters, PG Shot Chart 18 MIN | 3-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | +2

Nate had an explosive finish to the first quarter. He stole a pass, drew a clear path foul, made the free throws, hit a layup, got another steal, drove and kicked the ball out for a three-pointer — the sum of which squeaked the Bucks ahead to a very unexpected one-point lead at the end of a mostly lousy first quarter.

He still hesitates to shoot jumpers, but his slashes to the rim are crisp, bold and useful for keeping defenses honest.

O.J. Mayo, SG Shot Chart 36 MIN | 6-21 FG | 5-6 FT | 7 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 4 TO | 20 PTS | -4

He missed two looks at a game-tying three-pointer at the end of overtime. The second one was WIDE open. If it would have put a smile on his face, it would have been nice to see him get it.

Seven rebounds is a fine total for him, but his defense has so much ‘meh’ to it.

Two Things We Saw

  1. Brandon Knight can be a force on the boards. Of all the Bucks players, the one thing lost on TV is just how huge Knight is. He could stand in a lineup of linebackers and not look out of place. Combined with a nose for the ball and strong hands, he can be just the remedy the rebound-poor Bucks lacked in November.
  2. Henson hurt his knee late and did not finish the overtime session. That’s really the one big takeaway from this game that matters. Whether they ended the night 5-21 or 6-20 was more or less irrelevant. They need to get healthy and they need to have their future core playing and learning and growing. If this injury amounts to anything, it will be another sad day for the home team.