Able to rebound: Bucks 98 – Pistons 86

Detroit Pistons 86 Final
Recap | Box Score
98 Milwaukee Bucks
Jabari Parker, SF 27 MIN | 7-10 FG | 0-1 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | +9

Parker had his jumper going for the most part, as a variety of isolations, kick outs and pick and pops with him all led to open looks that he connected on. But his first basket was the one I most enjoyed. On the possession, he grabbed two offensive rebounds and was constantly moving around the hoop. I’ve talked about how much I enjoy his off ball movement before and this possession was another great example, except this time it was movement near the hoop as he sniffed out a putback opportunity.

Larry Sanders, C 26 MIN | 6-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | +1

10 points in the first quarter and five rebounds in the first quarter? Jason Kidd talked about Larry’s early energy and how it helped set the tone for the team. I was just excited to see Sanders finishing around the rim. The consistency didn’t last all game – after a 5-6 FG start he finished 6-12 FG, but it was good to see him connected on chances around the hoop against some very large Pistons big men early.

Brandon Knight, PG 32 MIN | 7-12 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 8 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 20 PTS | +10

Knight was making both jump shots and easy passes to teammates. He must have felt great seeing D.J. Augustin line up for the opposition after games against Kyle Lowry and John Wall, two very different, but very impressive, physical specimens at the point guard position. Augustin offered little resistance and Milwaukee’s general competency kept Knight from attempting to do too much on his own. Only two turnovers with eight assists and an efficient scoring line? Huzzah.

O.J. Mayo, SG 28 MIN | 5-10 FG | 4-4 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 17 PTS | +14

His move to the starting lineup worked well in its debut. The one thing Khris Middleton has really struggled with this season has been making threes. Mayo did that just fine on Tuesday night and it helped Milwaukee’s starters look a bit more competent than they have in recent efforts. His curl, catch and drive or dish ability has been solid all season and he notched an assist or two out of it against Detroit. That’s something that really differentiates him and Middleton.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, SG 31 MIN | 1-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 2 PTS | +2

Oof. Kidd praised Giannis for keeping at it after the game and I’ll give that to the young fella, he didn’t get discouraged. He did get dispatched time and again on drives against the nearly as athletic and big Josh Smith though. The handful of assists and steals were nice, and overall it didn’t visually appear to be a horrible game for Giannis, but tonight was a reminder that an outside shot could really help open things up for him against all types of players.

Khris Middleton, PF 20 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | -2

He’s still finding his shot and his role with this current roster. It’s a work in progress. He’ll need to find a way to get comfortable in 15-25 minute stints, especially the way this season is going.

Ersan Ilyasova, PF 21 MIN | 4-11 FG | 3-4 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 13 PTS | +3

The struggle has been real for Ersan as a rebounder this season, but he was very good against that difficult Pistons front line, so I don’t even know what to think about anything anymore. Hey, look, he’s good now. Hey, other NBA teams, TRADE FOR ERSAN.

John Henson, C 4 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | +6

Kidd said after the game he planned on playing Henson big minutes. We’ll never know. Henson sprained his left foot and had to be carried to the locker room by teammates. He’s out against Minnesota on Wednesday.

Zaza Pachulia, C 18 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | +5

Three of his four baskets came on 10-16 foot jump shots. He’s been launching those with regularity this season and hitting at a fairly consistent clip. If that’s a regular thing, which it hasn’t really been in his career, it’s helpful, because he is a good decision maker who can effectively pass the ball from the high post.

Nate Wolters, PG DNP ILLNESS MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS |

He has the flu or at least symptoms that are flu-like.

Jason Kidd
It’s funny. Aside from a fairly simple lineup change – one shooter out, another shooter in – Kidd didn’t do much different from the previous game, but tonight it feels like he’s smart and the other night it felt like he made a bunch of mistakes. Basketball coaching seems strange.

Two Things We Saw

  1. The Pistons seem not good. Milwaukee out-rebounded Detroit 50-36, thereby removing the one thing that the Pistons seem to do particularly well. Without an advantage on the glass, the Pistons couldn’t get many second looks and had their poor 3-point shooting exposed (7-20 3FG).
  2. Josh Smith was 2-10 on his free throws. He had 11 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists and he defended Giannis well. But those free throws helped cost the Pistons the game. Josh Smith can’t have a night where everything goes well.

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