|Ersan Ilyasova, PF 23 MIN | 0-2 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -4
It feels like Ilyasova’s defense hasn’t been half bad this year and that he isn’t getting much credit for it. He took another charge on Tuesday and he’s got to be up around six or seven taken this season now. I’d wager that the rest of the team combined hasn’t hit that mark. He’s trying to show hard on screens and he’s trying to rebound, those are just more difficult tasks for him at times. Still, John Henson played five minutes in this game.
|Jabari Parker, SF 21 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-1 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | -6
This was the least noticeable game Parker has played this season. He posted up maybe once or twice. There didn’t seem to be any plays called specifically to get him the ball. I barely remember it if he set a ball screen in this game. Just meh.
|Larry Sanders, C 22 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-2 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 4 PTS | -3
Offensively, things are getting bad for Sanders. His shooting percentage is dropping with each game and it’s not like he’s hoisting tons of jumpers or swooping hook shots and missing. He took one shot outside of five feet. The struggle has been real for Larry Sanders.Fortunately, he’s one the league’s finest defenders, though the team fared well with him off the court more often than he was on it once again Tuesday night.
|Brandon Knight, PG 34 MIN | 6-15 FG | 3-4 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 6 TO | 16 PTS | -9
As complicating as ever. He had six turnovers, but at least two of those turnovers were passes that should have been caught by teammates that ended up bouncing out of their hands or hitting them in the face. It feels unfair to punish him for his teammates coordination issues.
|Jared Dudley, SG 19 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +3
Perhaps he didn’t want to upstage any of his starter teammates tonight and that’s why he too was largely unproductive. Or that’s just how he plays. You figure it out.
|Zaza Pachulia, C 22 MIN | 3-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 10 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | +13
From the 10 rebounds to the last assist he threw, a no-look drop pass for Jerryd Bayless on a fast break that Bayless flushed home with a big dunk, Pachuila was an impactful player all night in a variety of ways. And Milwaukee didn’t seem to lose too much with him defensively against the wreckage of a once proud Thunder squad.
|John Henson, C 5 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -1
So few minutes.
|Nate Wolters, PG 18 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | +16
After a horrible mess of a first quarter, the Bucks went with Bayless and Wolters in the back court to open the second and it seemed to breathe life into the team. Kudos to Wolters for staying ready and then being aggressive when he got his opportunity.
|Jerryd Bayless, PG 21 MIN | 2-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | +12
He’s the new “sneaky athletic” player on the team, but maybe his athleticism isn’t even very sneaky anymore. He’s put down some impressive dunks this season and it looked very easy for him on the break Tuesday. Other than his dunks, he continues to run a bench unit that is thriving with regularity.
|Giannis Antetokounmpo, SG 26 MIN | 6-13 FG | 2-4 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | +10
Another night, another matchup with a power forward. Though this time, it wasn’t the plodding Zach Randolph that Giannis had to account for, rather it was one of the league’s finest defenders in Serge Ibaka.
“So far I like it,” he said about playing the four against bigger players. “He’s (Ibaka) quicker and more athletic than Randolph. It was more harder to go through him. Ibaka is Ibaka. He’s probably the best defender in the league. There are not a lot of guys like him.”
But Giannis battled throughout the evening, largely at the four spot and used his quickness and length to draw fouls and avoid giving up too much on the other end.
|O.J. Mayo, SG 29 MIN | 6-15 FG | 5-7 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 19 PTS | +4
The OJ Mayo Redemption Tour seemed to have gotten off track before Tuesday night. After a strong first two games built on what was a terrific preseason, Mayo hadn’t scored in double figures in five consecutive outings. But he bounced back in a big way. His 14 second half points helped Milwaukee pull away in both the third and fourth quarters when the Thunder made runs.
|Khris Middleton, PF DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS |
Sore right knee.
The Thunder attempted to throw some zone at Milwaukee in the fourth quarter but the team seemed well-prepared for it. Giannis mentioned the team running some plays Kidd has instituted in practice this week.
“The biggest thing is trust … Trusting the pass, being unselfish,” Kidd said after the game. “I think everybody on our teams believes that and is trying.”
Three Things We Saw
- The Bucks have won consecutive games for the first time since March 17-19 … 2013.
- The Bucks held the Thunder to 33% shooting a game after holding the Grizzlies to 35% shooting. Sure, the Thunder are paper thin right now and the Grizzlies were on the second night of a back-to-back, but still, that’s some impressive defensive work. Especially when you consider Larry Sanders having only been on the court for 22 minutes.
“We can’t just rely on one guy,” Kidd said about the defense. “We’re not billed as a one man team. This is the Milwaukee Bucks. So everybody pitches in.”
- The Bucks reserves outscored OKC’s 53-22 and turned the game around in the second quarter. Milwaukee’s starters have been playing below-average to average basketball this season, but as we expected, the strength of this team is its depth and that’s been a HUGE strength. It was completely on display against a Thunder team that was both lousy with injury and … just lousy.