A romp in Georgia: Bucks 107 — Hawks 77

Milwaukee Bucks 107 Recap | Box Score 77 Atlanta Hawks
Johnny O’Bryant III, PF 21 MIN | 5-9 FG | 2-4 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | +5

Positives: Excellent touch on his mid-range game. Negatives: He shoots too much from the midrange, and his defense on Paul Millsap at the game’s outset was mind-bogglingly bad.

Zaza Pachulia, C 26 MIN | 6-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | +19

Atlanta loves Zaza so much. There were many, many hugs from Zaza to ex-teammates, broadcasters and team employees before and after the game. Like Marshall, the offense from the starters works so much better when he is in the game.

Brandon Knight, PG 28 MIN | 5-11 FG | 4-4 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 16 PTS | +10

If the Bucks can make this Marshall-Knight tandem work on defense, there is no question that it’s the right move for Milwaukee. Can Knight consistently chase the biggest and most athletic guards from the opponent on a nightly basis?

Kendall Marshall, PG 25 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 5 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | +8

After the game, the Bucks’ new starting point guard was asked about his team’s players-only meeting after the loss to the Hornets. His cheeky response: “What meeting?” Marshall greased the flow of the offense to the nth degree and made Brandon Knight’s job a lot easier.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, SG 30 MIN | 2-10 FG | 3-4 FT | 5 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 7 PTS | +12

At shootaround, Giannis was curiously intrigued by the presence of a college-distance, three-point line that was left on the Philips Arena floor. He was sinking a bunch of jump shots in the 22-foot range with a confidence that was mostly betrayed by his in-game performance. He spent a little bit of time at center and, all game long, generally used his length to get in the way of Atlanta. Jason Kidd tried to get him a few post touches, especially in the second half.

Khris Middleton, PF 17 MIN | 1-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | +18

Shots didn’t fall but the team’s defense was extremely good when he was in the game.

John Henson, C 18 MIN | 1-2 FG | 3-4 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 5 PTS | +11

Henson was a wreck for the first 8 or so minutes. On defense, the Hawks were getting layups just before he could get his hand in the way. On offense, he was fumbling the ball like it was greased. But then the switch flipped. He held onto the ball. He made shots. He protected the paint on defense. Henson played a near perfect game in the second half — including his free throw form.

Nate Wolters, PG 4 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | 0

Just in for the end times.

Jerryd Bayless, PG 26 MIN | 3-7 FG | 5-5 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | +24

Bayless blends in seamlessly with the bench core that outscored the starters by a 54-53 margin (and the Hawks by a lot more than that). He made all the shots he should have, finished one fine alley-oop from Knight, and hit another five free throws to bump his season percentage to 98.21%.

Jared Dudley, SG 24 MIN | 10-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 4 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 24 PTS | +22

Fire. Pure fire. Dudley started by snatching a few steals in the Bucks’ trapping scheme. Milwaukee seemed intent on pressuring the ball with their bench when second-year point guard Dennis Schroder was in the game and it led to some easy looks for Dudley. From there, Dudley couldn’t be stopped. At. All.

O.J. Mayo, SG 20 MIN | 5-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 11 PTS | +21

Maybe he just fits better with the bench than with the starters. Solid all-around performace from Mayo completely devoid of any negativity that some NBA players would show on a trip back to the bench.

Jason Kidd
Starting Marshall was a good choice, realigning Mayo to his bench friends was a good choice, implementing the trap against Dennis Schroder in the second quarter was a good choice. Good choices all around.

Four Things We Saw

  1. The Hawks had won 14 of their last 15 games before this one.
  2. According to Elias, Jared Dudley became the first NBA player to shoot 10-for-10 (or better) from the field while taking at least three 3-point attempts. On being notified of his piece of obscure-but-successful history, Dudley added, “I’m in the books” and Giannis echoed from the adjoining locker, “He’s in the books.”
  3. Kidd on Dudley, “I can’t say it was a perfect game, because as a coach you always want more. But it was as close to a no-hitter as you could come. I thought he was great tonight on both ends.
  4. These two teams play again Saturday night in Milwaukee on the second half of the home-and-home series.

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  1. Please keep starting Kendall Marshall! Offense works so much better when Brandon Knight can play to his strengths and not have to initiate the offense the majority of the time.

  2. Wow, totally disagree with the grade you gave Johnny O’Bryant! He’s a rookie, he can shoot, he has confidence in his shot, all good things! Yes, he messed up defensively a few times, but come on….a D+???

    • Honest criticism is never a bad thing. Unfortunately, it’s a lot more damning when yours bigs can’t play quality defense. He’s gotta do a better job moving his feet and getting better position on defense.

      The players-only meeting seems to have paid off. The ball just kept on moving all night, and Milwaukee’s offense is just beautiful to watch when that happens.

  3. I appreciate your grading and visit your site after every game. That said, you so obviously have a Middleton bias, it’s not even funny. I’ve noticed it before but man, really? “The defense was better.” Did that go into consideration for everyone else on the floor? Everyone else gets an individual grade. I get that these are completely arbitrary but I thought it was worth calling out. Henson was a close second in the past. Now that he’s healthy again, I fully expect inflated grades for him, too.

    • Am I biased “for” or “against” Middleton? I’m honestly not sure which one you’re claiming. Middleton missed nearly all his shots, but was part of the swing factor in the game: the Bucks bench turning the Hawks over and shutting them down in the 2Q.

    • TheLastoftheBucksFans

      if Knight shot as bad as Middleton he’d get a D. The grades did seem a bit low for a win this big