|Johnny O’Bryant III, PF 8 MIN | 0-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -15
An eagerness to shoot, without much accuracy and few contributions as a rebounder or defender, makes for a tough night.
|Zaza Pachulia, C 29 MIN | 4-8 FG | 3-3 FT | 15 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 11 PTS | -4
Many of his minutes seemed to come with the bench unit that moves the ball with more success and that really plays to Pachulia’s strengths. He was an important factor on the glass for Milwaukee (Atlanta had 17 offensive boards, so Zaza was practically the only one closing out possessions) and proved to be a capable deterrent, as players were just 2-for-7 at the rim against Zaza according to NBA.com/stats. If he’s able to be three quarters of the defender Larry Sanders is and he contributes like he does on offense, he’s way more effective.
|Brandon Knight, PG 27 MIN | 4-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | -28
It’s not difficult to understand why the Bucks struggle late in game offensively. They’re essentially relying on Lou Williams 5000, while the Hawks were able to work the ball around between Jeff Teague and Paul Millsap.
|Kendall Marshall, PG 15 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 3 PTS | -25
A lot of Marshall’s success is tied to execution by his teammates. He puts them in good spots and they have to come through with a basket. The Bucks shot 17% in the first quarter, so his teammates did him no favors. When they’re struggling and can’t finish, that’s where it’d be nice if Marshall could take a few paragraphs out of the Book of Brandon Knight and try to create a little bit more with dribble penetration, but he’s lacking in that area.
Marshall looked like he might sit the whole fourth quarter, but Kidd went back to him with three to play in a two point game. Marshall proceeded to miss a three and turn it over on a pick and roll, bringing the Bucks back down six. Not his finest night.
|Giannis Antetokounmpo, SG 19 MIN | 2-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 4 TO | 5 PTS | -29
Again and again he attacked into a sea of awaiting Hawks defenders. They had done their homework. No one bothered to place much pressure on Giannis when he caught the ball. They waited for him to attack, took charges and/or made his shots difficult. He countered by trying to get in the post a couple of times, but his next progression is catching and shooting.
|Khris Middleton, PF 37 MIN | 8-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 21 PTS | +14
Everything he gave to the Bucks on Saturday night was absolutely needed. His shooting was strong and his movement unceasing. When he had good looks, he fired away. When he didn’t, he kept the ball moving and found a new spot.
|John Henson, C 19 MIN | 2-3 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 5 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | +1
Blocking shots and grabbing rebounds. Henson did both very well in his first half stint. He was active and making a difference. When he re-entered in the second half, his impact was more muted. Given Milwaukee’s struggles to rebound on the night, it would have been interested to see Henson and Zaza share the court at some point.
And when the Bucks struggled, they didn’t look to Henson inside at all, as they often used to, unless they were trying to throw him a lob. A few post touches for Henson wouldn’t be an awful thing now and then. His minutes were there, but he still felt a bit underutilized.
|Jerryd Bayless, PG 30 MIN | 3-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 6 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 9 PTS | +25
He was probably Milwaukee’s best point guard on the night, which is something we’ve been able to say about Bayless way more often than I expected coming into the season. Bayless doesn’t have the same instinct to take over the game at all costs like Knight sometimes does, but he’s also capable of creating more for himself than Marshall. His overall skills as a scorer and a passer are significantly weaker than his respective teammates, but Bayless has enough of everything to pick up the slack when the other guys aren’t contributing so much.
|Jared Dudley, SG 32 MIN | 3-8 FG | 2-3 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | +18
Coming off one of the greatest nights of all time, a 10-10 FG (4-4 3FG) night, Dudley looked decidedly more human. What a surprise. But the Dudley-Bayless combination continues to swing games back in favor of the Bucks: +131 on the season.
|O.J. Mayo, SG 24 MIN | 4-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 12 PTS | +18
The bench may better suit Mayo, which could just mean he’s better off playing alongside players other than Brandon Knight. Mayo had a very generically good game, except for that one block. He skied up on an open Paul Millsap and rejected him at the rim, a play equal parts awesome and unexpected.
|Ersan Ilyasova, PF DNP CONCUSSION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS |
|Larry Sanders, C DNP ILLNESS MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS |
I have no idea what grade to give Kidd. He seems to be doing a fine job and none of his game management decisions were too puzzling. Marshall struggled, so he rode more Bayless. Middleton was hot, so he played 37 minutes. Henson looked capable, so he got two runs in the second half. But, the Hawks are pretty good, so they made more plays and won the game.
Three Things We Saw
- The Bucks scored 10 points and shot 17% in the first quarter. That they even were in the game and were able to make this a toss-up with three minutes to play was something of a feat. Milwaukee’s starters rarely seem to set them up well for success, which speaks to the still needed talent infusion on this roster.
- Nights where Giannis plays less than 20 minutes make me nearly fall asleep watching this team. Yeah, they play hard and move the ball well and are actually a solid group to watch – but my idea of #OwnTheFuture does involve copious amounts of Jerryd Bayless, Jared Dudley, Zaza Pachulia and OJ Mayo.
- Milwaukee’s been living in the paint a lot this season and outscoring teams there with regularity, but an inability to finish shots and a rash of turnovers near the hoop contributed to an Atlanta 42-30 lead on points in the paint.