Cold outside: Suns 102 – Bucks 96

Phoenix Suns 102 Final
Recap | Box Score
96 Milwaukee Bucks
Khris Middleton, PF 30 MIN | 4-9 FG | 4-4 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | +5

He has a way of blending in on the court. I’m not sure there’s really much about Middleton’s game that stood out, but even when he isn’t popping off the court the way that a Brandon Knight or a Giannis Antetokounmpo might, he’s still being fairly productive, which is a great thing to have out of any player regularly in the rotation. He doesn’t seem to be getting the same volume of looks thrown his way, which makes sense given the rise of Giannis and Knight, but it’d be nice to see him get a few more opportunities in that curl position once reserved for Mike Dunleavy.

Johnny O’Bryant III, PF 14 MIN | 1-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | +2

He keeps getting up shots and gathering few rebounds. I’m not sure why he isn’t a better rebounder, if it’s just a hesitancy thing or a lack of instinct that’s necessary or what, but Milwaukee could use a guy like him to increase his physicality, even at the expense of a few fouls now and then in his quests for rebounds.

Zaza Pachulia, C 24 MIN | 2-7 FG | 3-4 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 6 TO | 7 PTS | +5

Six turnovers! Even for a guy who moves the ball as often as Zaza does, six is too many turnovers to have. His struggles on offense coupled with another strong night from John Henson led to his absence from the fourth quarter for what seemed like the first time all season.

Brandon Knight, PG 35 MIN | 10-20 FG | 4-4 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 26 PTS | -1

DUNK DUNK. He threw down some truly impressive dunks in the third quarter, one while Milwaukee was operating out of their half court offense where he found a crease and exploded through and then over the defense. Another came after an exciting behind the back pass from Giannis. It seemed like these two energized Milwaukee in the third quarter, but ultimately it wasn’t enough energy to make up for some team wide defensive gaffes and poor shooting.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, SG 34 MIN | 7-13 FG | 2-2 FT | 12 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 16 PTS | +3

Another double double for Giannis, who has now had double doubles in consecutive games for the first time in his young career. He’s really been helping Milwaukee of late in a time of need without Larry Sanders and Ersan Ilyasova, both as a rebounder and as a shot-blocker. Another block Tuesday night gave him 19 in his last eight games.

John Henson, C 24 MIN | 6-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 13 PTS | -11

Henson and Marshall struck again and again, leading the typically strong bench unit that seemed to flounder without the accuracy from 3-point range it typically relies on. They connected for a number of easy baskets out of pick and rolls.

Kendall Marshall, PG 13 MIN | 0-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -5

Strong as ever as a passer, very little threat as a scorer, super strong effort as guy who celebrated good things happening while he was on the bench. It was a very Kendall Marshall game.

Jerryd Bayless, PG 24 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | -12

Didn’t do much.

Jared Dudley, SG 24 MIN | 3-9 FG | 4-4 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | -5

Missed threes, but made a very simple breakaway dunk, which was kind of hilarious after some of the incredible dunks from Giannis and Knight.

O.J. Mayo, SG 18 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | -11

Missed shots.

Jason Kidd
If his players made more shots from outside the arc, he is a genius. Since they didn’t, HE’S THE WORST.

Three Things We Saw

  1. Milwaukee made three of its 20 3-point attempts. You now have the explanation of why the Bucks lost this game.
  2. The Bucks forced 20 Suns turnovers, but lost the ball 17 times themselves, which nullified some of the positive impact Phoenix’s miscues had. Kidd shrugged the turnovers off after the game, saying that was the price the Bucks paid as a team that moved the ball and worked hard at creating shots for each other.
  3. Larry Sanders spoke to the media after the game. He sat on the bench in a suit (everyone kept mentioning this “in a suit” thing, so I feel compelled to write about it too) during the game and Kidd said it was nice to have him around, but that he would not be traveling to Philadelphia with the team. See the Twitter feeds of Andrew Gruman and Steve Kyler for more information.

Categories: Recaps



  1. Since this is redundant, and maybe tiresome to many, and perhaps generally unpopular, I’ll keep it short: More Kendall on the court, please!

      • Okay, I admit that I’ve been known to refer back to the Department of Redundancy department with redundancy.

        In my defense, I would say that my guys Khris and John have been doing quite well with increased minutes. Kendall has been playing nicely, but now we need to bump him up to 20-30 minutes, which tends to elevate the play of the whole team — not to mention that reports of his shooting woes have been greatly exaggerated, and he’s generally ranged from respectable to very good at scoring the ball.

        If only the Bucks brass would respond more receptively to my incessant pleas, and I could perhaps get some more backing here at Bucksketball from contributors and commenters, I wouldn’t have to repeat myself so reduntantly so often all the time.

  2. Ok, by popular demand here it is: Brandon Knight IS NOT a point guard. Kidd, please play more guys who ARE point guards. On cold outside shooting nights they are the key to any success we might have.

    Also, it’s clear the Bucks really lack for genuine talent. Maybe a trade deadline move for a quality point or 2 guard would make a world of difference. A bit like John Salmons in the fear the deer year.