|Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF 33 MIN | 3-5 FG | 4-4 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 10 PTS | +6 +/-
In addition to that, Giannis was a very active participant on the defensive glass, with nine of his 10 rebounds coming on that end of the floor. He didn’t do too much on offense, but that was because he didn’t try to do too much on offense. A solid night overall.
|John Henson, C 27 MIN | 6-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 4 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | +5 +/-
He filled in for Zaza and the defense did not miss a beat. On the other end, he finished around the rim with a few dunks and soft layups. It’s hard to ask for too much more than that.
|Brandon Knight, PG 28 MIN | 3-13 FG | 4-4 FT | 3 REB | 8 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 11 PTS | -3 +/-
Late in the game, it seemed like Damian Lillard wanted to take over. He was pressing and ending up with some bad shots off the dribble and difficult attempts in the paint through traffic. It was a reminder that Brandon Knight isn’t the only point guard who goes through those stretches and that even some of the league’s best players get caught up in trying to be a hero sometimes.
Knight played an okay game, though he had some trouble dealing with pressure at various points as a ball-handler. He had multiple drives where he showed the sort of patience many beg him to show, which resulted in kickouts to open shooters or drop offs around the hoop to teammates cutting.
|Jared Dudley, SG 34 MIN | 7-11 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 18 PTS | +11 +/-
Everything he did against the Trail Blazers worked. He snuck out behind the 3-point line time and time again and was the happy recipient of passes as teammates penetrated and swung the ball around the arc. He even took a couple shots off the dribble and posted up on a few occasions when the matchup called for it.
|Khris Middleton, SG 42 MIN | 4-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | +9 +/-
I really enjoyed watching Middleton on Saturday night. I wrote about Giannis not forcing anything and Middleton operated the same way. When the ball swung to him in the right situations, he fired up open shots or he used a pump fake to create a better shot. When he wasn’t open, he moved the ball quick. When he had Damian Lillard on him, he posted up and showed nice situational awareness. Overall, he didn’t force anything and his flexibility as a defender made things easier on that end too.
|Johnny O’Bryant III, PF 5 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -11 +/-
Did not do much. In garbage time, he nearly airballed a jumper.
|Kenyon Martin, PF 17 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | +13 +/-
This was Martin’s finest night as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks. He was spry and playing above the rim with more frequency. He had one blocked shot that ended up in the hands of a security guard in the tunnel. He had an impressive dunk and attempted to finish an OJ Mayo floater, but was called for basket interference. Defensively, he bothered LaMarcus Aldridge and even stripped him on one post-up.
|Jorge Gutierrez, PG 9 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -7 +/-
Not much of an impact, but doesn’t do anything noticeably bad when he’s on the court.
|Jerryd Bayless, PG 21 MIN | 5-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 11 PTS | +8 +/-
Bayless thrived in the mid-range area, off the dribble, when he got screens. Four of his five makes were jumpers of this kind and he helped put this game away in the fourth quarter.
|O.J. Mayo, SG 25 MIN | 6-18 FG | 2-2 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 17 PTS | +4 +/-
He was getting open looks, but struggling to make shots for most of the game. It’s not often Mayo leads the team in attempts and ends up with only one assist, but that was just kind of the way this game went. With Knight not playing quite as many minutes as usual and more minutes distributed to a non-shooter in Martin, more shots were available for Mayo.
|Ersan Ilyasova, PF DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS | +/-
|Zaza Pachulia, C DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS | +/-
Two Things We Saw
- The beauty of this game was in how well the Bucks just let the game come to them. They weren’t forcing anything, they just kept moving the ball and looking for open shots. On the other end, they defended Aldridge and Lillard about as well as possible. This was the game of Jason Kidd’s dreams, really.
- Saturday’s game was sold out and people were very loud and excited when good things happened for the Bucks because that’s how it works when the arena is full and the home team is playing well.I saw John Henson said something to the effect of this was the best crowd he’s seen since he’s been in Milwaukee. That feels like recency bias. The crowd has occasionally been just fine over the past three years. Basically, if the Bucks play well, the crowd will fill up.