Well this was interesting.
|Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF 42 MIN | 10-14 FG | 5-5 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 25 PTS | +10 +/-
Career high! Plus he made a few jump shots, which is always a cause for a moderate celebration. Mainly, Giannis was up to some of his old Giannis tricks, which include taking bigger players off the dribble. He wasn’t too much of a use to Milwaukee on the defensive glass, where they sorely needed some help, for most of the game.
|John Henson, C 38 MIN | 4-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 4 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | +23 +/-
On a night in which Zaza Pachulia, Ersan Ilyasova, Kenyon Martin were all out, Henson gave Milwaukee 38 minutes of solid, reliable ball. He didn’t get too many looks off drives, save for a couple of nice drop offs from Brandon Knight, and they never went to him in the post, but Henson provided Milwaukee its only interior defender. It wasn’t much, but it was enough.
He made a big play in overtime, when, with Milwaukee up four, he drew a push off on Carlos Boozer. Even better was, after the push off which got him off balance, Henson gathered and blocked the attempt that coincided with the foul for good measure.
|Brandon Knight, PG 36 MIN | 7-17 FG | 6-6 FT | 7 REB | 8 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 24 PTS | +25 +/-
17 of his 24 points came after the 2:13 mark of the fourth quarter. He had 12 in overtime alone. He seemed very willing to let other players take shots and was almost hesitant for a significant portion of the game. Perhaps his quad injury, which kept him out of Monday’s game in Toronto, was still lingering. Whatever it was, it left Knight passive, but did seem to help get Giannis involved. Milwaukee’s offense still didn’t look very good late and the shots Knight made – three long threes stand out in my mind – weren’t the best looks, but he put them in and essentially won this game for Milwaukee.
He struggled containing Jeremy Lin’s drives at times, but on a crucial possession in which Milwaukee needed a stop to have a shot to tie at the end of regulation, he kept Lin in front of him and forced the Laker point guard into a tough shot that he airballed.
|Jared Dudley, SG 34 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | -9 +/-
Typically the Bucks can toss him in at the four and get away with it, but he failed to grab a rebound all game and was posted up on repeat by a cadre of mediocre Laker big men who all found success.
|Khris Middleton, SG 45 MIN | 7-13 FG | 6-7 FT | 7 REB | 7 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 21 PTS | +16 +/-
More of the same Middleton we’ve been seeing of late. He’s almost consistently around six or seven rebounds per game playing largely the wing, which isn’t a bonus for the Bucks, but a necessity. Middleton tossing in 21 points on a night in which he made just one of his five 3-point attempts is a huge win for the Bucks.
|Johnny O’Bryant III, PF 14 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 0 PTS | -13 +/-
Never doesn’t look lost. A big opportunity existed for him, with all of the bigs aside from Henson out and he couldn’t capitalize as a rebounder or a finisher or a shotmaker or a defender or a basketball player.
|Jerryd Bayless, PG 22 MIN | 1-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | -19 +/-
A quiet night from a frequent source of energy and balance. He couldn’t provide Milwaukee the spark it needed early on in the fourth quarter as the game began to slip away from them and ceded his minutes to Brandon Knight quicker than usual.
|O.J. Mayo, SG 33 MIN | 8-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 21 PTS | +7 +/-
His corner three tied the game with .5 seconds left. He seemed to be chucking a bit in the fourth quarter as Knight failed to attempt to seize control and with Milwaukee generally incapable of putting together a strong fourth quarter, Mayo tried to play hero. He failed. Then he succeeded.
Four Things We Saw
- The Bucks came out flat and seemed sloppy, but the Lakers weren’t really capable of taking significant advantage of the lethargic effort. Some how, Milwaukee had just 11 turnovers all game and it felt like at least half of them were unforced. If the Lakers had more talent, athleticism and ability defensively, the eight point half time lead they grabbed could have been twice as big.
- Los Angeles out-rebounded Milwaukee 53-35 and won the second chance points battle 19-4. Ed Davis had 20 rebounds!But the Lakers were still the Lakers and even all of those advantages weren’t enough for them to play enough of a complete game.
- Some people left this game with the Bucks down three points and less than 20 seconds to play. We all have lives to live and some of us have jobs that start at night. I get that. But having to go to work is about the only excuse I’ll hear for leaving this game at that specific point. Why even come if you’re so focused on beating traffic that you’ll miss out on the most crucial moments?
- Milwaukee’s net fourth quarter rating? -21.2. The struggle continues.On the plus side? Milwaukee’s net overtime rating was 87.4. NET! Total fire in overtime. Shot making will do that.