|Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF 36 MIN | 4-9 FG | 5-7 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 13 PTS | +9 +/-
He was very at ease in this game. He had a standout play or two – a floater off the glass in the first quarter the the absolute right amount of touch stands out in my mind – but generally played a very even game for 36 minutes, which goes to show even when he isn’t putting up outrageous numbers or dominating the ball, he can still make a positive impact.
|John Henson, C 22 MIN | 5-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 5 BLK | 2 TO | 12 PTS | -2 +/-
Against the burly DeMarcus Cousins, Henson wasn’t half bad defending in the post. A few times Cousins got him deep underneath the hoop, but Henson did his best not to back down or give up on plays. A good example came in the second half when he made Cousins catch outside the paint, only to have the All-Star center back him deep down under the hoop, where he dropped a pass off to a cutting teammate. Henson recovered from the bullying and blocked a Ramon Sessions layup at the rim. He stuck it out all night and, even though Cousins ended up with a very good line (28 points, 19 rebounds, five assists), didn’t surrender.
Another tough rebounding night isn’t great to see, but he continues to challenge a ton of shots and block a bunch. Occasionally that leaves him out of rebounding position. The tradeoff may be worth it, though I can’t be sure.
|Brandon Knight, PG 33 MIN | 8-14 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 20 PTS | +6 +/-
His 14 third quarter points helped put the game away for Milwaukee, as they stretched their lead up to 18 by quarter’s end. He made shots. He drove and finished. He was the same guy on Wednesday that he was on Monday, only more of his shots went in. A partial factor may have been improved ball movement. Milwaukee swung the ball around the perimeter on Wednesday night as well as they have all year and they already had been doing a good job of that.
|Jared Dudley, SG 32 MIN | 3-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 9 PTS | -3 +/-
Much of the aforementioned ball movement had something to do with Dudley. As he’s often camped out behind the arc, either off to one side of the top of the key or in a corner, he’s frequently catching with a defender scrambling to get back to him or completely wide open, leaving him to make a decision about passing vs. shooting. He did a good job making those decisions on Wednesday.
|Khris Middleton, SG 30 MIN | 4-11 FG | 6-6 FT | 10 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 15 PTS | +5 +/-
This was the first double double of Middleton’s career. And he had at least two steals for the eighth consecutive game. He’s disruptive and effective.
|Ersan Ilyasova, PF 2 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -3 +/-
Unclear why he only played two minutes. Johnny O’Bryant ate his minutes.
|Johnny O’Bryant III, PF 14 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-3 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | +14 +/-
Pluses and minuses, though that there were pluses indicates progress. His four rebounds tied for the second most rebounds he’s ever grabbed in a game, so that’s exciting. But he still moves so slowly and can’t seem to catch a break on the court. Once he slipped and lost the ball when he lost his footing. It was sad for him, but unsurprising for those watching. Bad things have followed him around on the court this season.
|Zaza Pachulia, C 26 MIN | 4-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | +10 +/-
His start was tough. He airballed a jumper early. I’m not even sure he hit rim on his first two or three attempts, actually, factoring in a block and a missed layup. He also struggled to stop DeMarcus Cousins, but most big men in the league deal with that problem. He came around eventually and started getting some looks to fall as he gathered up rebounds and played his roll of painted area crossing guard (he doesn’t let anyone through, the light is never red and he lost his stop sign).
|Jorge Gutierrez, PG 15 MIN | 2-3 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | +2 +/-
After Jerryd Bayless suffered a strained hip flexor, Gutierrez picked up the majority of his backup point guard minutes and handled himself quite well. He hit a floater while getting fouled and a jump shot on another possession. He threw a very nice lob to a rolling John Henson. He was never overmatched on defense. Gutierrez looked like a competent backup point guard.
|Jerryd Bayless, PG 5 MIN | 0-0 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | +5 +/-
Strained hip flexor.
|O.J. Mayo, SG 25 MIN | 6-14 FG | 7-7 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 21 PTS | -3 +/-
I hardly noticed Mayo, but he ended up with 21 points. That seems like a fun thing to have happen. Quiet and effective, that’s how Mayo has gone about his business for much of this season. You never see the highlight plays from him, but he’s been fairly reliable and his game has often been well-rounded.
|Kenyon Martin, PF DNP LEFT ANKLE MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS | +/-
|Larry Sanders, C DNP PERSONAL REASONS MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS | +/-
He is no longer suspended. But he did not play for personal reasons. He remains out indefinitely and it sounds like some discussions will take place over the All-Star break.
Two Things We Saw
- Giannis is 20 and Reggie Evans can’t believe it.
- For those not on Twitter, here’s what everyone is talking about:The Bucks have won 30 games by the All-Star break for the first time since 1990-91 and they are the first team to double the previous season’s win total by the All-Star break.The takeaways: The Bucks haven’t been good for a long time and last year they were especially bad, but this year they are kind of good.