Turned over: Hawks 97 – Bucks 86

Atlanta Hawks 97 FinalRecap | Box Score 86 Milwaukee Bucks
Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF 32 MIN | 7-15 FG | 5-5 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 19 PTS | -6 +/-

Without Brandon Knight, the onus of playmaking falls heavily on four Bucks (five when Michael Carter-Williams is healthy): Giannis, Middleton, Bayless and Mayo. Each attempted at least 11 field goal attempts Sunday, and it’s reasonable to expect those high volumes going forward. Giannis scored 11 of his points and shot all five of his free throws in the third quarter, helping Milwaukee crawl back into the game. Unlike against Denver, Giannis was poised on his drives and didn’t force anything at the rim. He only turned the ball over once in a game in which the Bucks averaged a turnover every two minutes.

John Henson, C 18 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 2 PTS | +4 +/-

Henson didn’t get many looks offensively again Al Horford, but he remained active protecting the rim and on the glass, finishing with two blocks and four offensive rebounds. He was about as animated as you will ever see him during the third quarter, when he picked up three personal fouls and exasperatedly expressed his displeasure with the referees. Henson didn’t play in the second and fourth quarters, as Kidd opted to split those minutes between Pachulia and Plumlee. Going forward, it will be interesting to see whether Kidd utilizes a three-man rotation at center — and whether Henson’s minutes get squeezed again as a result. However, Kidd did say before the game that Henson is playing well and will remain in the starting lineup.

Jerryd Bayless, PG 30 MIN | 6-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 13 PTS | -4 +/-

Since the trade, Bayless has been channeling his inner Knight. Both the good: shooting and isolation bailouts. And the bad: turnovers and pounding the ball. He led the Bucks with 13 points in the first half on 6-8 shooting, and his isolation sets were all Milwaukee had going for it in the first half. However, he turned the ball over four times and didn’t score the rest of the game. Bayless had the bench unit clicking and moving the ball in the first half of the season, but that’s yet to translate to the starting lineup.

Jared Dudley, SG 33 MIN | 0-5 FG | 4-4 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 4 PTS | -3 +/-

This was Dudley’s worst performance in recent memory, and it’s likely no coincidence that it came against one of the premier power forwards and rebounders in the NBA, Paul Millsap. After going a perfect 10-10 against Atlanta earlier this season, Dudley missed all five of his field goal attempts and turned the ball over a team-high five times. On the other end, Millsap had his way with Dudley early and often, grabbing eight offensive rebounds and leading the Hawks with 23 points. “Battling Millsap so much and getting tired out there offensively, my shots were short a lot tonight,” Dudley said after the game.

Khris Middleton, SG 36 MIN | 6-12 FG | 6-6 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 19 PTS | -4 +/-

Middleton will now need to create his own offense with more regularity, and he showed that he’s capable of doing just that Sunday. He scored off the dribble, cut effectively and got the free throw line with regularity. Despite hitting just one three-pointer, Middleton finished with 19 points on 12 shots. That’s a good sign.

Ersan Ilyasova, PF 15 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -8 +/-

It was a very unremarkable game for Ilyasova, who returned after missing Friday’s game with an illness.

Miles Plumlee, C 15 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +1 +/-

Plumlee made a nice impression in his Bucks debut. He wasn’t the answer defensively against Horford and Millsap, but he rebounded aggressively and showed some nice touch at the rim with a lefty hook. His size should be a welcome addition to a team that ranks 28th in defensive rebounding rate, and Kidd complimented Plumlee after the game for being a presence down low.

Zaza Pachulia, C 15 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 2 PTS | -16 +/-

Pachulia did Pachulia things, like commit a flagrant foul in the fourth quarter.

Tyler Ennis, PG 18 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 4 PTS | -7 +/-

Ennis looked more at ease in his second game with the team and showed flashes of his passing prowess, including a nice baseline dish to Ilyasova in the first half. However, he again had as many turnovers as assists. Both of his made field goals were at the rim — one on a cutting baseline dunk and the other on an uncontested reverse layup. “I think Tyler’s doing a lot of good things for us,” Kidd said.

O.J. Mayo, SG 28 MIN | 5-11 FG | 3-3 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 15 PTS | -12 +/-

Mayo scored all 15 of his points in the second half. He helped the Bucks close the gap at the end of the third quarter with back-to-back long jumpers, and his 10 points in the last frame went a long way in making the final score look respectable.

Johnny O’Bryant III, PF DNP PERSONAL REASONS MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS | +/-

O’Bryant was not with the team, and for good reason: He got the call that his partner went into labor, according to Kidd.

Michael Carter-Williams, PG DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS | +/-

Out with a right foot strain.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Two things doomed Milwaukee: Turnovers and defensive rebounding. Milwaukee turned it over 25 times and gave up 16 offensive rebounds. Sixteen of those turnovers came in the first half, when Milwaukee shot 53.3 percent but attempted 18 fewer field goals than Atlanta. “Our starters had 15 of those turnovers,” Kidd said after the game. “That’s not to say that our new guys didn’t pitch in and have turnovers as well, but our first group has to slow down a little bit.” Dudley also credited Atlanta’s switching on screens as a culprit.
  2. After trailing 48-35 at the end of the first half, the Bucks opened the second half on an 8-2 run and outscored the Hawks 29-18 in the third quarter. They briefly tied the game at 64-64 with less than a minute left in the third quarter and entered the final frame down just two. However, Kyle Korver drilled a trio of three-pointers within the first two and a half minutes of the fourth quarter, promptly extending the Hawks lead to 11. “I think we fought,” Kidd said . “We definitely did what we had to do in the third quarter, but the two mistakes that stand out are when we gave Korver two good looks at the three-point line, and he capitalized on it.”
  3. Uncharacteristically, the Bucks defaulted to isolations throughout the game. “I don’t think we did a good job playing the right way,” Pachulia said. “A lot of turnovers, a lot of mistakes. … There was one couple-minute stretch that we played hard, we shared the ball, we ran up and down, we came back. The rest of the game we didn’t play smart (and relied on) a lot of one-on-ones. We didn’t share the ball enough against a good team, so it’s hard to win.”
  4. Despite losing their leading scorer, no one on the Bucks is eager to admit much change since the trade. When asked whether this is an adjustment period, Bayless replied, “No. We’re only playing two new guys right now, so we can’t use that excuse.”
  5. The loss snapped a seven-game home winning streak for the Bucks.

Categories: Recaps

15 Comments

  1. Sooo nobody is seeing how the trade is affecting us negatively? I mean i know we got a decent trade but the offense just isnt flowing like it used too even with Bayless favorite out there. When is MCW set to return? I would like to see if he can help us flow a lil better as i hear he is a pretty good passer. Also it would allow for Bayless to get back to playing backup which seems more comfortable for him? At any rate, this game two things stood out; 1) Hawks look like they are extremely beatable 2) Giannis is still a lil hesitant with the long range jumper( seems he attempted less of those this game)

    • I think that’s to be expected. Knight was obviously a big part of the offense, whether it was when he could effectively set others up, or in particular when he scored the ball himself. The point of the trade was that they didn’t feel he offered enough to give him the major extension he’ll likely get from teams this offseason.

    • Patience… you can’t expect the team to pick up right where they left off. We have guys playing roles that are not their norm. Bayless as a starting pg (NOT GONNA BE ABLE TO DO ITTTT), Giannis trying to shoulder the scoring, Middleton being forced to shoot off the dribble along the baseline as the shotclock is winding down. When MCW comes back, the main thing the Bucks will gain is consistency; hopefully a set lineup for the rest of the season which would allow our guys to figure out their roles. These guys seem to be very willing and moldable.

      I really don’t know how this game made the Hawks seem beatable. In fact, i think it was the opposite. They exploited our weakness at the 5. Henson and Zaza don’t rotate over to the corner quick enough and when they cheat and get there in time, one Horford or Milsap pump fake later, they’re left watching them lay it in.

  2. I’d be interested to see if Ennis gets the start tomorrow. Not starters’ minutes, he’ll still probably get just under 20, but I think Ennis may come out with the 1st unit and relegate Bayless back to being the 6th man/bench unit PG. Jorge Gutierrez did that once (twice?) and Ennis showed some promise, especially considering he has been in this offense a grand total of 3 days. His baseline pass to Ers was SIIIIIIICK

    • I agree, I too think Ennis might get the nod tonight with MCW out for this game and possibly the next. Bayless started well for us vs the Hawks but I think he is better as the starter for the 2nd unit. Love what Tyler brings to the table, he’s a great pass-first point in the meantime.

    • I think that’s an excellent question about Giannis — not to mention my usual rant about John Henson, which even I’m getting tired of writing about, but even more tired of how shabbily the Bucks are treating John.

      I’ll just say that Miles Plumlee joins Jeff Adrien and a long list of other Bucks big men, past and present, who have gotten preferential treatment over John. It’s a list that never seems to end.

      • Trust me, not nearly as sick as everyone else is of listening to your broken record complaints…you whined and whined about Khris and now that he’s the focal point and clear part of the teams core…you say nothing. just complain constantly about Henson. Im shocked you didn’t have a stroke when Marshall was traded.

      • TheLastoftheBucksFans

        Swisch is such a clown. Miles plays ONE game, his first ever for the Bucks and to be honest he actually played well given the circumstance. This is preferential treatment?

        I do agree about Giannis. It seemed odd for him to sit out so long when he was scoring well. The fact that Dudley was missing everything makes it stand out even more.

    • Bucks playing back to backs. Might want to preserve Giannis and Henson for a physical bull’s front line

  3. Don’t get frustrated Swisch. I think Kidd views Henson like he does everybody who is not Giannis and Jabari. They are all interchangeable parts. No one is better or worse than anybody else. It’s like watching 8th grade game rotations. Everybody plays 15-20 minutes pretty much no matter what.

    Henson will be long gone from Milwaukee probably by the summer.

  4. I didn’t think my whining overall was as bad as wc makes it out to be, plus I even tried to be restrained today; but however bad I may be repeating myself, it’s mainly the Bucks who are a broken record as far as marginalizing John Henson.

    If, as rowe writes, he’ll be gone by summer, to me that’s a tragedy, mainly because he’s never had a chance to play consistent minutes with the Bucks, but secondarily because the man is looking really good as a basketball player, and also seems to be a really good person.

    As far as Khris Middleton, anyone can read my enthusiastic promoting of him going back to the beginning of last season, and including today in the article about him getting paid. I have stuck up for him (and I must say, so have other fans) when it seems that others (including all or most of the staff at Bucksketball, which I hasten to add, is a top rate group) either overlooked him, or even stated that he would never amount to all that much as a player in the NBA. Again, one can check the record.

    So it seems to be in my favor that I advocated long and loud for Khris, and now he’s looking really good, As today’s article about Khris notes, he wasn’t even getting really solid playing time at the beginning of this season; and as the record shows, I complained quite a bit. If not for injuries, I’m not sure how much of a chance coach Kidd would have given to Khris.

    I really appreciate rowe and Avid, and maybe a couple of others, backing me up on the mistreatment of John Henson. These people might agree with me that the Bucks aren’t going to be a great team with just Giannis and Jabari, that we need very good complementary players who have both excellent talent and team-oriented attitudes, and that you just can’t plug in guys as interchangeable parts. Truly winning teams require a cohesion and even a camaraderie that goes way beyond fantasy basketball and advanced statistics, because we’re dealing with men, and there has to be a large accounting for the personal side of life — players with teammates, with coaches, with the front office, and, yes, with fans.

    • Henson is restricted this summer, right? Maybe they’re unwilling to play him such big minutes for fear that his numbers will force his value up, making it difficult to decide whether or not to sign him. Also, with Larry Drew last season, Henson played big minutes often, but never really seemed to improve. Whereas under Kidd, Henson seems to be improving game by game with rotations, pick and roll play, among other aspects of his game. So even though he isn’t playing big minutes, it may be for developmental purposes. Kidd has been quick to praise Henson for his work, so without really knowing what’s going on within the organization, I can’t harp on the issue as much as you, Swisch. But my curiosity is there, and I think we will get the answer eventually.

  5. Now that I’m past 50 by a couple of years, my memory can be faulty at times, but I don’t remember John getting big minutes under Larry Drew, and if so it was infrequently and inconsistently. That’s why I bring up Jeff Adrien, who actually was pretty good, but it bothers me that he was generally played ahead of John — and now he’s gone.

    As a fan, all I can do is make comments based on what I know, and to be prepared to admit that I was wrong. After the Ray Allen fiasco, and the lesser but still highly painful debacle of the Tobias incident — not to mention more than a dozen years of futility from the Bucks — I’m not all that eager to give team management the benefit of the doubt.

    I know there are a couple of new owners and a new coach (who might have plenty of say over personnel), but I’m not willing to give them a pass. My impression is that they’re not all that communicative and explanatory about what they do; whether or not that’s okay, I have to go by what I know, hoping that the Bucksketball staff and fans here will help me to be reasonably informed.

    Maybe there’s a method to Jason Kidd’s apparent madness, but I can’t think of any good reason for the way John Henson has been underutilized and underappreciated this season, and ever since he came to the Bucks. It always seems like he’s being passed over, at least to me.

    In a forum such as this, it seems reasonable and appropriate and good for fans to state opinions with a fair amount of passion, as long as we try to be sincere, and try to be fair, and try to be respectful all around — according to our best observations and understandings. The fans should have some say in what goes on with their team. Plus, this is sports, which is mostly for fun, and it seems okay to be a bit of a blowhard.

    We’re all rooting for the Bucks, and it’s enjoyable to discuss what’s going on with the team in a spirit of solidarity, agree or disagree, even if we jostle with each other verbally at times trying to get position for rebounds.

    • He averaged 26.5 mpg last season, Swisch. And he saw those minutes increase as the season wore on. Partly out of necessity.