Sometimes Milwaukee Bucks games are beautiful occasions. All season long, the team has moved the ball very well and found itself with a plethora of open shot opportunities. Sometimes the open shots come with such frequency that the Bucks pass up good shots to get great shots.
Sometimes the Bucks lay an egg.
Sometimes the Bucks are so ineffective and easily handled that we feel the need to recap the game in a completely different manner. This doesn’t happen often, but it happened last night. The Bucks were held to their fewest points (71) and worst shooting percentage (33.7%) by the division rival Chicago Bulls.
Milwaukee struggled all over the court offensively. Sometimes it’s hard to describe a night’s game with just words, so we thought we’d just pull in a variety of images and largely let them do the talking (with a bit of narration too).
Still, we wait for Michael Carter-Williams. Milwaukee’s new point guard was once again unavailable, still bothered by the toe injury that’s kept him out of action since February 3. He did tell reporters after the game that he would be playing in Milwaukee’s next game, at home against the Sixers on Wednesday. In the three games since Brandon Knight was traded, Milwaukee’s offense has regularly looked out of sorts and in need of more direction. Jerryd Bayless wasn’t horrible against the Bulls, with eight points, eight rebounds and five assists, but it’s clear he’s no Knight.
MCW isn’t either, but he should provide more stability for an offense that seems to lack a conductor right now.
The Bucks bigs struggled badly against Chicago’s impressive front line. Between the three of them, Pau Gasol, Nikola Mirotic and Joakim Noah grabbed 40 rebounds. The entire Milwaukee active roster grabbed 41. John Henson finished with one rebound in 16 minutes. Zaza Pachuila had one in six minutes. Miles Plumlee managed two in his 14 minutes.
Not an impressive night from Milwaukee’s centers.
Tony Snell! He racked up 18 first half points before deciding to take it easy on Milwaukee and score just two in the second half. Half of his shots were uncontested and he took full advantaged, making 4-6 3FGs en route to his third 20 point game in his past five games.
This was supposed to be a wonderful moment. Bayless laid the ball off to Ersan Ilyasova near the top of the key and then made a quick and decisive cut towards the hoop. Ilyasova bounced a pass two steps in front of Bayless with great precision and the point guard had a wide open lane awaiting his approach and dunk.
He was not prepared for Jimmy Butler, trailing close behind him the whole time, to put forth the effort he put forth. Butler stayed a stride behind Bayless and rejected his shot at he went up for the dunk. Bayless gathered the miss and kicked out to an open Jared Dudley for three, but Dudley’s shot went halfway down before rimming out.
Giannis made each of his first two jump shots, which had to be a sign of great things to come.
It was not a sign of great things to come. After making his first two shots, Giannis made just one more basket the rest of the night. Most surprisingly, he was 0-for in the paint and around the rim. Chicago’s length can be a challenge and defensively they seemed enthusiastic about challenging any of his attempts into the paint or around the rim. He attempted to beat the third quarter buzzer, first with a floater and then a few attempts near the hoop off offensive rebounds, but Chicago’s bigs wouldn’t allow him space to breath, let alone a clean look at the rim.
Giannis is now 13-38 post-Brandon Knight. He must anxiously be awaiting his new playmaker.