As I walked across the court after Friday night’s 118-113 loss to the Washington Wizards, I couldn’t help but notice the music that was playing over the speakers. I hadn’t heard it in the BMO Harris Bradley Center or even the original Bradley Center ever before in my life that I could recall. Maybe it played Wednesday night after the home opener, but I missed it if it did.
“Don’t worry. About a thing.
‘Cause every little thing, gonna be all right.
Singin don’t worry, about a thing.
‘Cause every little thing, gonna be all right.”
The Bucks’ DJ isn’t worried yet. The Bucks probably aren’t worried yet either. A pair of home losses wasn’t how they were hoping to start the season. Allowing over 115 points in back-to-back wasn’t a goal either. Issues need to be addressed, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
But I side with the DJ and his keen sense of humor and feel for the crowd. It’s early to be too worried. Especially after a 27-point Giannis game.
|Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF 34 MIN | 9-15 FG | 8-10 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 6 TO | 27 PTS | -10 +/-
His first half was an A+. His highlight plays were there, but so were other productive plays. He was consistently making productive plays on both ends of the court. His passion was obvious. Missing Wednesday night’s game was clearly devastating for him, and he was out on a mission from the tip on Friday.
He helped Milwaukee get to an intensity level that they didn’t reach against the Knicks and he also put in a variety of dunks and layups around the rim. He hit a three too!But in the second half, he had trouble getting going, and he ran into some foul trouble. The Wizards unleashed Jared Dudley on him in the fourth quarter, and Dudley drew a couple of fouls by anticipating where Giannis was going to be and by battling him for position near the elbow. Dudley knows Giannis, and he was able to stay a step ahead of him.
|Khris Middleton, SF 39 MIN | 6-14 FG | 5-6 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 18 PTS | +1 +/-
He had a stronger shooting day against the Wizards. From the looks of these first two games, it seems like we won’t have to worry about Middleton forcing the action too much or overdribbling. He’s stuck mainly with what’s made him successful so far, which is catch and shoot jumpers and a little bit of posting up when the matchup is right.
|Greg Monroe, C 35 MIN | 10-14 FG | 2-3 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 22 PTS | +3 +/-
His rebounding numbers took a big dip from the 14 he grabbed on Wednesday, but Monroe contributed timely baskets and brought Milwaukee reliability once again offensively. He airballed a jumper from just outside the elbow, but aside from that he hit a 15-foot and an 11-foot jumper that complimented his strong work around the hoop.Like most everyone on the team, he has plenty of room for improvement on the defensive end.
|Johnny O’Bryant III, C 28 MIN | 2-5 FG | 5-6 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | +4 +/-
In a surprising start, O’Bryant had one of his better games and he didn’t get beat badly defensively, and he hit a pair of jumpers, but where he stood out was … as a passer? It’s true. He had a few nice dishes to his teammates that resulted in open scoring chances. He’s keeping his head up and he’s aware of his situation as he’s heading to the rim. He seems comfortable shooting 15-foot jumpers, even more comfortable than when he has the ball around the hoop, which is when he starts to look to pass a little bit more.
|Michael Carter-Williams, PG 36 MIN | 6-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 11 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 13 PTS | +7 +/-
It was surprising to see that he ended up with 11 assists when this game was over. John Wall had ten assists, but after the game I thought that those were ten LOUD assists. He was getting in the air and finding teammates in the corners for open threes. It was some real creation stuff. The stuff a special player does to prove that he’s special. Wall did it late in the game, and that’s what ended up swinging this one to the Wizards.On the other side, I can’t remember any of MCW’s assists.
|Chris Copeland, SF 9 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +6 +/-
Copeland battled foul trouble but did hit a pair of threes. He’s a man who is ready to shoot when he catches the ball outside of the arc, and there’s no doubting that.
|Damien Inglis, SF 3 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -7 +/-
No noticeable impact. Drew Gooden blocked his shot.
|Miles Plumlee, C 13 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -8 +/-
Both of his makes were examples of some nice touch around the rim. He floated in a pair of shots from just outside the rim with a little bit of traffic heading his way. Plumlee rarely stands out, but he does play a physical brand of basketball. But that’s not really a noteworthy trait for a guy looking to carve out some minutes.
|Greivis Vasquez, PG 17 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 0 PTS | -10 +/-
He didn’t make anywhere near the impact as a scorer that he did in his first game with Milwaukee, but he did keep the ball moving in his minutes at the point guard position. He played most of the second quarter while MCW played the entire first quarter. It sounds like we may see that more frequently, as Kidd noted after the game he wanted to leave MCW in there as the point guard for long stretches to get him more and more experience in that role.
|Jerryd Bayless, PG 27 MIN | 5-11 FG | 2-3 FT | 0 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | -11 +/-
He was the standout as far as bench players go. Bayless spent the last few months of last season avoiding the three-point shot like it was a haunted room in an old mansion, but he was firing away on Friday night, which could be a promising development for a team that’s going to be in need of three-point shooting all season long.
|John Henson, PF DNP SORE LEFT ACHILLES TENDON MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS | +/-
He was a surprise scratch. Did not dress.
|Rashad Vaughn, SG DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS | +/-
DNP-CD. Giannis’s return seemed to take away his minutes and with Bayless playing fairly well, there didn’t appear to be any leftover for Vaughn. He’ll get his chances on other nights.
Milwaukee has a ways to go, but it still seems like Kidd has a handle on the issues at hand and is taking the right, long-term approach with the team. It’s strange that he would decide to start Johnny O’Bryant though. O’Bryant hasn’t done much to show that he’s a very productive NBA player. The decision didn’t look bad Friday night, but it would be an odd habit to get into.
Three Things We Saw
- Again the Bucks bench was not very productive. Milwaukee’s bench was outscored 53-24. Jason Kidd was asked about the struggles in the second and fourth quarter (39-32 Wizards and 36-21 Wizards) and he mentioned that the personnel had a lot to do with those struggles. The bench is going to need to be much better.
- Wall was really incredible late in the fourth quarter after largely being silent for the game. He had 5 points, 2 assists and a block in the span of two minutes from 3:30 to 1:28 and he keyed another three that Nene got the assist on and he got to the basket and assisted Marcin Gortat on a foul. His ability to get into the paint and end up wherever he wants to end up on the court is magnificent to watch, but his ability to rise up above everyone and find shooters in the corners is what makes him a next level point guard. We know that MCW is a pretty good athlete, but Wall made him look very regular late in this one.
- Ramon Sessions! The former Buck hit two threes and poured in 23 points off the bench. He made as big of an impact getting to the hoop as Derrick Williams did Wednesday night. Milwaukee can’t keep letting fairly average reserves blow them up in the second quarter.