When will every little thing be all right?: Wizards 118 – Bucks 113

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.

Washington Wizards 118 Final
Recap | Box Score
113 Milwaukee Bucks
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.

Jason Kidd

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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11 Comments

  1. Giannis getting a fifth foul for a jersey pull(according to the commentators) was a annoying and a real MOMENTUM killer, just when he might have been the standout who affected the outcome of the game he had to be pulled and Wall bossed it for them instead. He is still just a youngster and he was having an amazing game up til then so he will definitely learn from this and go onto have a great season. Even though the Bucks have started 0-2 there was loads in this game to suggest that a good season lays ahead.Plus I can’t wait until Jabari is let loose. CAN’T WAIT I TELLS YA!

  2. I was just listening to the Bucks v. Knicks podcast. Very ironic that you discussed if it’s better to lose the whole game or to blow a lead late… Neither are too fun :(

    The Bucks offense isn’t good enough to compensate for their bad defense. So many teams get back into games late vs. the Bucks by moving the ball well and nailing open threes. The Bucks, like a deer in headlights, panic and then their offense tries to force up three pointers they can’t make. I know trading 3’s for 2’s isn’t an optimum situation, but trading 3’s for 0’s is worse. I feel late in the game, they have to get it into Monroe and score on every possession. That’s why he was brought in, easy points in the paint. (Monroe had a slick spin move to the basket late in the game)

    It stings so much more to lose to a Gary Neal team. The silver lining was getting to hear a nice interview with Jared Dudley after the game. Is there an official NBA “no trade-back” clause? If not, I think the Bucks should look into it… Maybe in the future, Gus and Marques can be joined by Dudley for additional game commentary.

    Going back to the podcasts for a moment – I don’t often agree with Preston, but I do think Tyler Ennis could be a valuable component to the team when he comes back. I don’t have any statistical evidence, just a gut feeling based on the limited times I saw him last year. I feel he could become a true point guard that moves the ball around. He has a calm demeanor. Just my opinion.

    Also, this may be crazy, but in the preseason I began to wonder if OJ Mayo and JOB had been bonding this summer? OJ now has JOB’s old jersey number. Both are starting to rock the mini “Elfrid Payton” ‘doo. OJ’s first year was one to forget… I wonder if he has been a mentor to O’Bryant to try to help him get over a difficult first year and transition into year 2?

    • Great point, Tim. I actually forgot that conversation, but I stand by my opinion. The Wizards game was a much more fun game to watch overall and had some things Milwaukee can build on.

  3. Even with giving up the consecutive made threes that really put it away at the end, the Bucks finished with more 3 point attempts than the Wizards. Considering the dearth of 3-point shooters, I wonder how many times that will happen this year. It happened 13 times last year.

  4. Jeremy you mention not remembering any of MCW’s assists, I think that’s a good thing for him. We need him to not over-dribble, make the smart passes and take makeable shots(for him) when open and the opportunity is right(not with 18 seconds remaining on the shot clock). 1st half MCW gets an A from me

    • I thought the same thing when I read that comment. Anonymous MCW double-doubles would be great for the Bucks this year. He is going to be in a starting group this year with 4 guys that are more talented scorers than him so if it is distributing, limiting the turnovers and taking his kind of shot (you know that traditional fundamental PG play that old men nursing beers on porches the world over complain about lacking in the modern NBA) the team is well placed.

      I like anonymous, efficient MCW because sadly the majority of his plays that stick with me as memorable are usually burned in my recollection for bad reasons.

      • I think you both make some good points, specifically your point about MCW kind fo fading into the background alongside his four talented teammates, Excordis.

        But Wall was so incredible and his assists were so impactful; it seemed like no one in the world other than John Wall could make those plays. That is a fun thing to watch. Based on what we’ve seen from him thus far, I can’t see MCW ever being that guy. That’s kind of a bummer.

      • You need a rec button so I can rec this quote about 10,000,000 times

        I like anonymous, efficient MCW because sadly the majority of his plays that stick with me as memorable are usually burned in my recollection for bad reasons.

  5. I think giving Vasquez a C is way to generous. He does move the ball, but 0 points in 17 minutes?? Again I know he moves the ball so the 5 assists were him setting teammates up and not attempting a lot of shots, but if that is the case he shouldn’t be in there when Giannis is out with would trouble. Also his defense looked horrible. He seemed to foul near every Wizards possession for a stretch.

  6. The impact of Henson’s absence cannot be understated. His elite rim protection and condor-sized wingspan is what often made last year’s bench unit function defensively. This year’s team already has significant defensive downgrades at the PF spot, and Henson’s become even more important as a result. A lineup with Bayless and Copeland playing together is suicide on the defensive side of the ball. Copeland looks borderline-unplayable on that side of the ball right now. For all the good his offense could be, he is the single largest reason for the defensive slippage. Defensive Plus/Minus of -8.4? A true rebounding percentage of 4.8%….for a power forward? Even in the so-called “Small-Ball Era” those are laughably bad numbers. Get him out of the game until he learns the playbook. Jabari will look like Dennis Rodman in comparison to this garbage from C.C.