A new low: Pacers 123 – Bucks 86

Some things are best displayed visually.

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The Bucks trailed by four points heading into the second half. Milwaukee totaled only 35 points in the second half, though, while the Pacers scored 35 in the third quarter alone. Glenn Robinson III, Jordan Hill, and C.J. Miles all had season high point totals on Saturday night. Not exactly Miami’s Big Three.

Defensively, the Bucks were at their worst. Here are a few of the lowlights:

  • Indiana shot 15-30 from three.
  • The Pacers outscored Milwaukee 21-10 on fastbreak points.
  • Indiana had 28 second chance points on just 11 offensive rebounds.

Ouch. So, again, Milwaukee failed to defend the three-point line and failed to close out possessions where they initially got a stop. The same things are happening to the Bucks every night, which is more alarming than if Milwaukee kept finding new, flukey ways to lose. There’s nothing flukey about what’s happening right now. The Bucks are a bad team.

Milwaukee Bucks 86 Final
Recap | Box Score
123 Indiana Pacers
Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF 29 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 3FG | 3-4 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 9 PTS | -26 +/-

When you see Giannis take eight shots in a game the Bucks lost by 60 points, it’s pretty frustrating, and it’s fair to question everyone on the roster for not getting him the ball enough. But Giannis deserves blame too. When things are spiraling, and he isn’t getting enough shots, at some point he has to assert his will as the team’s best player and start making demands. If MCW or Jerryd Bayless are out there putting up shots and Giannis isn’t getting touches, he’s going to have to start making it clear that such behavior will not continue to fly.

That’s a lot to ask of a 20-year-old in his second season as a starter, but being a commanding leader comes with the territory of being a team’s best player. Superstars have to grow up fast, regardless of how old they are.

Jabari Parker, SF 21 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-0 3FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | -8 +/-

He started the game quite strong, with an early steal and some nice work in transition. But sometimes he becomes an afterthought in Milwaukee’s offense. There seems to be so little consistency or strategy involved in what the Bucks do on offense. Aside from getting the ball to Monroe in the post, no one on the Bucks roster is getting the same consistent opportunities. Since Parker can be such a mismatch for other power forwards, it’s surprising that Milwaukee isn’t doing more to get him the ball on the move in the half court.

Greg Monroe, C 24 MIN | 4-10 FG | 0-0 3FG | 3-4 FT | 14 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 11 PTS | -15 +/-

One rebound and zero points in the second half. After starting the game strong, Monroe was nowhere to be found when Milwaukee needed someone to help stave of Indiana’s third quarter run that put the game out of reach. With Milwaukee falling further and further behind with each passing minute in a brutal third quarter, how Monroe failed to attempt a shot is beyond me.

Michael Carter-Williams, PG 26 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 3FG | 1-3 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 7 PTS | -20 +/-

Milwaukee’s much-maligned point guard seemed to play quite well in the first half of the game. He was directing teammates on the court. When he drove, he drove with his head up and made a few nice passes that led to opportunities for other players to score. He was furiously pushing the ball into the front court, even after made baskets, just to get Milwaukee’s offense setting up quicker than usual to improve their pace. He seemed assertive.

But he closed the half with a pair of turnovers in the last two minutes though, and that was apparently an indication of what was to come. He played 10 minutes in the second half and made no impact at all. Defensively he’s struggling to stay in front of anyone in the half court, and he’s atrocious in transition.

Khris Middleton, SG 28 MIN | 3-11 FG | 1-4 3FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | -13 +/-

The Invisible Man.

Johnny O’Bryant III, PF 16 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -13 +/-

Maybe he isn’t developing into a passable role player. His 20-foot jumpers weren’t falling, and it’s probably a mirage that he was hitting half of them earlier this season. He did finish a dunk at the rim, which was nice to see, but aside from that one positive play, he was dreadful.

John Henson, PF 12 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 3FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | -8 +/-

He might have the softest touch of any big man the Bucks have had in the past 20 years. When he gets the ball on the left block or makes a move to get to that area, he’s a fantastically reliable scorer. Look at this shot chart:

Shotchart_1448211137509

It’s not ALL green, but it’s clear where he’s comfortable. This seems like a plus and a minus, as he’s a pretty one-dimensional player. He likes the ball in one spot, and he’s pretty good at finishing there. When you see a shot chart like that one, it makes a little more sense why Kidd doesn’t want Henson playing with Monroe, but at this point this team is so miserable that it only makes sense to keep experimenting with all kinds of lineups.

Chris Copeland, SF 10 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-1 3FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | -11 +/-

He airballed a three, which was a surprise. He also attempted to box out on one possession, like he really tried hard, and he missed his guy. The shot ended up going in, so it didn’t really matter, but it was interesting to see a guy just whiff on a box out. He does not appear to be the answer to Milwaukee’s rebounding woes.

Miles Plumlee, C 12 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | -14 +/-

He does not have the touch of John Henson or the power of Greg Monroe. Or much else.

Greivis Vasquez, PG 15 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 4 PTS | -22 +/-

Vasquez really looks like he tries hard on the defensive side of the ball, but all the effort in the world isn’t going to help him close out on 3-point shooters any quicker.

Jerryd Bayless, PG 19 MIN | 1-5 FG | 1-5 3FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 3 PTS | -7 +/-

If Bayless can’t score 25 points, the Bucks don’t seem to have much of a chance to win a game. Unfortunately, Bayless may be out of 25 point games this season.

Rashad Vaughn, SG 5 MIN | 3-4 FG | 1-2 3FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 7 PTS | -5 +/-

The only player that looked good for his entire stint was Vaughn, but that’s the kind of thing that happens when a guy enters a game with his team down 75 points. One of Vaughn’s makes was an attempted pass to Plumlee, which was comical. At some point, he’s sure to get some more minutes because the Bucks are heading down the dark road to the back of the Eastern Conference, which is a road you’d think that also leads to more time for Vaughn.

O.J. Mayo, SG 22 MIN | 4-8 FG | 2-5 3FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | -23 +/-

With 10 points, he was one of Milwaukee’s leading scorers. Even with a generally effective Mayo game, Milwaukee was still miserable. A lot of people seemed to be relying on Mayo’s return to help bolster Milwaukee’s bench, and while he did seem to help, this bench is going to have to be a ton better on both sides of the ball for the Bucks to start looking as good as they did early on last season.

Jason Kidd

Everything about this game was bad.

Categories: Recaps

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4 Comments

  1. This game left me scratching my head and asking wtf just happened? It went from a competitive back and forth game in the first half to a no effort from anyone in the second. Giannis looked scared and hesitant all game. Bad rebounding is a continued theme for this team, but seriously if it’s near the rim Monroe usually has a chance of getting it, but if the ball bounces over the centers heads the rest of the team doesn’t even TRY to go for a rebound. I saw specifically remember seeing Middleton, Bayless, MCW, Mayo just standing there near a rebound they could have easily gotten but instead looked like statues while indiana continued to pull them down. Henson keeps being praised as a defensive presence, but last night he was awful and it clearly shows he isn’t putting in enough work in the offseason to develop his game.

    I’m thinking it’s going to take a little while for this team to come together. People said the Bucks might regress a little this year, which was a realistic reason. They need to blend and learn how to play together. Monroe is new to the team, Parker was out 2/3 of the year last year, MCW was only here for a half year last year, All five of the projected starting lineup have not started many games together. I hope they improve soon, but last night was terrible.

  2. Thank you Jeremy for recap +grades! Giannis is better than everyone we have! I wonder what coach kidd has in mind! What is he doing with our best player?

  3. Pretty soon Kidd is going to have to figure what his priorities are with this group.

    I think he has to do 2 things. 1) Play the best players. Meaning less JOB, less Vasguiez and possibly less MCW. Play more Henson. Ennis and Bayless can fill in adequately until MCW figures out a how to be a team based point guard. 2) Prioritize defense. That means playing Henson at both center and power forward. Get his minutes at 25 plus. That will help the defense and rebounding areas. You can’t continue to play Henson 10-15 minutes a night. It just makes no sense. Yes, he an Monroe will have to play some minutes together. Big deal, they aren’t getting anything from the back up forwards anyway.

    Play Vaughn some minutes every night. He’s a natural scorer.

    There. I’ve solved all the teams problems!