|Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF 27 MIN | 6-10 FG | 1-1 3FG | 4-4 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 17 PTS | +10 +/-
He was able to clean up a little bit in Milwaukee’s rare extended run with the lead in garbage time. 10 of his 17 points came in the fourth quarter, four of them on a couple of vicious dunks. It’s an odd feeling when the Bucks win, but Giannis doesn’t contribute in a big way to the win.
|Jabari Parker, SF 27 MIN | 5-10 FG | 0-0 3FG | 2-3 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | +10 +/-
Milwaukee’s recovering power forward has another two dunks, and I’m officially ready to start getting excited about Jabari Parker. His other numbers have been pretty muted across the board, and he’s got a long ways to go to improve as both a rebounder and a defender, but he’s dunking a whole lot this season. And he’s not just getting out ahead of the pack and dunking, he’s finding seams in traffic and dunking on and over people. Ersan Ilyasova was the latest target.
I suppose Kevin Love and Ersan Ilyasova aren’t two of the NBA’s finest shot-blockers or leapers, so maybe dunks over them are a smidge less impressive, but it’s still great to see how aggressive Parker gets when he sees an opportunity for a strong finish.
|Greg Monroe, C 31 MIN | 9-19 FG | 0-0 3FG | 2-2 FT | 13 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 20 PTS | +28 +/-
Without question, Andre Drummond is one of the league’s brightest up and coming young big men stars. But Drummond had no answer when he was tasked with defending his ex-teammate Monroe. One on one, Monroe was able to get by him and get clean looks repeatedly. As has often been the case this season, Monroe wasn’t quite able to finish all of those looks around the rim, but he was good enough, often enough to be a big difference maker offensively for Milwaukee.
He also tried to dunk on Aron Baynes at one point and got up to try and bring it down. He missed the dunk, but it was quite a sight to see. Monroe was in top form against his ex-team.
|Michael Carter-Williams, PG 26 MIN | 6-10 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 8 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 12 PTS | +13 +/-
This muted effort from Carter-Williams was quite a vision. He scored ten first quarter points and then faded into the offense a bit, constantly looking to move the ball while continuing to push the ball up the court. He had one off the dribble pass to Monroe on the block that was a legitimate highlight pass. We haven’t seen much of that out of MCW. The passable assist total and strong shooting percentage alongside a reasonable effort against Reggie Jackson make this one of MCW’s finest games of the season.
|Khris Middleton, SG 23 MIN | 5-7 FG | 2-2 3FG | 4-5 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 16 PTS | +10 +/-
He had a fairly quiet 16 points, where he made his shots and drew a few fouls. Interestingly enough, he was only on the receiving end of one assist from Carter-Williams, though a few of his fouls were after MCW passes. Middleton kept finding his shots in a variety of ways; on cuts, after steals, and on spot-ups. He’ll have to continue to look for various opportunities unless the Bucks do more to make him a focal point.
|Johnny O’Bryant III, PF 16 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +8 +/-
Maybe we got a little too excited, a little too soon with Johnny O. The jumpers, they aren’t falling. He’s missed his last seven catch and shoot long jumpers after a hot start to the season. This feels more his style.
|John Henson, PF 8 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 2 PTS | -5 +/-
He didn’t seem to get much of a chance or have much a feel. With Monroe playing as well as he played, the only minutes for Henson were garbage minutes and the Bucks opted for the super small Giannis-Parker front court in the fourth quarter.
|Chris Copeland, SF 2 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -1 +/-
Mop up duty.
|Miles Plumlee, C 2 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -1 +/-
Mop up duty.
|Jerryd Bayless, PG 31 MIN | 5-8 FG | 3-4 3FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | +20 +/-
Another stuffed stat line from Milwaukee’s most valuable reserve. His story will be an interesting one this season. Can he continue to be a reliable 3-point shooter? He’s only once shot better than 36% for a full season, and he’s currently at 47%. A regression is likely coming, but will he regress all the way or can he plateau at a higher level?
|Rashad Vaughn, SG 4 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-1 3FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -3 +/-
He played only in garbage time and what a rough time he had. His one shot attempt was a forced, step back three which hit the side of the backboard. He tripped and fell on another possession. And on his first pass he hit the shoes of a teammate and turned it over.
|O.J. Mayo, SG 19 MIN | 2-3 FG | 2-3 3FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +8 +/-
His stats don’t reflect it, but Mayo was one of Milwaukee’s most important players on Monday night. His energy was infectious. On the defensive end, he dug in on every possession and was flying around the court making his rotations. He was constantly chirping with the Pistons bench, but often in a light-hearted manner that kept things interesting for both sides. He moved the ball well and hit a couple threes too, which made him a positive on offense as well.
But the way he was flying around the court seemed to be the visualization of veteran leadership. After a few rough games, it looked like he knew he needed to plug in as an influencer on this team and set the example of what the Bucks need to be doing when they play defense.
He didn’t do much to change his rotation, but the results were vastly improved. The whole team seemed more energetic, willing to share the ball and overall plugged in. Whether that’s Kidd or the team pulling it together after Saturday night’s embarrassment in Indiana remains to be seen. We’ll have a better sense in a few more games. Milwaukee has a few winnable games in a row, with Sacramento coming to town Wednesday before a road trip to Orlando and Charlotte.
Three Things We Saw
- Milwaukee took control of this game in the third quarter, something the Bucks haven’t been able to do much this season. They outscored the Pistons 30-14, creating enough separation to turn the fourth quarter into extended garbage time.
- Ersan Ilyasova did not make a shot in 24 minutes for the Pistons, finishing 0-7 from the field in his regular season return to Milwaukee.
- Damian Inglis was sent to the D-League to play with the Canton Charge. He wasn’t going to get any minutes in Milwaukee, especially with the Bucks trying to right their ship. An argument could be made that any minutes that go to Johnny O’Bryant should be going to Inglis, but clearly the Bucks feel like O’Bryant is more ready to help out right now. That doesn’t say much about Inglis, who hasn’t looked great in limited minutes thus far. He’s probably best off getting some regular minutes in the D-League.