Revenge, served in the cold: Bucks 109 – Pistons 88

Detroit Pistons 88 Final
Recap | Box Score
109 Milwaukee Bucks
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.

Jason Kidd

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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  1. Booyah!

    Can you write an explanation of how the D-League works? I thought the Bucks don’t have an affiliate… so how did Inglis wind up on the Cavs D-League team? Do the Cavs have the capability to sign him now? If not, why would the Cavs let other teams send players to their D-Leauge affiliate? Is it because the Cavs will have “insider” scouting info on Inglis for the future?


    • The players go in a pool and while I am not sure exactly how players get chosen, the Bucks still have full right to him. Maybe the Canton team needs a player at the position Inglis plays or they are short bodies with the injuries the Cavs have atm. Cavs cannot sign him unless the Bucks waived him

  2. Great win. It’s nice to see a win over a good team by a large number of points. The rebounding, defense, passing, and play running was much improved. My only concern is Henson. Is he the kind of guy who requires a lot of minutes to get something going? It’d be nice if he could be more productive in what small opportunities he’s had. MCW and Bayless are looking like two really nice complementary pg’s to have right now. Monroe, Giannis, Parker, and Middleton are the starters scorers (maybe even in that order) and MCW was looking to set guys up and if am opening is there driving to the hole. Bayless is more of a scoring pg so him coming off the bench with the second unit is great with his increased shooting % combined with Mayo. It’s also nice to have a large lead so Kidd can experiment with lineups like last night.

  3. I think this is still accurate: The NBA D-League’s flexible assignment system – which was instituted prior to the 2014-15 season – will continue to enable the 11 independent NBA teams to assign players to the NBA D-League for development or rehabilitation from injury. Upon receipt of an assignment from an independent NBA team, the NBA D-League will identify any NBA D-League team willing to accept the assigned player. The assigning independent NBA team will then choose the destination for assignment between those teams. If no NBA D-League team is willing to accept the assigned player, he will be assigned to one of the hybrid affiliate teams pursuant to a lottery. The 19 NBA teams with single affiliations will be able to assign players to their NBA D-League partner. (cut and paste from

  4. P.S., Tim, that was a great question as evidenced by me thinking I should look it up. Nice one!. Playing in the D League could also serve the purpose of giving the Cavs (and others) a chance to see some minutes and perhaps lead to better (or worse) future trade value.

  5. artest is a pussy? first of all he’d wreck your shit, but that’s not important. aesrtt may be smaller than ben, but aesrtt has a way fiercer mentality. fighting isn’t all about size, it’s just like how kg would win in a fight against many nba players that are bigger than him. they both have intense and crazy mentalities, which is half the fight. this isnt to mention that aesrtt is a fairly accomplished boxer. in a way, it should have´╗┐ been wallace who should have been scared of aesrtt