The second youngest team in the league doesn’t look very promising: Magic 114 – Bucks 90

Milwaukee Bucks 90 Final
Recap | Box Score
114 Orlando Magic
Jabari Parker, PF 22 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-1 3FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | -17 +/-

There was a possession early on where Parker was on the weak side. Monroe helped to defend a Channing Frye shot in the post on the strong side, and Parker boxed out Nikola Vucevic in Monroe’s place. He boxed him out for a second, and the ball hit the ground, at which point Parker gave up on the box out, and Vucevic grabbed the offensive rebound and passed it out to Tobias Harris – Parker’s original responsibility – standing wide open outside the arc. Harris missed the three, but this play seemed to illustrate some of Milwaukee’s problems. The possession wasn’t finished defensively with a rebound, and then no one rotated to help.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF 32 MIN | 7-10 FG | 0-1 3FG | 3-3 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 17 PTS | -18 +/-

A lot of the shots Giannis gets come after he cuts off the ball. He’s great at slipping into open space or cutting back door for dunks, which is great because Milwaukee does have the passers to find him. He had six or eight points just from his off-ball movement.

Giannis attempting eight to 13 shots every game seems crazy, though. He’s the most talented player on the team, and he creates mismatches against most players. He’s got enough of a mid-range jumper now that teams have to play him honestly, and he can drive by or post up almost any player. Yet he’ll go four or five possessions at a time without getting a touch. It’s incredible. What a disaster.

Greg Monroe, C 19 MIN | 3-12 FG | 0-0 3FG | 3-4 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | -18 +/-

Two minutes into the game Monroe caught the ball on the block, turned and attempted a layup and seemed to throw it as hard as he could off the backboard. That did not result in a bucket. His night didn’t get much better. He had trouble finishing all night long and struggled any time he got an opportunity around the hoop. That’s been a problem with him for most of the season, but not to this degree. He was 3-12 on shots directly around the hoop.

Michael Carter-Williams, PG 24 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 3FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 5 TO | 3 PTS | -14 +/-

After another tough game, his turnover numbers are creeping up on his assist numbers. After five turnovers Friday night, he now has 53 assists and 40 turnovers this season. His turnovers on Friday were especially ugly. He was out of control. He drove into groups of defenders like was a car with bad tires that lost traction on the road. He forced passes into spots that weren’t there to players who wouldn’t have been in good position even if they got the passes.

Elfrid Payton dominated him. It’s fair to wonder if MCW has any future as a starter in the league beyond this season. More turnovers than points, assists, shot attempts, free throw attempts or any other stat. That’s a rough night.

Khris Middleton, SG 34 MIN | 4-7 FG | 3-5 3FG | 4-4 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 15 PTS | -16 +/-

His shooting seemed strong all game, but Milwaukee didn’t seem to make much of an effort to ride his hot hand. Between Middleton and Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee seemed to have two solid options offensively, but no one to get them the ball or make them a centerpiece of what the team was doing on offense. Milwaukee may have the worst point guard play in the league right now.

Johnny O’Bryant III, PF 9 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 2 PTS | +1 +/-

He attempted a spin move at one point and, as expected, lost the ball. It was an attempt that reminded me of a big guy in a video game trying a ball-handling move that he doesn’t have the necessary attribute points to pull off. He lost the ball out of bounds trying to make a pass out of the move. Video games are so real; it’s crazy.

John Henson, PF 20 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 3FG | 6-6 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 8 PTS | -7 +/-

He played, so he’s part of the problem.

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

Garbage time.

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

Garbage time.

Greivis Vasquez, PG 13 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-3 3FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -11 +/-

Not a *great* effort from a guy I recently touted as Milwaukee’s best starting point guard option. The speed of the Magic was a bit much for Vasquez to deal with.

Jerryd Bayless, PG 33 MIN | 6-14 FG | 5-10 3FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 17 PTS | -16 +/-

Garbage time was extensive once again, and Bayless thrived in the muck. He was just 1-4 on shots inside the arc and 5-10 outside the arc. His 3-point shooting has probably been the best thing about this Bucks season. The consistency is incredible, and it’s a shame Milwaukee can’t capitalize on it. He may not be able to maintain this shooting ability through the second half of the season, and Milwaukee will have to find another way to score, which they haven’t been able to do this season.

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

He had one nice drive to the basket.

O.J. Mayo, SG 25 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-4 3FG | 3-3 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 5 PTS | -4 +/-

He does some heady stuff on the court, but the little plays, like extra passes and passes that result in easy baskets for teammates matter more as a compliment to a player playing well. Mayo has struggled badly with his shot since coming back from his hamstring injury, especially his 3-point shot.

Jason Kidd
Kidd did not coach on Friday night. The league suspended him for one game after he slapped the ball out of a referee’s hand on Wednesday night. Milwaukee was as bad on Friday as they had been many times this season, so maybe Kidd’s in game work isn’t the most crucial when the Bucks are playing zero defense anyway.

One Thing We Saw

  1. Milwaukee is truly a wreck on defense. There are possessions where players are switching off the ball for no reason, which leads to miscommunication and a lack of clarity on who is responsible for what. When shots go up, MCW and the other guards are crashing hard to try and help offset some of Milwaukee’s rebounding issues, but opponents are still getting offensive rebounds, and when the guards crash and fail to get back, those rebounds lead to wide open threes. Parker, Giannis, and MCW especially seem confused about where they are supposed to be and don’t seem to communicate with each other very well to make sure there’s clarity. The Bucks scramble on defense, but in the worst possible way. They scramble and try to use their length and athleticism to make up for errors, not to confuse the other team.

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2 Comments

  1. Until the Bucks get a true point guard, this is a lottery team. Playoff teams do not get blown out as consistently as the Bucks do. I also question if Greg Monroe is a good fit for this team. Build around Gianni’s, Jabari and Middleton
    Ps. I’m glad that the arena passed when it did because I do not think that it would if the vote was taken today.

  2. I’ve been thinking about how bad the Bucks have been this season for a while now. Truly disappointing.

    If you look at their wins, they only have a couple of good ones and for the most part they’ve been hard work.

    PG play has been absolutely shocking!!! I’m not sure if MCW can cut it this season…I didn’t watch the Hornets game but I’m glad to see we’re experimenting with him coming off the bench and maybe with less minutes going forward too. He has a lot to learn still, but as you mentioned it’s hard to see him being a starter in this league going forward.

    We’re in desperate need of a point guard who can penetrate and run a good pick and roll, and I don’t think we have that in anyone that can deliver it consistently. (To be honest, B-Knight would be great right now! lol)

    And you’re absolutely right about Giannis and Khris! They need to demand the ball much more. Again, didn’t watch the Hornets game, but Giannis shot 4-5! 5 shots is friggin awful!!! He needs to be more aggressive, but the team need to play through him more.

    Also, I know it’s early days and he’s still working his way back from an injury, but Jarbari needs to show me more. I still haven’t seen enough to show he’s someone we can play through in the future, but I know I’m kinda being harsh here.

    Anyway, who knows where they go from here, but here’s to a much more successful December!