Walled Off: Wizards 115 – Bucks 86

Milwaukee Bucks 86 Final
Recap | Box Score
115 Washington Wizards
Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF 35 MIN | 3-13 FG | 0-0 3FG | 3-6 FT | 5 REB | 7 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 9 PTS | -17 +/-

Giannis has had a few “down” games thus far, but this was his first objectively “bad” game. Like Monroe, he couldn’t get anything to go around the rim, missing a handful of point-blank looks throughout the night. While he was still able to rack up seven assists and five rebounds – both encouraging numbers on an off shooting night – Giannis was unable to find his spots offensively and never truly looked comfortable.

It was a surprising result, considering he was defended by Kris Humphries for much of the game. Humphries, and other wing defenders, consistently gave Giannis 5+ feet on perimeter catches, but Giannis failed to attempt a single three (for just the second time this season), passing on at least three wide open opportunities.

When Kelly Oubre attempted to pressure him on the perimeter, Giannis took advantage.

Greg Monroe, C 26 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 3FG | 2-4 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 4 PTS | -26 +/-

Monroe followed up a stretch of three consecutive double-doubles with arguably his worst performance of the season. He was a complete non-factor from the start, missing a few alarmingly easy shots around the rim and generally looking sluggish as the combination of Nene and Marcin Gortat combined for 15 rebounds. While Milwaukee allowed only six offensive rebounds (and had six of its own), the Bucks were out-rebounded 42-34 in a sloppy game in which they committed 19 turnovers.

Defensively, the Bucks obviously struggled as a unit, but I thought Monroe did a decent job helping to corral John Wall for most of the first half. The Wizards consistently set Wall up with high pick-and-rolls, and Monroe was in good position, for the most part, shading off of his man (usually Gortat) and preventing an easy drive or pass to the roll man.

That strategy was effective in stifling Wall for a good chunk of the first half, but then Wall seemed to realize who he was up against and took over midway through the second quarter. He assisted on a pair of jumpers during the Wizards’ 12-4 run and finished a pair of impressive drives in the final 80 seconds of the half, leaving an overmatched MCW in his wake on both occasions.

Jerryd Bayless, PG 37 MIN | 5-11 FG | 3-6 3FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 13 PTS | -22 +/-

Getting the start alongside Carter-Williams with Jabari Parker (foot) out, Bayless again produced at a high level, finishing with three three-pointers en route to a 13-point night. He’s now hit 22 threes over the last eight games while shooting 50% from deep over that span. Defensively, Bayless still struggles in certain situations, though effort rarely appears to be an issue. His five straight games of 10+ points are his longest streak since scoring in double-figures in six consecutive games last December.

Michael Carter-Williams, PG 22 MIN | 5-10 FG | 2-4 3FG | 0-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 12 PTS | -14 +/-

Carter-Williams was abused by John Wall for most of the night, while failing to record a single assist in 22 minutes. It goes without saying that that’s an unacceptable number for a player billed as a pass-first point guard. He played the first seven-ish minutes of the game before being replace by Rashad Vaughn around the five-minute mark. At that point, Carter-Williams exited with three turnovers, two fouls and zero points (0-4FG) in seven minutes.

Wall blew by Carter-Williams for a dunk on one of Washington’s first possessions, and while the Bucks were able to keep him in check for the middle portion of the first half, Wall went back to roasting Carter-Williams late in the second quarter, consistently getting by him to dish to open shooters or finish at the rim himself. Garrett Temple also blew by Carter-Williams for a layup on the Wizards’ final possession of the half.

Carter-Williams came out guns blazing in the third quarter, turning it over on a travel 11 seconds into the half. He did semi-redeem himself with a pair of threes later in the period, but at that point the Bucks’ had already dug themselves into a double-digit hole.

Khris Middleton, SG 27 MIN | 6-12 FG | 2-6 3FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | -16 +/-

Middleton had probably (maybe?) the best game of any Bucks starter, which isn’t saying much, finishing with 14 points in 27 minutes on a night when he battled foul trouble. He scored seven of Milwaukee’s first 10 points, connecting on three jumpers in the first quarter before exiting with two fouls just before Washington went on an 11-0 run. His first three-pointer snapped an ugly sequence in which Milwaukee committed a turnover on four straight possessions.

Returning midway through the second quarter, Middleton lasted only a minute-and-a-half before picking up his third personal. He was pulled immediately but returned a few minutes later after the Wizards went on a quick 12-4 run to build a double-digit lead. Middleton knocked down a three and another short jumper in the third quarter but he was mostly quiet as Washington ran away with the game.

Johnny O’Bryant III, PF 25 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 0 PTS | -11 +/-

Despite showing off a decent mid-range jumper of late, O’Bryant was mostly a non-factor in 25 minutes, recording five rebounds while attempting just one shot. Of note was a nice baseline drive and kick to Greivis Vasquez for a corner three near the end of the first quarter. The play, in itself, was nothing special, but it’s not something we would have seen from O’Bryant last season.

John Henson, PF 16 MIN | 3-3 FG | 0-0 3FG | 4-6 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | +2 +/-

Henson was one of a few bright spots for Milwaukee, and his presence made a difference immediately upon entrance in the first quarter. Henson finished a couple of tough looks in the lane including one in which he went from running near-full-speed to stopping on a dime and drilling a lefty floater-hook – and seems to have developed something resembling chemistry with Greivis Vasquez in PnR sets.

Henson didn’t have any major highlight plays, but he pulled down a fairly ridiculous one-handed rebound off of a Vaughn miss in the first quarter and had a big block on Nene to end the period.

Chris Copeland, SF 9 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -11 +/-

Still not a fan of the headband over the dreadlocks look.

Miles Plumlee, C 6 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -5 +/-

Played six minutes in garbage time, caught and dunked an alley-oop from Tyler Ennis on the Bucks’ final possession to slash the deficit to just 29 points.

Tyler Ennis, PG 7 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 3FG | 3-4 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | -5 +/-

After making a few starts and playing key minutes while MCW was out, Ennis is apparently back to an end-of-the-bench role. He was a DNP-CD on Saturday against Cleveland, and outside of a 10-second cameo at the end of the first quarter, he was relegated to garbage minutes Tuesday night.

Greivis Vasquez, PG 20 MIN | 5-7 FG | 2-3 3FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | -10 +/-

Kidd seemed more comfortable riding Bayless in this game, but Vasquez appears to have gained his shooting stroke after an ugly start to the season. Over his last three games, Vasquez is 15-of-29 from the field and 7-of-16 from three. He’s also scored at least 12 points in all three of those contests.

Rashad Vaughn, SG 11 MIN | 1-4 FG | 1-2 3FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | -10 +/-

Entered in the first quarter after Middleton picked up his second foul and played until the 2:38 mark, when he was replaced by Giannis. The rookie didn’t re-enter until the 6:22 mark of the fourth quarter when Kidd officially waved the white flag. A pair of jumpers rimmed out, but he drew a foul on a drive and finally connected on a three with less than a minute to play.

Four Things We Saw

  1. Highlighted this a bit last week, but fouls remain a major issue for Giannis. He has at least four personals in each of the last six games, and he fouled out (albeit in 45 minutes) down the stretch against Cleveland on Saturday. After four fouls Tuesday, Giannis is now tied with Kristaps Porzingis for the most total fouls in the league, and he’s the sole leader in fouls per game.
  2. Kelly Oubre got some run in the fourth quarter and looked pretty good, knocking down a pull-up three and finishing with seven points and three boards in eight minutes. What did not look pretty good was his hair, which I’m not even going to begin to try to explain. He also dropped a pretty clear F-bomb on the telecast after failing to convert a layup. Good stuff from the rook.
  3. Giannis missed a pair of free throws in the fourth quarter, and you know what that means.
  4. This Nene pass.

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  1. Not really digging the anti-MCW from Nick. Yes his defense was suspect, but receiving a worse grade than JOB is laughable.

    Also, Giannis needs to learn to dunk when he’s close to the basket. He missed 3 or 4 wide open finger-rolls, a few of which when smaller players were behind him with no threat of them blocking his shot.

    OJ should be back on Thursday, so hopefully he and Henson can rekindle their great chemistry and get this bench unit rolling again.

    • I thought this was definitely MCW’s worst game of the year. JOB at least made a couple of nice passes while grabbing some boards. The curve for those two is obviously different as well and something we take into account.

      • I understand that. But if Moose and Giannis were able to make a few lay-ups, MCW would’ve had his typical assist game. So that’s also something to take into account. I also just really don’t like JOB, so maybe that’s it.

  2. Looking forward to that fire bench unit to come together…they were really the anchor of the team last year….and does anyone else think OJ Mayo looks eerily similar to Sideshow Bob

  3. I agree, MCW was bad last night. But JOB, in a staggering 25 minutes,puts upa goose egg in points and shoots once. Henson clearly had it going but I guess we can’t play Henson with the moose because it will be too “unproductive”. Thank god we had JOB to fill for those minutes.

    That said, no one really looked good outside of Henson. Middleton missed his last 5-6 shots, moose was dead, mcw dead, job dead, bucks shoot 54% from the free throw line as a team. Good god, add the turnovers and the paper thin defense and that’s how you get blasted in the nba.