|Jabari Parker, PF 18 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-0 3FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | -14 +/-Jabari didn’t look right, and he really hasn’t looked right for the past week. Monday marked his second straight game scoring under 10 points after reaching double-figures in 10 of his previous 11 games.
More concerning, though, is he appeared less explosve, failing to convert a few relatively easy looks at the rim. On consecutive possessions in the third quarter, he missed a fastbreak layup attempt and was blocked by Dirk “Baby Mutombo” Nowitzki at the rim. Parker wasn’t visibly hobbling or anything, but it’s possible he’s hitting a physical wall coming off of knee surgery.
|Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF 28 MIN | 4-10 FG | 0-1 3FG | 3-4 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 11 PTS | -23 +/-Coming off of his worst game of the season Saturday against Toronto, Antetokounmpo followed up with another off night. Despite falling a rebound short of a triple-double, Antetokounmpo was mostly quiet offenisvely, scoring just four points in the first half on a pair of free throws and a mid-range jumper. He attacked a mismatch for the Bucks’ first basket of the second half, but outside of a smooth eurostep-to-lefty-finish late in the fourth quarter, he wasn’t a major reason Milwaukee was able to claw back into the game.
I feel like I write this in every recap, but Giannis passed up another wide open three with under three minutes remaining and the Bucks trailing by four. O.J. Mayo made a perfect cross-court skip pass, but instead of pulling the trigger from the corner, Giannis contemplated for a brief second, missed a wide open Monroe under the hoop, then fired a pass into a then-guarded Monroe with two seconds remaining on the shot clock. Monroe was unable to get a clean look, resulting in a shot clock violation.
Giannis also finished a pretty ridiculous extension dunk that was waved off because of a carry.
|Greg Monroe, C 33 MIN | 3-10 FG | 0-0 3FG | 2-2 FT | 11 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | -19 +/-Monroe struggled out of the gate going up against Zaza Pachulia and his unconventional-yet-suspicously-effective defensive tactics. What Pachulia lacks in athleticism and finesse, he makes up for in guile, and Monroe experienced that in full force early in the game, as Pachulia sent him crashing clumsily to the floor on two separate post-up attempts. Pachulia is a master of weight distribution, essentially tricking Monroe – about as savvy a back-down center as you’ll find in today’s NBA – into expecting contact, or at least some sort of resistance. It’s the old “pull the chair out” trick, but executed a bit more skillfully.
While Monroe did struggle for most of the night, he had a couple of big baskets during a third-quarter run that trimmed a double-digit lead down to seven points. One basket, a contested catch-and-release floater in the lane, resulted in an “AAANNNND ONNNNNEEE!!!” rivaling anything Carlos Boozer, future Buck, has let out over the years.
On the defensive end, Monroe picked up his first personal defending Pachulia less than two minutes into the game, setting the tone for Pachulia continuing to take advantage of positioning underneath to finish with 17 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Pachulia certainly didn’t dominate Monroe, but he come up with a number of timely finishes, particularly in the first half, when he scored 13 of his 17 points.
|Michael Carter-Williams, PG 21 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-1 3FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | -19 +/-With Bayless back in the mix and playing well, Prunty turned to the veteran for much of the second half as Carter-Williams played his lowest minute total in a month. He left the game at the 5:28 mark of the third quarter and did not return.
Carter-Williams connected on one of his patented floaters in the first quarter and threw down a borderline-thunderous dunk early in the second half, blowing past J.J. Barea in the process.
On the downside, Carter-Williams falied ot register an assist while turning it over twice, and hew as T’d up with 36 seconds left in the first half after arguing with the referee/J.J. Barea after a reach-in foul that Barea may or may not have embellished. Barea was also issued a technical.
|Khris Middleton, SG 36 MIN | 6-13 FG | 0-3 3FG | 3-3 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 15 PTS | -19 +/-Middleton opened the scoring for Milwaukee with a fallaway mid-range jumper, one of three first-quarter field goals en route to eight points in the period. Middleton finished with 12 points in the first half, with his only second-half basket coming on a jumper with 4:48 to play that knotted the game at 89.
With under a minute to play, Giannis Antetokounmpo blocked a Zaza Pachluia layup and outletted to Middleton, who attacked Chandler Parsons at the rim but was called for a (very questionable) charge. The turnover essentially sealed Milwaukee’s fate, and Middleton was ejected in the final seconds of the game (6.2 seconds remaining, to be exact) for continuing to argue with referee ZacK Zarba. You may reconigze him as the official who got into it with Jason Kidd in a game against Sacramento earlier this season.
|Johnny O’Bryant III, PF 16 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 3FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 7 PTS | +12 +/-O’Bryant played well in 16 minutes, mixing it up on the glass and playing a part in holding Dirk Nowitzki to 3-of-15 shooting. Nowitzki was bothered by O’Bryant’s physicality, and O’Bryant knocked down a pair of jumpers over the veteran on the other end.
JOB: 7 points, 3 rebounds, 3-6 FG
|Miles Plumlee, C 15 MIN | 3-3 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +8 +/-The Bucks were without John Henson (elbow), so Plumlee saw increased time off the bench after picking up a DNP-CD on Saturday. In 15 minutes, Plumlee was active on both ends, picking up a pair of impressive blocks – both on dunk attempts, one by Chandler Parsons and one by Charlie Villanueva (at least I think that one was a dunk attempt) – and pulling down five rebounds to go with six points.|
|Jerryd Bayless, PG 27 MIN | 8-12 FG | 1-4 3FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 7 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 19 PTS | +8 +/-After missing the last 11 games with a left ankle sprain, Bayless returned and was immediately the spark on the bench Milwaukee sorely missed. Bayless made his first four field goals, including a drive and one-handed scoop, followed by a spot-up three off of a feed from Greg Monroe. He hit back-to-back jumpers to open the fourth quarter and finished with a team-high 19 points to go with seven assists and a steal.|
|Rashad Vaughn, SG 15 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +8 +/-Played 15 minutes off the bench, missed both of his field goal attempts|
|O.J. Mayo, SG 31 MIN | 5-8 FG | 3-5 3FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | +3 +/-As usual, Mayo did most of his damage as a jumpshooter, knocking down a trio of threes en route to his best scoring output since the Clippers loss (17 points) nearly two weeks ago. Mayo kicked off the scoring for Milwaukee in the second quarter with a long two and later in the quarter took advantage of J.J. Barea on a switch, draining a fallaway jumper.
Early in the fourth quarter, Mayo capped a 9-0 Bucks run with a catch-and-shoot three, trimming the deficit to two points with 8:23 to play. He would be held scoreless the rest of the way, however.
|John Henson, PF DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | 3FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS | +/-Sat out with an elbow injury. Fully dressed, though, so probably would have been available in case of an emergency.|
Things We Saw
- All five of the Bucks starters were at least a minus-14, while all five bench players were at least a plus-3. O’Bryant was a game-high plus-12.
- Remarkably, Dallas did not turn the ball over in the first half. The Mavs’ first turnover came at the 10:17 mark of the third quarter, and they entered the fourth quarter with only that one giveaway. Dallas finished the game with four turnovers, easily its lowest total of the season.For context: Since 2010, teams have turned the ball over four times or less only 10 times, including this game. It’s happened 125 times since 1985 (coincidentally, that’s as far back as Basketball-Reference’s date goes), and teams are 113-12 in those games.
- At one point in the third quarter, JaVale McGee threw down two consecutive dunks, prompting Marques Johnson to aptly deem the sequence a “dunk-a-rama!”
- Zaza Pachulia had some interesting comments after the game when asked about taking “extra pleasure in playing well against the Bucks,” after the team dealt him in a salary dump over the summer. You can read those comments here.