|Jabari Parker, PF 32 MIN | 7-12 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 14 PTS | -23 +/-
Another okay game from a player who seems increasingly just okay. For the sixth straight game, Parker was in double figures. In those six games he has never scored more than 14 points, attempted more than one three or four free throws. Until he’s able to start drawing free throws or shooting threes, he’s never going to be what Bucks fans hoped for as a scorer. He’s also not much of a defender. His ceiling is quite low right now.
And before you leave a comment about it or get agitated, I understand that he’s only 50 some games into a career that was impacted by a significant knee injury. But a couple of games with eight or nine free throws would be nice to see if he isn’t going to shoot threes. Carmelo Anthony was a common comp for Parker when he came out of college. In Anthony’s first month of his career, he had seven or more free throws in a game seven times. In his career to date, Parker has done so just twice.
|Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF 36 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-4 3FG | 2-4 FT | 10 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | +7 +/-
Giannis is shooting 42%, averaging 11.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game in five January games. At times, he looks as good as he did at the start of the season. At other times he catches the ball with no one around him outside the three-point line, gets a look on his face that I have when I get ready to go out for a run in one-degree weather, launches up a shot and is fortunate to graze the rim.
|Greg Monroe, C 33 MIN | 11-16 FG | 0-0 3FG | 6-7 FT | 10 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 28 PTS | +9 +/-
Outside of Middleton, Monroe was all the Bucks had going for them offensively. I question his ability to take over a game, even on nights where he has it going like he did against the Knicks. He has to rely so much on his teammates and takes so long to get off shots that it never seems like he can single handedly support the Bucks offense in the ways that other superstars can.
Look what Damian Lillard did for the Blazers last night. Look at what Steph Curry and Lebron James regularly make happen for their teams. Monroe very rarely has that sort of impact. He’s never made an All-Star team so perhaps it’s unfair to compare him to stars across the league, but isn’t that how he was sold to the public? Wasn’t he a prize free agent acquisition because he’s supposed to be growing into a top-tier player? We haven’t seen a top-tier guy in terms of ceiling this season so much as we’ve seen a top-tier consistency guy. Always a B+, never an A.
|Michael Carter-Williams, PG 22 MIN | 1-8 FG | 0-1 3FG | 2-4 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 4 PTS | -22 +/-
After finishing consistently throughout the month of December and early January, MCW struggled in the paint on Sunday. He was just 1-5 inside the paint and couldn’t make up for those struggles anywhere else, either.
|Khris Middleton, SG 38 MIN | 6-16 FG | 1-3 3FG | 7-10 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 20 PTS | -16 +/-
A few times early in the second half, Marques Johnson said on the broadcast that Milwaukee’s one hope to get back in the game was for Middleton to shoot them back into it, which was an accurate yet sad reflection of Milwaukee’s offensive impotency in this game. Middleton is a productive player and can occasionally shine as a scorer, but he struggles to take games over because he isn’t much of a create his shot kind of guy. He’s a great compliment, but he’s got little to compliment on this team right now.
A frustrating moment came in the second half when Milwaukee ran an inbound play to get Middleton a shot. He came off screens and launched a jumper from the corner that went in. Unfortunately, when he came around the screens he didn’t stick outside the three-point line, rather he ended up a foot inside of it. The Knicks came back down the court and hit a corner three. A lot of that happening this season.
|John Henson, PF 9 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -19 +/-
It was disappointing to see Milwaukee’s young backup center make no impact against the Knicks after playing so well against the Mavericks on Friday night. He wasn’t quick to rotate over and help on drives. He wasn’t getting many touches while rolling to the rim.
|Johnny O’Bryant III, PF 15 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | +1 +/-
He made a jump shot, but did little else.
|Damien Inglis, SF 3 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +5 +/-
|Miles Plumlee, C 6 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 3FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -2 +/-
Henson was so ineffective that Plumlee got non-fourth quarter minutes. Plumlee was no more effective than Henson defensively or as a finisher. Example: Carmelo Anthony blocked a Plumlee dunk attempt. But he did grab a few offensive rebounds, so, at least something happened.
|Tyler Ennis, PG 16 MIN | 0-5 FG | 0-2 3FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +5 +/-
Garbage ti…oh, wait. OJ Mayo joined Jerryd Bayless and Greivis Vasquez on the inactive list, so Ennis was thrust into duty Sunday night. Results were unimpressive.
|Rashad Vaughn, SG 29 MIN | 3-6 FG | 2-3 3FG | 2-3 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | -5 +/-
Vaughn scored a career-high 10 points. That’s kind of cool! Unfortunately, five of his points came in the last minute and a half of what was a 16 point game. So he wasn’t much of a contributor during his minutes that actually mattered. Vaughn did make a three and a pull-up jumper at the free-throw line. Outside of that, he made no impact before garbage time.
Two Things We Saw
- The Knicks were not on the second night of a back-to-back that went into overtime, so this was a challenging road game for the Bucks.
- Derrick Williams has given the Bucks some problems this season and he had another couple of powerful dunks in an eight point, six rebound game off the bench. He’s a fine role player for the Knicks. He is the obvious energy guy who seems to understand what he does well. That’s not what the Timberwolves expected when they made him the number two pick of the 2011 draft, but he never developed much beyond who he was when he came into the league. His lack of a position or any clear exceptional skill other than athleticism seems to have thrust him into an alternate career path.