Home court advantage: Bucks 108 – Hawks 101

Atlanta Hawks 101 Final
Recap | Box Score
108 Milwaukee Bucks
Jabari Parker, PF 37 MIN | 5-15 FG | 0-1 3FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | +12 +/-

While he didn’t bring much to the table offensively (outside of a few transition baskets), Parker seemed to be in the right place at the right time repeatedly when it came to grabbing rebounds. He had two opportunistic offensive rebounds in the first quarter. Late in the game he was grabbing boards with intensity and strength I haven’t seen him display recently.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF 50 MIN | 10-18 FG | 1-2 3FG | 7-9 FT | 16 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 3 BLK | 3 TO | 28 PTS | +5 +/-

Is this guy good or what? Not only is he still a monster cutting to the lane or finishing in transition, but he hit a three! Without hesitation, he fired away from the corner after a blocked MCW shot fell right into his hands. The make gave Milwaukee a seven-point lead late in overtime and essentially sealed the game.

Greg Monroe, C 27 MIN | 4-16 FG | 0-0 3FG | 7-12 FT | 12 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 15 PTS | -8 +/-

It was a tough night around the basket for Greg Monroe. Al Horford did a great job of defending his post-ups and blocked his shot repeatedly. When Monroe got to the line, he wasn’t his usual self either. Milwaukee went away from “Moose” in the fourth quarter and rode an active John Henson to victory.

Michael Carter-Williams, PG 42 MIN | 5-15 FG | 2-3 3FG | 3-3 FT | 9 REB | 7 AST | 3 STL | 2 BLK | 6 TO | 15 PTS | +7 +/-

With the game tied and one possession to play, the Hawks opted to isolate Jeff Teague against MCW, who had just committed a turnover and a pair of almost turnovers that looked like they could cost Milwaukee the game. MCW responded well, blocking Teague’s shot and sending it to overtime, where he then hit a big 3-pointer to give Milwaukee a lead they wouldn’t lose.

Before that great stretch at the end, though, he wasn’t very good. He was often out of control again, forcing tough shots or losing the ball trying to do too much. Defensively he was more a plus than a minus, but it got to the point offensively where the Bucks trusted Middleton to handle the ball more than they trusted MCW in the fourth quarter.

Khris Middleton, SG 46 MIN | 11-23 FG | 0-4 3FG | 4-5 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 26 PTS | +11 +/-

For a short stretch, Middleton shared the court with Parker-Ennis-O’Bryant-Henson. Immediately when Milwaukee went to the lineup, I commented, “Can ANYONE on this lineup score besides Middleton? He’s got some work to do.” That lineup shared the court for four possessions, I believe, and Middleton scored on three of them and took a shot on all four. He knew what he had to do and, better yet, he was capable of doing it. It was one of my favorite Khris Middleton moments in a season that’s quickly filling up with great Middleton moments.

Late in the game, the Hawks were throwing double teams at him constantly. On the catch, on the perimeter, whenever and wherever. He handled it well, for the most part, save a pair of tough turnovers. Him being able to handle pressure, make shots under a bit of duress and find teammates when things get too tough would vault him to another level. He’s doing that stuff now, but I’d love to see it for the rest of the season before I’m convinced he’s an actual All-Star type guy.

Johnny O’Bryant III, PF 13 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | -4 +/-

He took a charge. He finished near the hoop. He grabbed a couple of rebounds. To summarize: he didn’t appear to be actively harmful.

John Henson, PF 31 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 3FG | 4-8 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 6 BLK | 3 TO | 10 PTS | +16 +/-

More than ever, Henson appeared to be a very eager passer throughout the game. His best pass was a bounce pass to a cutting Giannis for a dunk in overtime, but when he shared the court early on with Greg Monroe, he was quickly moving the ball to Milwaukee’s other big and staying active. The six blocks are always a pleasure to watch.

Tyler Ennis, PG 6 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +1 +/-

He was the second most invisible player on the team.

Rashad Vaughn, SG 12 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -5 +/-

He was the most invisible player on the team. 12 minutes without contributing a stat in any way. Incredible. How can his game be anything but incomplete?

Two Things We Saw

  1. Mavs. Bulls. Hawks. The Bucks are putting things together a bit at home lately. Add those to wins earlier this season against the Cavs and Warriors and Milwaukee’s home court advantage is starting to look pretty significant. The Bucks are 12-7 at the Bradley Center this season.
  2. Once again, the three-point shot wasn’t a strength for the Bucks. The only threes came courtesy of Giannis (as mentioned above) and Carter-Williams 2X (crazy). But, as we discussed on the Bucksketball Podcast, Milwaukee was able to pull this one out by winning at the line (25 FTM for the Bucks – 6 FTM for the Hawks) and in the paint (56-52).

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1 Comment

  1. I don’t know about MCW as a point guard, but he could become a very good outside shooter, get really good at finishing at the rim, become a lockdown defender, and get lots of steals.