|Jabari Parker, PF 33 MIN | 6-8 FG | 0-0 3FG | 3-4 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 15 PTS | -4 +/-
As he often does, he consistently got into open space for layups and dunks, which led to his high shooting percentage. He took only one shot outside the paint all game. Early in the fourth quarter, he posted up an overmatched Mario Hezonja and easily backed him all the way down until Hezonja had to foul Parker on his shot attempt. That looked like a matchup the Bucks wanted to exploit, but the Magic quickly switched a bigger, stronger Aaron Gordon onto Parker.
|Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF 38 MIN | 12-16 FG | 0-0 3FG | 1-1 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 25 PTS | +16 +/-
He finished the game with eight dunks and two shot attempts outside the paint. Not unlike Parker, Giannis was consistently able to break away from Magic defenders on cuts to the rim and finish with authority. Typically he’s among Milwaukee’s leaders in free throws attempted, but when he did attack off the dribble he was beating his defenders so badly, and so little help was provided that he had multiple blow-bys that resulted in no-contact dunks.
Of his nine rebounds, three were on the offensive end and each of those resulted in a put-back dunk. So many dunks.
|Greg Monroe, C 31 MIN | 7-15 FG | 0-0 3FG | 7-8 FT | 11 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 21 PTS | -3 +/-
He was matched up with Nikola Vujecic for most of the night, another plodding big men with a productive offensive game and poor defensive reputation. Neither was at his best on Tuesday night, as they occasionally battled to a standstill. But Monroe won enough of the battle to give Milwaukee an edge at a critical position.
|Michael Carter-Williams, PG 38 MIN | 2-8 FG | 0-1 3FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 5 PTS | +4 +/–
He so passionately cares about the game, sometimes to his detriment. It destroys him when calls go against him, and it sparks him when he’s able to draw an offensive foul. He had a couple of calls go against him when guarding Elfrid Payton in the first half and then didn’t get a call at the rim on a drive after two went against him. But he and Jason Kidd effectively worked the refs and the next time down, Milwaukee was rewarded with an offensive foul on a Tobias Harris screen.
That was about as productive as MCW would get. He continues to do basically everything at maximum energy, volume, speed, whatever and that’s not always the approach to take. Occasionally his frantic style produces positive results, no question, but more frequently mixing in a more measured defensive or offensive approach would pay off.
|Khris Middleton, SG 36 MIN | 6-14 FG | 2-4 3FG | 11-11 FT | 5 REB | 7 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 25 PTS | +11 +/-
Another standard fantastic effort. He and Giannis shouldered much of the load for Milwaukee, at times trading off possessions like they were Russ Westbrook and Kevin Durant (that’s just an analogy, settle down).
|Johnny O’Bryant III, PF 10 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +6 +/-
O’Bryant was noticeably harmful at the start of the fourth quarter. As noted before, Parker looked like he was ready to expose Mario Hezonja on the block on the offensive end when the fourth quarter started. But the Magic quickly switched the slender guard-forward onto O’Bryant and let Gordon neutralize Parker. O’Bryant certainly couldn’t take advantage of the mismatch. On the other end, he kept matching up with Hezonja, who helped cut a seven-point lead to three with a few baskets on O’Bryant.
|John Henson, PF 17 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 4 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +10 +/-
Henson’s four assists were all quick decisions. He found cutters, saw open teammates and exploited advantages in position. He very rarely caught and held the ball, but looked for opportunities, whether to shoot or to pass. Fun to see.
|Jerryd Bayless, PG 30 MIN | 3-9 FG | 3-6 3FG | 3-5 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | -2 +/-
Before the fourth quarter, he was having a bit of a quiet night. Then he hit two 3-pointers in the last two and a half minutes, the first to give Milwaukee a lead and the second to put them up four with 13 seconds to play. On his second three, Khris Middleton isolated and drove. When help came off Bayless in the corner, Middleton kicked it out and watched Bayless connect. That’s the kind of thing he offers that MCW couldn’t provide.
|Rashad Vaughn, SG 6 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-2 3FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -3 +/-
Not much. His most notable moments were him twice missing out on helping Giannis with a picking and popping Channing Frye, to the point where Giannis looked at him after the play in a, “Where the hell were you?” kind of way.
Two Things We Saw
- The Magic at times looked like a mirror image of the Bucks, with Payton-Oladipo-Harris-Gordon-Vujecic acting as their young and promising lineup. The difference was the play of Middleton and Giannis against Oladipo and Harris, who both struggled to take control offensively.
- The Magic built a lead early on the back of strong 3-point shooting, but as is often the case, Milwaukee fought back via the free throw line and points in the paint. The Bucks made five more free throws than the Magic and outscored them in the paint 62-26 (!). Scott Skiles can’t say he didn’t see that problem coming. He noted before the game that the Magic had allowed 70 points in the paint in their previous game and that if the Bucks had 50 or more, it’d be bad for the Magic.