|Jabari Parker, PF 29 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 3FG | 3-4 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 7 PTS | -12 +/-I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but no one in the league seems to rattle out as many jumpers as Parker. The mechanics look fine and he’s been fully back, athletically, this season, but he continues to struggle in the mid-range, while avoiding the three-point line entirely.
Parker missed his first three field goal attempts (two jumpers, one driving layup) before converting a baseline dunk of a well-read drive and pass from Khris Middleton. The eight rebounds are encouraging – Parker has 30 rebounds over his last four games – but right now Parker isn’t giving the Bucks much offensively outside of hustle points on cuts or offensive rebounds.
|Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF 35 MIN | 2-10 FG | 0-0 3FG | 3-4 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 7 PTS | -18 +/-A disappointment, certainly, on the heels of a strong performance Tuesday against Orlando, Giannis struggled throughout the night before being ejected midway through the fourth quarter. He didn’t attempt a field goal until around the nine-minute mark of the second quarter and never seemed to fully settle in on the offensive end. Both field goals came via dunk – one a drive, one a putback – but Giannis missed a few bunnies in addition to jumpers in the mid-range.
Midway through the third quarter he was called for a very questionable charge, and the anger from that call apparently spilled over into the fourth, with the ejection-inducing outburst following a missed layup on which Giannis thought he was fouled.
|Greg Monroe, C 25 MIN | 8-13 FG | 0-0 3FG | 5-6 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 21 PTS | -15 +/-Monroe was the only starter to get anything going, consistently, on the offensive end, finishing with 21 points in 25 minutes and falling three rebounds short of a third straight double-double. He didn’t seem bothered by the size and physciality of Marc Gasol, using some crafty post moves to manufacture space around the rim. Defensively, Monroe helped to limit Zach Randolph to a quiet night, but he was late to close out to Gasol in the mid-range on several occasions, resulting in the kind of open jumpers Gasol rarely misses.
For as much credit as Middleton – and, to a lesser degree, Giannis – have received for their play over the last month, Monroe has been just as impressive. On 51% shooting, he’s averaging just over 18 points per game to go with 10.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game in the month of January.
|Michael Carter-Williams, PG 27 MIN | 4-7 FG | 0-2 3FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 10 PTS | -11 +/-Carter-Williams was quietly effective in his 27 minutes, hitting 4-of-7 shots, including back-to-back baskets – a baseline floater and an alley-oop dunk – in the third quarter to trim the Grizzlies lead, which seemed surmountable at the time, to nine. The assist numbers (one) certainly leave something to be desired, but Carter-Williams was far from the reason Milwaukee came out flat after the first quarter. Defensively, Carter-Williams helped to limit Mike Conley to just 1-of-8 shooting, though Conley did register nine assists in 24 minutes.|
|Khris Middleton, SG 32 MIN | 6-18 FG | 1-4 3FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 15 PTS | -10 +/-Middleton got off to a hot start with 12 points in the first quarter, but he cooled off considerably as the Memphis defense tightned the clamps in the second and third periods. His seven-game streak of at least 20 points was snapped, but Middleton continues to excel in playmaking situations, finishing with six assists Thursday, a total he’s now reached in four of his last five games.
Despite the lopsided score, Milwaukee wasn’t (entirely) horrendous on the defensive end. Led by Matt Barnes, Memphis caught fire from three in the second half, and the Bucks simply couldn’t keep up. Middleton did his part defensively, notching three steals, including two in the first quarter that led directly to fast break points.
|Johnny O’Bryant III, PF 20 MIN | 0-4 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -18 +/-As usual, energy and effort on the glass were not an issue. Also as usual, finishing at the rim was an issue.|
|Chris Copeland, SF 7 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-3 3FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | +1 +/-Played seven minutes, his most since Dec. 20 against the Suns. Copeland has rapidly devolved into the Bucks’ offical white flag.|
|Miles Plumlee, C 19 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +1 +/-With John Henson (back) out, Plumlee saw extended run as the backup to Monroe. Outside of a nice block on the immortal Ryan Hollins and a soaring alley-oop finish in the third quarter, Plumlee was mostly quiet, finishing 3-of-5 from the field with five rebounds in 19 minutes.
Plumlee has been among the names mentioned as potential, minor trade pieces. While the Bucks may or may not be shopping Plumlee, Henson’s injury, if he misses extended time, could offer a window for Plumlee to audition for potential suitors over the next few weeks.
|Jerryd Bayless, PG 20 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-1 3FG | 5-5 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 9 PTS | -14 +/-A very uneventful showing, though Bayless was whistled for a Flagrant 1 foul for swiping Mario Chalmers across the face on a drive to the rim. Bayless hit what initially looked to be the Bucks’ second three-pointer of the game in the fourth quarter but, alas, it was ruled a very long two. Milwaukee finished 1-of-16 from three. Woof.|
|Tyler Ennis, PG 5 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-1 3FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +5 +/-Relegated to the end of the bench of late, Ennis entered midway through the third and finished with four points, his highest total in more than a month.|
|Rashad Vaughn, SG 21 MIN | 1-7 FG | 0-5 3FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -9 +/-Vaughn saw some early action but struggled to find his shot, rimming out on five three-pointers and a layup attempt before hitting a pullup jumper in the long-mid-range late in the fourth quarter.|
Three Things We Saw
- The Bucks finished 1-of-16 from three and have made only 12 threes over their last three games, compared to 40 by their opponents. Whether it’s addressed at the trade deadline or not, acquiring an outside shooter or two has to be a priority before next season. Milwaukee simply hasn’t been good enough defensively to give up eight or nine-point differentials from beyond the arc on a nightly basis.
- As a team, Milwaukee was as active on the boards as its been all season. The Bucks finished plus-nine overall and plus-seven on the offensive glass, with the starting five accounting for 12 combined offensive rebounds.
- A three-point barrage from Matt Barnes and Jeff Green is what seemed to ultimately take the wind out of Milwaukee’s sails. Barnes hit four threes, while Green finished 3-of-6 from beyond the arc. It was just the second time Green has made three three-pointers in a game this season.