|Jabari Parker, PF 39 MIN | 7-13 FG | 0-0 3FG | 3-3 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 17 PTS | -8 +/-
He looked pretty good! Parker continued to do all of his little things that he’s done well all season. He pounced on an MCW loose ball early in transition and drove through two defenders for a score. Parker also used his size effectively against Dwyane Wade in the post on a few occasions and was missed by his teammates in advantageous post positions a few more times. Defensively he still made some glaring mistakes, both when trying to close out and when trying to find someone to match up with in transition, but overall, this was a productive night and a step forward for him.
|Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF 46 MIN | 11-17 FG | 0-2 3FG | 6-7 FT | 4 REB | 6 AST | 3 STL | 2 BLK | 6 TO | 28 PTS | +6 +/-
Fantastic. Electrifying. With Khris Middleton struggling, Giannis was the sun of Milwaukee’s offense in the fourth quarter. Everything revolved around his post-ups of Luol Deng or his dribble drives against Chris Bosh. He busted out a lot of the usual moves – the spin to get by Bosh, effective big man work against the smaller Deng – and largely kept Milwaukee within reach.
His only real misstep came after Wade deflected his shot/pass attempt on a drive with 30 seconds to play. After Wade had gathered the steal, Giannis fouled immediately, putting Wade on the line with 28 seconds to play in a two-point game.
|Greg Monroe, C 34 MIN | 7-14 FG | 0-0 3FG | 10-11 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 24 PTS | +1 +/-
He balanced out Giannis’s contributions with his typical steady post play and more free throw attempts than usual. Not having to combat Hassan Whiteside was surely a treat for Monroe. He took advantage of size deficits inside all game.
|Michael Carter-Williams, PG 26 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-1 3FG | 1-2 FT | 8 REB | 6 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 9 PTS | -2 +/-
He recovered well enough in the second half to salvage a respectable stats game after a horrible first half, but for every positive he contributes, there still seems to be two or three negatives.
|Khris Middleton, SG 39 MIN | 2-13 FG | 0-3 3FG | 5-5 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 9 PTS | +8 +/-
It had to happen eventually. After playing like an All-Star for basically two months, Middleton had a rough game. This worst shooting night of the season. That struggle, combined with a terrific showing from Giannis, left him a little removed from his take-charge role of late. When the Bucks needed baskets down the stretch, it was typically Giannis handling the ball. Middleton also forced up a bad contested 3-point attempt off the dribble after Wade missed one of his aforementioned free throws per the Giannis foul. The three attempt came with 16 seconds remaining on the shot-clock and 18 seconds left in the game. There was time to try and get a better look or take it to the basket. That may have been Middleton’s frustrations getting the best of him.
|Miles Plumlee, C 14 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | -5 +/-
Plumlee was incredibly active early on, grabbing four offensive rebounds on what felt like his first two possessions. He blocked a shot that led to a Parker dunk. He had a couple of quick dunks. Overall, Plumlee showed that he can still be an active and impactful big man when given minutes. TAKE NOTE, REST OF THE NBA.
|Tyler Ennis, PG 6 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 0 PTS | 0 +/-
Overmatched and ineffective.
|Jerryd Bayless, PG 24 MIN | 0-4 FG | 0-3 3FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -13 +/-
The Bucks ran a play to get Bayless a look at a 3-point shot which eventually led to Middleton’s force after Bayless couldn’t get free. It wasn’t his night. Each of his 3-point attempts was a great look, but he wasn’t able to connect.
|Rashad Vaughn, SG 11 MIN | 3-4 FG | 2-3 3FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | -7 +/-
Vaughn hit back-to-back threes as the third quarter wound down, giving Milwaukee a temporary lead. Those felt like the first two impactful shots he’s made all season, and it’s encouraging that he hit those shots after an 0-5 3-point shooting night in Memphis on Friday. Gerald Green, who suddenly was VERY aware of where Vaughn was, blocked his next shot and Vaughn came out quickly after that. But those shots are something to build on!
Two Things We Saw
- Vaughns two were the only threes Milwaukee hit. So, once again, they relied on points in the paint to keep the game close. The Bucks out-scored the Heat 60-36 in the paint. Parker, Giannis and Monroe did almost all of their damage from inside or at the free throw line. We can’t say the Bucks got away from doing what they know in this game.
- The Bucks lost this game, but there’s little reason to be disappointed any time Jabari and Giannis both play well in a close game. Milwaukee relied on the two of them repeatedly throughout the game, not out of some duty to serve their young players, but because those two were capable of carrying the offensive load (alongside Monroe). That’s all the win Milwaukee needs right there.