|Jabari Parker, PF 32 MIN | 9-13 FG | 0-0 3FG | 4-5 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 22 PTS | -17 +/-Parker topped 20 points for the first time this season and for the third time in his career. While it may have been his best scoring game of the season, it wasn’t necessasrily a game that jumped out as a potential turning point. Parker essentially hit some of the same jumpers he’s been missing of late, and most of his damage came from the usual mid-range spots, with some nice drives and finishes at the rim sprinkled in. Parker had success working against Otto Porter on a couple of occasions, including a blow-by and tough finish on the left side with his right hand in the third quarter.
Defensively, Parker had a couple of noticeable lapses, including allowing John Wall to slither past him for a dunk late in the fourth quarter. Parker switched out onto Wall on the left wing but shaded him left, rather than squaring up, and Wall easily blew past for an uncontested left-handed tomahawk. I thought Parker closed out to shooters better Wednesday night than he has for most of the season. The Bucks, as a unit, scrambled relatively well in the halfcourt, but they could never seem to finish out possessions, allowing a number of open threes (off of extra passes), as Washington finished 12-of-27 (44.4%) from deep.
|Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF 41 MIN | 6-11 FG | 0-1 3FG | 7-9 FT | 11 REB | 6 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 6 TO | 19 PTS | -1 +/-After a stellar performance against Chicago on Tuesday, aggressive Giannis was back in full force. As Marques Johnson put it on the telecast: “Giannis has got his whole Giannis package right now.” That particular quote came in the third quarter, during which Giannis scored 13 points, repeatedly getting into the lane and finishing at the rim. He took advantage of a mismatch with Jared Dudley, scoring on a baseline drive at the end of the shot clock and on a quick post move a couple of possessions later. Late in the period, Giannis slipped a screen, getting past Dudley for an easy dunk, and he capped off the quarter with a back-down-to-righty-hook over Brad Beal, finishing through contact and completing the three-point play.
Over the last two games, Giannis has attempted 23 free throws, by far his most in any two-game stretch this season. He’s also amassed double-digit rebounds in three straight games, while averaging just under six assists per game over that span.
|Greg Monroe, C 31 MIN | 8-13 FG | 0-0 3FG | 5-9 FT | 12 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 21 PTS | 0 +/-The Bucks were never able to establish much of a rhythm due to the high number of turnovers, but this was one of Monroe’s better all-around games this season. He was able to take advantage of a a depleted Washington frontcourt, finishing with 21 points and 12 rebounds while helping to draw five fouls on Nene, the Wizards’ only true, viable (apologies to DeJuan Blair) big man. Monroe finished back-to-back post-ups over nene early in the fist quarter and continued to find success around the rim throughout the game.
Monroe did go on a prolonged scoring drought in the second half as the Bucks made their run, with his first basket of the half coming at the 3:59 mark of the 4th. Monroe would go on to finish with eight points in the game’s final four minutes. Despite the strong finish, he committed a crippling turnover with just under a minute remaining. With the Bucks down six, Jabari Parker forced John Wall into a turnover at the top of the key. The loose ball trickled to Monroe, who picked it up and fired an ill-advised outlet pass directly into the hands of Jared Dudley. Washington did not score on the ensuing possession, but it was able to burn a full 24 seconds off the clock.
|Michael Carter-Williams, PG 26 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 4 PTS | -1 +/-Carter-Williams was very Carter-Williams in this game, finishing just 2-of-6 from the field while committing four turnovers in 26 minutes. He sat out the final 11 minutes of the game, with interim coach Joe Prunty opting to play without a true point guard down the stretch.|
|Khris Middleton, SG 42 MIN | 9-17 FG | 1-5 3FG | 6-7 FT | 5 REB | 5 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 25 PTS | +4 +/-Middleton continues to play well in the month of January, averaging 20.9 points, 5.1 assists and 3.7 rebounds while shooting 45.5% from the field over his last seven games. What’s interesting is that he hasn’t shot it all that well from three (35.3%) over that span, instead finding success in the mid-range and off the dribble. Middleton had his trademark back-down-step-back jumper working Wednesday en route to a team-high 25 points, and it was that move that gave the Bucks a 72-71 advantage late in the third after trailing by 13 entering the period. Middleton added seven points in the final frame, but he was held scoreless for the final 4:41.|
|John Henson, PF 17 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 4 PTS | -5 +/-Committed four of the Bucks’ season-high 27 turnovers in just 17 minutes, while chipping in four points and two boards, both on the defensive end. Henson was very quiet, which is somewhat disappointing/surprising considering the Wizards’ lack of depth in the frontcourt due to injuries. What’s not surprising is both of Henson’s field goals came at the rim; one off of an assist from Khris Middleton, and the other from Rashad Vaughn, who made an excellent dish to Henson just before the end of the third quarter to give Milwaukee a 74-71 advantage.|
|Johnny O’Bryant III, PF 15 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 3FG | 2-4 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -5 +/-O’Bryant quietly continues to give Milwaukee solid minutes off the bench. While he missed his only field goal attempt, he pulled down four rebounds, helping the Bucks to a plus-17 mark on the glass. He also went full-Ersan and took a charge on Nene and survived.|
|O.J. Mayo, SG 12 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -5 +/-Mayo came in off the bench at the 4:35 mark of the first quarter and immediately air-balled a floater in the lane. He played the rest of the quarter and stayed in until under five minutes remained in the second period. That’s all the action Mayo would see, as the Bucks leaned heavily on the starting five – Monroe (32 minutes), Parker (31), Giannis (41), Middleton (42) – while mixing in Rashad Vaughn (24 minutes) more in the second half.|
|Rashad Vaughn, SG 24 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-2 3FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +5 +/-Vaughn’s 24 minutes were the second-most he’s played this season, and while he was relatively quiet, one play stuck out to me. Just before the end of the third quarter, Vaughn grabbed a long offensive rebound and, with the clock ticking down, passed on an open 15-footer to fire a crisp pass to Henson under the basket for a dunk. It was a small, and ultimately insignificant play, but it gave Milwaukee a three-point advantage heading into the fourth and was a play that not all rookie guards would make in that situation.|
Three Things We Saw
- The People’s Champ, Nene, threw two no-look passes in the first three minutes of the game
- Milwaukee’s 27 turnovers were a season-high, and it was just the second time its reached that number in the last 17 years. The other? November of last season, also against the Wizards in Washington. Looking even further back, the Bucks have turned it over 27 or more times on four occasions since 1997, and three have come in Washington.
- Kelly Oubre got fouled on a layup attempt, hit the floor, and did a few pushups before getting backup. Kelly Oubre.