|J. Parker 36 MIN | 7-15 FG | 0-0 3FG | 1-2 FT | 9 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 15 PTS | +3 +/-
While he wasn’t as great as he was in his previous two games, he did continue to play well. He made two mid-range jumpers but wasn’t able to finish around the rim with as much consistency. The pressure wasn’t on in this one, as Milwaukee grabbed a big led early.
|G. Antetokounmpo 42 MIN | 12-17 FG | 0-1 3FG | 3-6 FT | 12 REB | 10 AST | 3 STL | 4 BLK | 1 TO | 27 PTS | +13 +/-
The triple-double may not last. His last assist was a pass that led to a dribble then a move and shot by MCW. But still, he was great and did a little bit of everything.
He scored 14 first half points almost entirely off shots within three feet of the hoop. The Lakers couldn’t knock him off his spots, stop passes from getting into him inside or keep him from getting loose balls around the basket To open up the third quarter he made some terrific passes and busted out his jumper. At one point he stole a cross-court Kobe pass, dribbled for a beat or two and then through a bounce pass from beyond halfcourt to Parker streaking towards the hoop for a reverse layup.
He played beautiful basketball all night long.
|M. Plumlee 21 MIN | 7-7 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-4 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 14 PTS | +12 +/-
Plumlee gets the most out of his athleticism, and he’s not a limited athlete by any stretch of the imagination. Once again he was catching lobs and attacking the rim with dunk attempts. He finished with five (FIVE!) POWERFUL dunks. He’s excellent at diving hard to the rim, and when he catches and isn’t already heading towards the rim, he moves the ball quickly. He’s the perfect center for an accomplished offensive group with a seasoned, highly skilled point guard.
Unfortunately, the Bucks are not an accomplished offensive group, and they don’t have a point guard that can get the most out of him.
|O.J. Mayo 24 MIN | 4-7 FG | 4-7 3FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | +6 +/-
Two timely Mayo threes extended Milwaukee’s lead from 11 to 17 in the third quarter. The game was never really in question again. That’s a good example of Mayo doing his job. He was even a bit more muted than usual on Monday night as Giannis often assumed the role of primary ball-handler when they shared the court without Carter-Williams.
|K. Middleton 35 MIN | 5-15 FG | 1-5 3FG | 7-8 FT | 2 REB | 6 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 18 PTS | +25 +/-
Quiet, yet effective. Giannis stole the show, but Middleton certainly participated. He’s still struggling to find consistency with his jump shot of late, but, as he’s done a lot since January, he found other ways to score and contribute.
|J. O’Bryant III 1 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -4 +/-
|S. Novak 1 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-1 3FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -4 +/-
Garbage time but boy did people want him to hit the 3-pointer he attempted. Fans were chanting Kobe Bryant’s name, bidding him farewell, when all of a sudden Novak fired away from the top of the key and all at once, everyone abandoned their Kobe chant. He missed, but it was fun to see the crowd so invested in a player’s success. At halftime shootaround, every time he made a jumper Squad Six cheered it. It was fun.
|G. Monroe 27 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-0 3FG | 2-2 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | -5 +/-
There have been plenty of games where Milwaukee needs his points, and there will be more games when they need him, but Monday night was not one of those games. His post scoring is not a necessity when the rest of the traditional starting unit has it going. And with Plumlee throwing down time and time again, Milwaukee was able to give Monroe what amounted to a bit of a night off as a centerpiece.
|M. Carter-Williams 35 MIN | 4-12 FG | 0-1 3FG | 2-3 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | -7 +/-
Early garbage time MCW was a sight worth seeing. Marcelo Huertas – widely considered to be one of the league’s weakest players – was defending him. MCW attacked him like a high schooler going at an elementary schooler who had just embarrassed him. He trotted out a variety of dribble moves on consecutive possessions, posted him up and eventually got a shot to fall. He smelled blood and wanted in on the fun everyone else was having. The night was otherwise uneventful for Milwaukee’s up and down point guard.
|R. Vaughn 17 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-1 3FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 0 PTS | -4 +/-
He rather quietly picked up three first half fouls. I honestly can’t remember one of them as I write this. I like the version of Vaughn that chucks threes more than the version that made some forgettable slaps at the opposition as they passed by him.
Three Things We Saw
- This was when the game became embarrassing.
Credit to the Lakers (especially Nick Young and his three 3-pointers) for chipping back into the lead late.
- The Lakers are an inept team led by a man who is incapable of playing well for more than brief stretches. Milwaukee dominated this game from the outset, simply by being a more polished and capable team – that’s a weird sentence to write about the Bucks. But Los Angeles played with the cohesion and strategy of a team that met each other five minutes before the game. It was as if they came from a locker room at the YMCA, not the NBA.
- Despite that last paragraph, this was kind of a game at halftime! I still stand by my statement regarding the Bucks dominating. The game wasn’t “in question” really, but it wasn’t over either. Milwaukee only led by six at the half thanks to a recurrence of their recent free throw woes and strong shooting performances from Jordan Clarkson and D’Angelo Russell. Los Angeles made seven 3-pointers in the first half before making just two before Young’s late surge in the second half.