|J. Parker 38 MIN | 7-17 FG | 0-0 3FG | 4-5 FT | 11 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 18 PTS | -8 +/-
Late in the third quarter, Parker smelled the blood of Nikola Mirotic and Doug McDermott. He knew the Bulls forwards weren’t quick enough to stay with him or strong enough to cut off his drives without fouling him. As he’s grown comfortable doing, Parker attacked Mirotic and McDermott with dribble drives from the perimeter. He drew a couple of fouls, finished an and-1 and got a dunk for his efforts.
It was fun to see Parker act so confidently. He was demanding the ball and his decision making was quick. Hopefully it’s a sign of more to come.
|G. Antetokounmpo 37 MIN | 5-13 FG | 0-1 3FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 10 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 12 PTS | -18 +/-
This is what the stats from a down game for Giannis, look like now. This game, in which he scored 12 points, dished ten assists and grabbed three steals, now qualifies as a bad game. Two years ago this would have been the best game of his career. Watching him develop is so fun.
But he did have some struggles. He wasn’t able to get to the free throw line with his normal consistency – he shot, at least eight free throws in his previous four games before shooting two against the Bulls. Mike Dunleavy was an effective matchup for Chicago, as the Bulls forward is not a block of cement and has adequate size to matchup when Giannis went to the post.
|M. Plumlee 19 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-2 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -14 +/-
After a less effective game against the Thunder on Sunday, Plumlee was back to being Plumlee on Monday night. He was grabbing rebounds and tossing in short little hook shots and layups in his limited minutes. More and more over the past five games, Monroe has reclaimed minutes and the role of finishing center for the Bucks, even though Plumlee keeps getting starts.
|K. Middleton 43 MIN | 7-21 FG | 1-5 3FG | 3-4 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 18 PTS | -20 +/-
He led the Bucks in scoring at the half, but never really seemed all that comfortable against a Bulls defense that had struggled recently.
|O.J. Mayo 26 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-2 3FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 2 PTS | +10 +/-
Mayo was a bit more active on Monday than he was on Sunday, grabbing a handful of rebounds and dishing out a couple of assists, but his 3-point shooting remains very inconsistent, and offensively, he isn’t providing relief if those shots don’t fall. Everyone can’t be the centerpiece of the offense and Milwaukee is now a JP/GA/KM centric team. But Mayo doesn’t seem to find any ways to contribute – whether those guys are all out there or not the- way that Bayless does.
|G. Monroe 29 MIN | 5-14 FG | 0-0 3FG | 1-2 FT | 14 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 11 PTS | +4 +/-
Like his teammates, Monroe had a hard time making shots, whether covered or uncovered. Taj Gibson and Pau Gasol did a good job of occupying him in the post and challenging his shots. He made just four of his ten attempts around the basket.
|J. Bayless 38 MIN | 7-15 FG | 5-8 3FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 20 PTS | -8 +/-
Once again, his shooting kept the Bucks in a game that they may have struggled to hang around in otherwise. Four of Bayless’s five threes came in the second half and provided life to a struggling Milwaukee offense.
|R. Vaughn 10 MIN | 1-2 FG | 1-2 3FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | +4 +/-
Vaughn hit a three as Milwaukee’s bench help close an early gap with a second quarter run. That was about it for Rashad Vaughn.
|T. Ennis DNP-COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | 3FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS | +/-
Weird. Kidd heavily insinuated, he basically said it actually, that Ennis would be getting more regular minutes going forward after Sunday afternoon’s game. Yet, here we are.
Two Things We Saw
- When Milwaukee’s played well of late, a lot of their success has had to do with forcing turnovers, capitalizing on those turnovers and scoring fast-break points. Milwaukee forced 18 Bulls turnovers, but too many of them failed to lead to easy opportunities. The Bucks scored just six fast-break points and had only 12 points off Chicago turnovers.
- If the young guys don’t have their A games, Milwaukee doesn’t have enough talent to beat teams that are over .500. That’s the simple takeaway from this game. A human Giannis, a human Middleton and a pretty good Parker combined with Bayless doing his usual bench scoring thing was enough to keep Milwaukee within arms reach, but not enough to knock off the Bulls.