Not quite a comeback: Thunder 104 – Bucks 96

Oklahoma City 104 Final
Recap | Box Score
96 Milwaukee
J. Parker 36 MIN | 12-23 FG | 0-2 3FG | 2-3 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 26 PTS | +10 +/-

He has attempted 15 or more shots in all but one game since the All-Star break, and he’s made more than 50% of those shots in eight of those ten games. It’s still important that he shoots a high percentage since once again he attempted only three free throws. But even without the free throws right now, it’s been fun to see him play well and thrive on offense.

G. Antetokounmpo 42 MIN | 8-20 FG | 0-2 3FG | 10-11 FT | 12 REB | 10 AST | 3 STL | 4 BLK | 2 TO | 26 PTS | -9 +/-

What more can be said? Here are a variety of highlights:

And these highlights don’t even include his blocks or steals. Incredible. He’s incredible. Jason Kidd was asked about his accumulation of triple-doubles of late (three this season) and he said something to the effect that it’s hard to improve on that, but that doing them in wins would be better. In time, coach, in time.

M. Plumlee 18 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -10 +/-

Sunday afternoon’s outing may have been Plumlee’s least impressive game since he’s moved to the starting lineup, as his two points were the fewest he’s scored and his five rebounds were one of his lowest totals. He did have a dope block, though.

K. Middleton 40 MIN | 6-19 FG | 2-6 3FG | 4-4 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 5 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 18 PTS | -6 +/-

Even when he struggles, Middleton seems to find a way to play an important role for the Bucks. He was 2-13 FG at one point but put up seven points, a rebound, and a steal to close out the third quarter and help the Bucks cut a 20 point deficit down to five.

O.J. Mayo 24 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-2 3FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -20 +/-

Sometimes I make jokes about Rashad Vaughn and Tyler Ennis being invisible when they have no stats. Mayo has no stats, but he wasn’t invisible. He didn’t play well, his passes weren’t always sharp, he complained about calls in a bizarre way. Overall, this was one of Mayo’s worst games of the season, which is disappointing since he was coming off a strong 4-8 3FG game against Minnesota.

G. Monroe 30 MIN | 4-10 FG | 0-0 3FG | 1-2 FT | 10 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | +2 +/-

Monroe was an interesting spot this game, as he was on the court while the Bucks were making a run, but he wasn’t involved offensively. He got an offensive rebound putback in the fourth quarter, and he had another post touch that he couldn’t finish, but late in the third and early in the fourth, the Bucks were relying on Middleton/Jabari/Giannis with him on the court. That calls into question why he was on the court, as Plumlee seems to be a better defender and more active non-posting up halfcourt center.

J. Bayless 32 MIN | 2-4 FG | 1-3 3FG | 7-8 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 12 PTS | -4 +/-

Milwaukee struggled badly to score points early in this game, so Bayless’s four first quarter points – all off free throws – were important. He was again a steady performer, providing an outlet for Milwaukee’s young players.

T. Ennis 7 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-1 3FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | -2 +/-

All seven of his minutes came in the second quarter, for the second straight game. He still hasn’t done much to impress, but Kidd hinted after the game that he would continue to see minutes going forward in a backup guard role.

R. Vaughn 11 MIN | 0-4 FG | 0-3 3FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -1 +/-

It’s been a few weeks since Vaughn has put together a handful of good games. He drove on a hard close out early against the Thunder and had his floater blocked by Dion Waiters. Disappointing.

Two Things We Saw

  1. Milwaukee’s biggest successes came off Thunder turnovers. The Bucks scored 30 points on 22 OKC turnovers and only turned it over ten times themselves. Running for easy baskets was a big part of how the Bucks battled back from down 20 and showed the kind of complacency that seems to set in for the Thunder when they get up big.
  2. You’ve read this before: the Bucks struggled from three. They made just 3-19 from deep. Without anyone hitting threes, they just couldn’t quite overcome timely shots and free throws (16-18 FT) from Kevin Durant throughout the second half. Milwaukee missed some good looks, but that’s been the case often for the Bucks from deep this season.

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2 Comments

  1. I’m not sure OJ Mayo will be in the NBA in a year or two. His game, while never that great, is gone.

    Think of his time in Milwaukee. Year 2 was somewhat decent but still well below his career averages in scoring and shooting percentage.

    Year 1 his weight blew up and he basically was sent home for the last 3 months of the season.

    This year Mayo’s season has been just plain awful and he’s a big reason why the Bucks have struggled from 3 so much.

    Goodbye Uncle Juice.

  2. Yeah, for a guy in a contract year, he seems pretty unmotivated. The Bucks really need what he sometimes provided last year. This year, he’s just not doing it.