Sometimes teams lose and it’s not that big of a deal: Pacers 104 – Bucks 99

Indiana 104 Final
Recap | Box Score
99 Milwaukee
J. Parker 37 MIN | 8-15 FG | 0-0 3FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 18 PTS | +1 +/-

Milwaukee, Parker included, settled quite a bit early on. He ended up hitting five of seven shots around the hoop in the second half after attempting just two shots near the rim in the first half. The cutting lanes either weren’t there for him or his teammates weren’t finding him when he did have opportunities. This was definitely a game where an improved ability to get to the line would have helped Milwaukee. When they were suffering through an offensive drought early on, there didn’t seem to be any easy answers for them to fall back on. Ideally, Jabari will one day have those answers and be the guy who they rely on for baskets during tough times.

G. Antetokounmpo 41 MIN | 7-16 FG | 0-0 3FG | 8-8 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 22 PTS | -6 +/-

The Pacers gave Giannis a lot of space to operate. It was clear they wanted him to beat them with his jump shot early on. He found ways to carve through their defense as the night went on though and ended up helping Milwaukee spur a run in the second half by getting to the line for six free throws.

M. Plumlee 19 MIN | 3-3 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -6 +/-

Basic Plumlee night. Caught a lob. Grabbed some boards. Finished in close.

K. Middleton 38 MIN | 7-19 FG | 2-5 3FG | 7-9 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 23 PTS | +0 +/-

Without Middleton, it’s difficult to envision the Bucks finding a way to hang around against Indiana on Wednesday night. Giannis and Jabari both ended up cobbling together nice looking games, but early on, neither of them seemed to be able to find the spots where they can succeed and be aggressive.

O.J. Mayo 34 MIN | 1-4 FG | 1-4 3FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 3 PTS | -5 +/-

Mayo wasn’t very impactful. He definitely seems to understand how his duties have evolved with the current Bucks roster. He’s almost solely a spot-up shooter and creative passer at this point. Unfortunately, he’s not a very good shooter. He has his streaks, but he’s not reliable. This season, Middleton has made 44% of his catch and shoot threes, Bayless has made 47% and Mayo has hit just 33%. This role is necessary, but he’s not the ideal guy to fill it.

G. Monroe 29 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-0 3FG | 6-8 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 16 PTS | +1 +/-

He made just one of five shots through the first three quarters and had scored only five points. In a slow paced game, Milwaukee could have used more out of Monroe. They got more out of him in the fourth quarter. He scored 11 fourth quarter points, made all four of his shots and three out of his five free throws. He anchored Milwaukee’s offense to start the quarter and helped them crawl back into the game by providing something they could rely on against a tough defensive team.

When he has it going and the Bucks throw it into him and watch him go to work on the block it isn’t exactly the most entertaining basketball. Often, the Bucks passed him the ball and four guys stood around if the Pacers weren’t going to double-team the Bucks center. He won those one-on-one battles enough to make it useful for the Bucks early in the fourth, but, man was it boring.

J. Bayless 32 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-5 3FG | 5-5 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 11 PTS | -5 +/-

It turns out this is still Jerryd Bayless and not some alien from a planet of 3-point shooters posing as Jerryd Bayless. He missed all five of his 3-point attempts. He’s entitled to a few bad shooting nights after all of the great ones he’s had this season. And, despite failing to hit a three, he did still provide some scoring punch off the bench. He’s nicely complimented Milwaukee’s core lineup late in games.

R. Vaughn 10 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -5 +/-

InvisiVaughn showed up again. His most notable moment was that one rebound he grabbed. He sprinted up the court with the ball, but properly recognized there was no opportunity for him, passed it off, and I don’t even remember him getting another touch the rest of the way.

Two Things We Saw

  1. It just seemed like the Bucks were actively trying to figure out how to attack the Pacers early on. They couldn’t get many good looks and were relegated to jump shots that kept harmlessly bouncing off the rim. After going down 18 in the third quarter, things seemed to click a bit. Milwaukee’s defense was able to create some baskets for them and the game was up for grabs late. Against a well-coached, pretty solid Indiana team, that isn’t such a bad result.
  2. Certainly a blowout win over the Pacers and another batch of high-flying highlights would have been great to see on Wednesday night. But Indiana is not Houston. Indiana is the fourth best defensive team in the NBA. They controlled the game and worked to limit Milwaukee’s opportunities to run off mistakes or rebounds. The Bucks were out-rebounded 49-37 and scored only 10 points off turnovers. The Bucks also made just three 3-pointers once again. If Bayless and Mayo are both missing threes, it makes things a lot more challenging for Milwaukee.

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