It took 3.5 quarters for the Milwaukee Bucks to wake up against the Charlotte Hornets in their 108-99 home victory, but when they did, the Bucks were a flying death machine on both ends of the court. It looked like it was going to be “one of those games:” with the Bucks missing a bevy of bunnies and open threes, but what’s a Bucks game without a heart attack? Here are three Bucks who stood out in the victory which pushed their win streak to 6 games.
It was a tale of two halves for Antetokounmpo who looked out of synch in the first but began to ramp up the aggression in the second. With the Bucks pretty much flatlining the whole game, they needed someone to take over and Giannis did just that. Big time players make big plays when it matters most, and last night was no exception for him. Although his play was lackadaisical and frustrating at times (including a blown fast break dunk), he still finished with another gargantuan performance. He totaled 34 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, and 3 blocks in 38 minutes. Let’s not forget that he sank 14-of-21 shots. Just completely unreal. He also single-handedly outscored the Hornets in the 4th period (14-12). What were you doing when you were 24?
He had a fair share of total bricked shots, but also a multitude of acrobatic finishes around the rim in traffic. In 31 minutes he scored 18 points to go along with 4 rebounds and 3 assists (plus-12). While he did make 7-of-16 shots, he was 0-for-7 from deep and his three-point percentage for the year now sits at 30.7. A lot of his missed threes are open looks too, so this is definitely a stat to monitor as the Bucks creep up on the All-Star break. Even though he wasn’t hitting threes, Bledsoe used his ability to break down the opposing defense which opened up looks for other Bucks which is extremely hard to complain about. He also played airtight defense on Hornets star Kemba Walker who finished with only 10 points on 12 shot attempts. That is no easy feat. At this point, it would not surprise me if Bledsoe’s muscles had muscles.
Don’t get me wrong, he got off to a rough start with a few inexplicable misses around the rim, but he made up for it when the Bucks were mounting their furious rally. The President scored 19 points while hauling in 5 boards and uncharacteristically dished out only one dime. It was a weird game for the Bucks, so weird that Brogdon only attempted two three-pointers. He made 7-of-13 shots overall and had his fingerprints all over this comeback. This juncture in the fourth really helped tilt the momentum in Milwaukee’s favor.
- Khris Middleton got off to a hot start in the first period but finished with 15 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. He made 6-of-12 shots from the floor and 2-of-5 three-pointers but was seldom heard from after his scoring burst early in the game. Even with the dry spell, he finished plus-17.
- As the Bucks clung to life in the fourth, coach Bud subbed in Pat Connaughton as a last-ditch effort at a comeback. Although Pat did not score in 12 minutes, he provided the Bucks with some stellar defense which is exactly what they needed. 0 points, 2 rebounds, and one assist…he finished plus-18. I love basketball.
- Where has the Bucks bench gone? They’ve been totally MIA the last few games, and combined for only 14 points between 6 players. Oof.
- The Bucks shot 46.1 percent from the floor and 19.4 percent from deep. It’s remarkable that they still won.