Milwaukee Bucks vs Washington Wizards- Game Two
The (10-5) Milwaukee Bucks take on the (2-12) Washington Wizards at home at the “beer keg”- the Fiserv forum- on Black Friday. Milwaukee hammered the Wizards this past Monday 142-129 and Vegas has Washington as 14-point dawgs.
What a game vs the Celtics on Wednesday Night in Boston!
You may have been busy reuniting with friends at your local watering hole, but it was a close game and almost felt like a team at its peak (Boston) playing a team still working to figure it out ( Milwaukee). I’ll take the team early in the season “figuring it out” versus the more polished regular season any day! I still vividly remember having the best regular season record and then getting dropped like a bad habit in the NBA playoffs by the Miami Heat.
Look at this montage of missed layups in a game the Bucks lost by 3. And it's not like these were a ton of great contest. Just a bunch of misses. That was a D- Bucks game last night and we stayed in it. Stay positive!! https://t.co/TfVF4w7iLj
— Trey Crosby III Guru (@TCIIIESQ) November 23, 2023
Milwaukee has made some moves that have greatly improved their team. Those moves continue to take time to click.
We discussed at some length in this space that Milwaukee better not get rolled in that game. And they didn’t. But for some reason they did miss a lot of layups and dunks that would have made the game much more interesting.
Related: Bucks vs Celtics Preview
The only story for this Black Friday NBA game would be if Washington somehow made it competitive. Washington’s best two players are as good as Milwaukee’s 8th and 9th best players.
Respect between Jrue and Dame before they battle 🤝
Don't miss Celtics vs. Bucks at 7:30pm/et on ESPN! pic.twitter.com/vgb3rFel1c
— NBA (@NBA) November 22, 2023
This game COUNTS as an NBA group play in-season tournament game.
Milwaukee Bucks keys to victory
Rebound the Basketball
Last season the Milwaukee Bucks were the NBA’s top rebounding team. (48.6 rebounds per game)
This year they are 21st (42.9 rebounds per game)
In Monday’s win against Washington Milwaukee outrebounded them 55-26. 55-26!
When you control the glass you can also control the tempo of the game. This team needs to do better and it starts with some basic fundamentals: box out your man and put your body in a position to get the rebound.
Time to show off the depth
Only two Milwaukee Buck players average over thirty minutes a game- you guessed it Dame and Giannis. Giannis played against Boston with a nasty cold. He is listed as “probable”. He still might not play.
After last night's game in Boston, I asked Antetokounmpo about the differences in attacking this year's version of the Celtics defense and previous versions with Marcus Smart, Grant Williams and Robert Williams.
— Eric Nehm (@eric_nehm) November 23, 2023
AJJ (Andre Jackson Jr) has been the surprise rookie Milwaukee wanted coming into the season. (See Drew Timme) He needs to play a bunch against the Wizards.
AJ Green has looked good in spurts this season. It’d be nice to see him get some playing time tonight (15+ minutes). Right now he has only played in seven games and is averaging around 8 minutes per game. He is shooting over 43% from three.
The Bucks need some strong bench minutes tonight.
Score and Score Early
The Bucks average 27 points a game in the first quarter. That is fine. That is 19th in the NBA.
Washington only averages 26 points in the first quarter. I get it; a one-point first quarter lead is still a lead. But for this particular game if Milwaukee could find a way to have a 8+ point lead in the first quarter you might be able to get the Wizards to “give up”.
The Opponent: The Washington Wizards
The Wizards are in rebuild mode and have the potential to have a really, really bad season. (Win less than 20 games?). After having traded Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis the team signaled the team plans to acquire draft picks, looking forward to the future.
Washington and Milwaukee just played four days ago. We learned a lot about them, then.
Daniel Gafford and Kyle Kuzma remain. Kuzma put up 22 points against the Bucks on Monday. He looked semi-interested in what was going on. Gafford got “posterized” by Giannis. He played 29 minutes and had 14 points. He looked slow at times.
Milwaukee Native Jordan Poole was added in the offseason for point guard Chris Paul. Poole can score. On Monday’s game he looked crisp and dropped 30.
Tyus Jones is also on this squad. The gritty point guard leads the team in assists.
However when the Bucks and Wizards last played Kyle Kuzma was the primary passer, dropping 13 dimes.
Deni Avdija is an interesting player. Now a starter, the former first round pick is averaging over 13 a game. He is lean and plays as big as his 6’9” frame. Against Milwaukee he just seemed to play scared.
The Wizards don’t really have a ton of depth. Corey Kispert has been playing a lot off the bench. The 24 yr old 1st round pick averages 10 points a game.
Things to tell your buddies as you are watching the game
- Washington is only 1-7 away from home.
- Props to my homies that call their shots. This writer wrote one thing, ever, for WiSportsHeroics. He previewed the Jets and was a great trade partner for the Green Bay Packers. Nice work Chris Peterson! Any Bucks vibes? Can we manifest another article?
Follow me on Twitter at @authorrudylb and check out my other writings at www.rudylb.com. Follow us at @WiSportsHeroics! For all things Wisconsin sports, click here! Also, check out our merch store for some amazing WSH merchandise!