Bobby Portis got the start, but the Milwaukee Bucks did not get the win as they fell to the Washington Wizards 118-95 at home on Sunday night. Unfortunately for the Bucks, star Giannis Antetokounmpo was a late scratch due to left knee soreness. Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday, and George Hill were already out. Middleton is dealing with right knee soreness while Holiday and George have non-COVID illnesses. The result was a Bucks starting lineup of regular starters Brook Lopez and Grayson Allen joined by Jevon Carter, Pat Connaughton and Portis. They were not nearly enough for Wizards team, who handed Milwaukee just their fourth home loss on the season.
Bobby Portis Ties Giannis for Third in Double-Doubles in NBA
There is only one player in the NBA who primarily comes off the bench that averages a double-double. Bobby Portis is that player. On the season, he is averaging 14.0 points and 10.1 rebounds per game.
Bobby Portis records his 21st double-double of the season, tying Giannis for third most in the NBA behind Sabonis and Jokic. pic.twitter.com/qiCwNVHghL
— Brett Usher (@UsherNBA) January 2, 2023
Like most of the Bucks players, Portis struggled from the field last night. He was just 6-16 from the floor, but was 1-2 from three. Portis was also a perfect 6-6 from the free throw line.
The Rookies Were a Bright Spot for the Milwaukee Bucks
With four players out with injuries/illnesses, MarJon Beauchamp and AJ Green were able to get some significant minutes, which has not happened a lot this season. Green especially was very efficient offensively. He was 4-7 from the field (2-5 from three) and scored 10 points in 17 minutes. Green also had three rebounds and a steal.
First round pick MarJon Beauchamp played 25 minutes, but was not as efficient as Green. He was 4-12 from the field (2-9 from three) and scored 11 points. Beauchamp added four rebounds and a steal as well.
It was a small sample size and they were far from perfect. However, the both Beauchamp and Green are proving that they are worthy of more playing time. They have already surpassed Jordan Nwora and Thanasis Antetokounmpo in the playing rotation.
Poor Shooting Struggles Continued for the Bucks
Prior to winning at home against the Minnesota Timberwolves on December 30, the Milwaukee Bucks had lost four straight games. A huge reason for that was that, outside of Giannis, the team struggled shooting. Not just from three either; they struggled with shooting from all over the court.
- Brook Lopez grabbed 10 rebounds, but scored just eight points on 3-10 shooting
- Jevon Carter scored 14 points, but was just 6-15 from the field
- Grayson Allen’s shooting struggles continued; he scored 13 points on 4-11 shooting (3-9 from three)
- Sandro Mamukelashvili and Joe Ingles combined to go 0-7 from the field
- Serge Ibaka was just 2-7 from the field (0-3 from three) and scored four points
It is not surprising that the Bucks lost without all of their Big Three. However, the performance from the rest of the team against Washington has highlighted an important issue: the Bucks need to improve their role player scoring. The season is far from over and in-house improvements can still be made. However, it will be interesting to see how Milwaukee approaches the NBA trade deadline. This is especially true if Middleton remains out for another extended period of time. There is no question that, without him playing at a high level, the Bucks need another scorer.