The Milwaukee Bucks hosted the Pacers on Tuesday and got a 128-119 victory behind Giannis Antetokounmpo’s stellar performance. Giannis was outstanding, scoring 50 points on just 21 total shots while also logging 14 rebounds in the process. Antetokounmpo became just the 3rd player in history to score 50 points and have 10+ rebounds on 80% shooting.
However, Antetokounmpo wasn’t the only bright spot last night. The Bucks had several key players off the bench that helped secure the victory. There were also some very encouraging signs that this Bucks team has a chance to be great once healthy. Here are two reasons why Bucks fans should be encouraged after Tuesday’s win.
The Play Of The Bucks’ Big Men
Every one of the Bucks big men stepped up in some way last night. We’ve already put to bed how dominant Giannis was on Tuesday night, but he wasn’t the only one. Even though Bobby Portis didn’t have a great night shooting (3-14), he was amazing on the defensive side of the ball. Portis logged 3 steals to go along with 14 rebounds to help the Bucks capitalize on the newly constructed Pacers offense. Meanwhile, newly added Buck Serge Ibaka had nine points and five rebounds off the bench in just 24 minutes.
If Milwaukee can still get this good of play from all their big men once Brook Lopez returns, then the league better watch out. The Bucks arguably will have three of the best big man defenders in the league with Giannis, Ibaka, and Lopez, once fully healthy. If the Bucks can get any backup guard to help to go along with the big men, then the Bucks could have one of the most scary rosters when healthy.
The Emergence Of Lindell Wigginton
The Bucks need all the help they can get right now when it comes to the guard position. Rookie guard Lindell Wigginton continued to empress on Tuesday night after scoring 12 points off the bench. Wigginton hasn’t gotten to play near as much as the other guards this season, but his minutes are ramping up as of late. He played a total of 28 minutes last night, which was the most minutes played by a Bucks bench player on Tuesday. If Wigginton can become an efficient and viable option at the guard position then the Bucks might not have to worry. Once Connaughton and George Hill come back from injury the Bucks will have their stable of guards replenished.
The Bucks are planning to sign free agent DeAndre’ Bembry who might bring help to the Bucks bench. However, don’t be surprised if they still make another signing that can bring depth to the guard position. Although George Hill has experience, he hasn’t been performing the way the Bucks hoped he would. One guard option they have been interested in is Goran Dragic.
When fully healthy, the Milwaukee Bucks are easily one of the best teams in the entire NBA. However, Milwaukee can become even scarier if they get consistent play from Ibaka. Also, by adding some stable bench play to the mix. Whether that stable bench play comes from someone not yet on the team remains to be seen. In the end, no matter what happens… I have a feeling the Bucks will make another deep playoff run.
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