A night after setting the NBA record for three pointers made in a game, the Bucks’ offense went cold in the first and fourth quarters of Wednesday night’s game. After a slow first quarter saw the Bucks trailing 25-19, the offense heated up in the second. By halftime, the Bucks had built a five point lead. However, the Miami Heat caught fire in the second half. The Heat outscored the Bucks in the final two quarters to come away with the win.
Giannis Antetokounmpo bounced back from an off-night on Tuesday. Giannis finished with 26 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists. This was his first triple-double of the season and 19th of his career.
19th career triple-double for Giannis. pic.twitter.com/gI1qhSj4mF
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) December 31, 2020
After getting off to a slow shooting night, Giannis started to trust his shooters, who in turn started to knock down shots. This was especially evident in the second quarter when Giannis recorded six assists alone. An additional positive for Giannis was his perfect free throw shooting. Granted he only had four attempts, but he made them all. Finally, Giannis show flashes of that elusive three-point shot, finishing 2/5 from behind the arc.
Donte DiVincenzo has quickly made Bucks fans happy that the Bogdanovich trade fell through. Despite a poor shooting night, he finished with 15 points, five rebounds, and three steals. DiVincenzo is averaging 13.8 points, three rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game in the young season. It is reasonable to expect that he is only going to get better.
The often-criticized Pat Connaughton had a good game off the bench for the Bucks. He finished the night with 12 points (4/6 from three).
As noted previously, the Bucks had a record-setting shooting night in the game prior to this one. They were not nearly as effective on Wednesday. As a team, the Bucks shot 39% from behind the arc. While this is not bad, the two-point shooting was. As a team, the Bucks shot just 29% from inside the three-point arc.
Khris Middleton, who has been an fire to start the season, had an off night, shooting just 3/15 from the floor (0/4 from three). He had just eight points. Jrue Holiday, also, had an off night shooting the ball. He finished with 13 points on 4/15 shooting (3/7 from three).
Herro (21 PTS & 15 REB) was cooking against the Bucks ♨️ pic.twitter.com/WisxNm5EbE
— NBA TV (@NBATV) December 31, 2020
Perhaps what was most concerning was the Bucks inability to slow down two scoring guards on the floor at the same time. Tyler Herro torched the Bucks to the tune of 21 points and 15 rebounds. While Jrue Holiday guarded him, he was slowed. However, that was when Goran Dragic lit up. Dragic finished with 26 points in 27 minutes. Holiday could not guard both, and the rest of the Bucks struggled to contain the other.
Coach Bud had a lineup early in the game that consisted of DJ Augustin, Donte, Pat Connaughton, Thanasis Antetokounmpo, and Bobby Portis. Needless to say, it wasn’t effective. Famously slow to correct strategies that do not work, to Bud’s credit he did not use that lineup again.
Coaching decisions like this can be attributed to early season experiments. This is especially true considering the short preseason. However, the most suspicious thing for this game is the free throw differences. The Bucks shot 92% from the line, but only had 13 attempts. The Heat, on the other hand, had 29 attempts. The Bucks poor two-point shooting is a major factor as to why they lost, but there were some very questionable calls that favored the Heat. Just ask Brook Lopez:
Brook Lopez fell over just to mock Bam selling the foul call 😂 pic.twitter.com/maqN7l164l
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 31, 2020
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