Friday night was an amazing win against the Brooklyn Nets for the Milwaukee Bucks. The team looked to take that energy to Charlotte to take on the Hornets on Saturday night.
Claiming an early 11-point lead, the Bucks weren’t able to maintain said lead as the Hornets fought back and took a double-digit lead. Charlotte was able to maintain their lead for the majority of the game until Milwaukee came back late in the fourth quarter to make it a four-point game with under a minute to go.
Sadly, the triumphant comeback fell short as Charlotte’s guard Terry Rozier sank a three to put them up by seven points. While it was a tough loss for Milwaukee, they will have another chance to face Charlotte on Monday night. However, let’s take a look at some takeaways from Saturday night’s 114-106 defeat.
Though the Bucks lost, Giannis Antetokounmpo once again carried his team.
If you think there is any other player worthy of the MVP award, you’re wrong. No one is playing as great or better than Giannis Antetokounmpo, there’s no question about it. As the Bucks experience a shorthanded roster with Connaughton, Allen, and Holiday out on Saturday, the reigning MVP dominated.
Running the fourth quarter, Giannis dropped 21 points as he was able to get inside of Charlotte’s zone and attack the rim. Tallying up no fouls, Antetokounmpo shot 8-of-14 in the two-point range. Scoring 43 points alone is an impressive stat, but Giannis also added 12 rebounds, three assists, two blocks, and a steal in 37 minutes of play.
Offensively, Giannis has been a force to be reckoned with. He took quite a beating on Saturday; Seeing as though he was awarded 20 free throws, making 18 of them. It’s just unfortunate that after this amazing performance, the Bucks weren’t able to capitalize on it, and come back with a victory.
The Bucks couldn’t take advantage of turnovers, and some key players weren’t shooting well.
In Brooklyn, players such as Rodney Hood and Jordan Nwora were able to boost the Bucks’ offense and help them over the Nets. Looking at Saturday, however, it wasn’t the same story. The sloppy playing, the ball slipping out of their hands, Charlotte was able to take advantage of the lazy athleticism. Jordan Nwora was 1-of-11, Rodney Hood was 0-for-5, and Wes Matthews only 3-of-10 shooting. Even on a night where Giannis is shooting 43 points, Portis with 19, and Middleton with 27, the lack of shooting was definitely noticed.
The Hornets were able to get buckets early with their first two being off Milwaukee turnovers. Off of 15 turnovers by the Bucks, Charlotte ended up with 21 points. Milwaukee only converted 10 turnovers into 14 points.
As noted before, Middleton and Portis were able to contribute a fair amount of points, but their amount of turnovers ultimately hurt them. Portis had four, while Middleton had a season-high of six; It was another case of slip-ups, not being able to really find a rhythm in their shooting.
Reinforcements are definitely needed.
Off the bench, the only Bucks player to contribute was Sandro Mamukelashvili, who scored five. Hood, Galloway, Antetokounmpo, and Ojeleye went a combined 0-for-15 on the floor. It’s hard to win games when a team depends on three or four players to carry their offensive production.
Luckily, the team is starting to get healthier. Jrue Holiday was out of Saturday’s game after a tweaked ankle in Toronto; Darvin Ham, who is taking the role for coach Mike Budenholzer while he’s in health and safety protocols, reported that Holiday has cleared protocols. The Bucks are waiting on the return of Grayson Allen, Donte DiVincenzo, and Pat Connaughton; Once these players return, having them in the lineup will be crucial for the Bucks’ success if they want to get out of the losing funk.
Milwaukee falls to 26-16 on the year after Saturday’s loss. They will have another chance to face Charlotte on Monday night at 6:00 P.M CST.