The Milwaukee Bucks have lost four straight games and will look to right the ship against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night. During their four-game losing streak, two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is averaging 35.8 points, 14.5 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game. In two of those games, he scored 45 points. One would have assumed that if Giannis was putting up these kinds of numbers, the Bucks would be winning. Instead, they lost all four games. What this losing streak has done is highlight a major issue with the current Bucks roster.
Giannis Has Not Been Getting Much Help
Over the past four games, there has been a disturbing trend of the Bucks’ role players failing to support the amazing performances Giannis has put on. As we will see below, the rest of the team’s shooting numbers leave a great deal to be desired.
Loss to Cleveland
When the Milwaukee Bucks lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers on December 21, Giannis scored 45 points while shooting 17-27 from the field (0-1 from three). He was also 11-16 from the free throw line. While Giannis was shooting over 50% overall from the field, though, the rest of the team shot 39%. Only two other Bucks players, Brook Lopez and MarJon Beauchamp, reached double figures.
Loss to Brooklyn
In their recent loss to the Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee’s supporting players also struggled. Giannis was 9-13 from the floor and scored 26 points. Lopez was 10-16 from the floor and scored 23. However, everyone else struggled. Aside from Giannis and Lopez, the Bucks shot 32.7% from the floor.
Loss to Boston
The concerning trend continued when Milwaukee fell to the Boston Celtics on Christmas Day. While Giannis himself struggled from the floor (9-22 from 27 points), Lopez and Jrue Holiday each shot over 50%. Unfortunately, no one else stepped up. Aside from Giannis, Lopez, and Holiday, the team shot 45%.
Loss to Chicago
Perhaps, though, the Bucks’ most recent loss to the Chicago Bulls is the best example of Giannis’ lack of help. While he scored 45 on 17-39 shooting, the rest of the team shot 33.8% from the field.
Other Players Need to Step Up
Khris Middleton is hurt and he will not return against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Also, Holiday is listed as doubtful with a non-COVID illness. Therefore, other players must start hitting shots if Milwaukee is to snap their losing streak.
Grayson Allen Needs to Be Better
One player in particular that has been struggling during the losing streak is Grayson Allen. Over his last four games, Allen is shooting 30/27/100 from the floor. In his last game against the Bulls, Allen was just 3-14 from three. To put it plainly, this is not acceptable. His 16 shot attempts (he made four) were the third most on the team behind Giannis and Bobby Portis. One can appreciate his attempt to be the team’s third scorer, but it just was not good enough.
Milwaukee Needs 2021-22 Pat Connaughton
One may be surprised to learn that the Bucks’ all-time leader in two-point field goal percentage is Pat Connaughton (61.1%). Last season, Connaughton shot over 64% on two-point attempts while shooting 39.5% from three. To say that he has taken a step backwards this season would be an understatement.
So far this season, Connaughton is shooting just 43.8% on two-point attempts. This is his lowest mark since his rookie season in 2015-16. Additionally, his three point percentage has fallen down to 31.5%, which also is his lowest since his rookie season. Of course, the season is not even halfway over yet and he has time to bring those numbers up. However, without Middleton and Holiday, Connaughton has to be better now.
Jevon Carter Is in a Slump
So far this season, Jevon Carter is averaging 7.5 points while shooting 42/39/86 from the field. However, over the course of the losing streak, he is shooting just 35% from the field overall and 29% from three. As a player that the Bucks tend to rely on whenever Middleton and/or Holiday are out, his offense simply needs to be better. Carter has shown that he can be reliable, proven by his 36-point performance against the Oklahoma City Thunder earlier this season.
There is no timetable for when Khris Middleton will return, and even when he did play he was not playing at his usual high level. While Jae Crowder does remain an intriguing trade candidate, rumors or trade talks are not going to win games right now. In order to stop this streak, the Bucks need to look within themselves and simply play better.
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