The Milwaukee Bucks were without Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee), Donte DiVincenzo (foot), Khris Middleton (hip), Jrue Holiday (knee), and Bobby Portis (healthy and safety). With four starters out, Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Jordan Nwora, Alex Toupane, and Sam Merrill got starts. A game that many assumed would be a blowout loss turned into one of the most exciting games of the season. Despite the loss to the Knicks, the Young Bucks held their own and showed everyone that the future is bright in Milwaukee.
The Milwaukee Bucks made this a game, and even led late in the fourth quarter. This was in part due to double-doubles from Thanasis, Nwora, and Lopez. Thanasis led all scorers with 23 points. He also added 10 rebounds, five assists, and two steals. He was 4/5 from three, including this late shot:
Come for the stepback Thanasis triple. Stay for the reaction 😤 pic.twitter.com/fil58p9sbd
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) March 28, 2021
Jordan Nwora, the Bucks’ first pick in the second round of the 2020 Draft, finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Brook Lopez joined the double-double party with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Mamadi Diakite, the undrafted free agent that Bucks’ fans have been so excited to see, got his first meaningful minutes with so many players out. The young forward delivered. He finished with eight points, seven rebounds, two assists, and three blocks in 23 minutes. One of his blocks was an absolute swat on an attempted tear-drop shot by Derrick Rose.
🚨Mamadi Diakite Highlights🚨
23 Minutes pic.twitter.com/l7ZQc9qeGq
— Jake Reetz (@jajareetz) March 28, 2021
A Shallow Bench
Besides Mamadi Diakite, the only other Bucks’ bench players who were available were Bryn Forbes and Pat Connaughton. Forbes finished with 10 points, but did not shoot well. He was just 1/6 from three and 3/11 from the floor overall. Connaughton finished with 12 points and continued his hot shooting streak. He was 3/6 from three and 4/9 from the floor overall.
Despite the loss, the Bucks have still won 13 of their last 16 games and sit comfortably in the third seed in the East. They are entering a stretch in which they will play nine of their next ten games on the road. This stretch begins with a six-game road trip out West.
For More Great Wisconsin Sports Content
Follow me on Twitter at @theotherAdams14 and follow us @WiscoHeroics1 for more great content. Check out our merch page here and use promo code Wisco at check out for $1 off! To read more of our articles and keep up to date on the latest in Wisconsin sports, click here!