Bucks Lead

Bucks Roundup: Week of 12/11-12/17

on

Each week here on Bucks Lead you can look forward to reading Bucks Roundup, a recap of last weeks’ games and a look ahead to the upcoming week!

 

Wednesday December 13th: Pelicans 115, Bucks 108

In the first game of the week, the Bucks headed down to New Orleans to face the All-Star frontcourt duo of Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins. The Bucks lack of depth due to injuries definitely played a factor in this game as GPII and Rashad Vaughn had to play a combined 34 minutes. That is not a winning combo. The Bucks lack of a solid rim protector and rebounder down low was a big piece of the puzzle as well. Cousins and Davis were able to do what ever they wanted both putting up 25+ points and 10+ rebounds. Giannis again played like an MVP with 32 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, and 5 steals. Middleton had a double-double but he only scored 14 points on a brutal shooting night for him (5-19 from the field). Bledsoe, the third of the marquee three, also struggled from the field going 5-14 with 14 points. Henson added some solid scoring with 14 points of his own, but only managed to reign in 6 rebounds. The Pelicans were able to get help from newly acquired E’twaun Moore (21 points on 73% shooting) and Jrue Holiday (16 points and 9 assists).

If the Pelicans make the playoffs, which I assume they will, they are certainly a dark horse to make it to the conference finals and challenge whoever they meet. So with that being said, an injury-ridden basketball team like the Bucks should not be too worried about a 7-point loss to this team.

 

Friday December 15: Bulls 115, Bucks 109

On the other hand, this game was a major disappointment for the Bucks. The Bulls have been one of the worst teams in the NBA this year. They have been playing much better since Nikola Mirotic has returned from his fractured face, but that is no excuse for the Bucks to lose to this team. In a game where Giannis and Khris combine for 58 points on 20-37 shooting, the rest of the Bucks combined for 51 points on 20-46. You can see where the fault lies in this game. Besides those two stars, no one else on the team was able to get even remotely started offensively. Giannis added 16 rebounds and Middleton added 6 rebounds and 6 six assists as well as 4 steals.

You do have to give credit to the Bulls players however as almost every single one of them played very good games. Bobby Portis led them with a career high 27 points and 12 rebounds. His boxing buddy, Nikola Mirotic added 22 points and 8 rebounds. Robin Lopez had 18 and 8, Kris Dunn had 17 and 7 assists, and Justin Holiday had 8 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists. And then to top it off David Nwaba added 13 points and 8 rebounds. If the Bucks got even remotely close to the type of team effort that the Bulls got, this outcome would be switched around but the Bucks did not come to play and it cost them.

 

Saturday December 16: Rockets 115, Bucks 111

The Bucks ended this rough week with a four-point loss to the team with the best record in the NBA. The Rockets are now 14-0 with Chris Paul in their lineup this year and they are playing top notch basketball. It is another game where the Bucks played really well against a really good team and they just fell short. Usually when you hold the Rockets to 31% shooting from behind the arc, you will have a more than likely chance at beating them.

Giannis again lit up the stat sheet like an MVP candidate should. He had 28 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals. Middleton added 23 points and Bledsoe scored 19. Brogdon impressed again off the bench with 20 points including 3 three-pointers. The rest of the Bucks were underwhelming on the night. The next highest scorer reached just 6 points.

For the Rockets, James Harden was his usual self, posting 31 points, 6 rebounds, and five assists. Aforementioned Chris Paul, played like his normal self as well, scoring 25 points, grabbing 5 rebounds, and dishing out 6 assists. Eric Gordon and Nene added 16 points each off of the bench.

 

Conclusion:

The Bucks overall just played bad basketball this week. After coming off a 3-1 week where they catapulted up to the 4th in the east, they fell flat. Many Bucks fans are not surprised as this has become the norm for this team in the last year or so. You think they have found their way over the hump, but right as your expectations get to top they push them right back down to the base of that hump. In order to get over that hump they need to get one more guy that they can rely on to score AT LEAST 10 points per game on a very consistent basis. Besides Giannis, Middleton, Bledsoe and Brogdon, there is not really a guy you can get that from. Snell is hurt right now, but he is not a going to score double digits unless he knocks down a few threes. Henson has always been a streaky player. Maker has not improved enough to make a large offensive impact yet. Liggins is strictly a defensive asset. So in order to get over that hump, they will just have to wait until Jabari’s knee heals up. He has proven in his time in the league that he can average 20 points per game. That is way more than the Bucks need to get over the hump. Let’s meet in the middle and give him 15 points per game. That should be enough to make the Bucks a scary opponent for any team in the East.

 

THIS WEEK’S GAMES

Monday December 18th vs. Cavaliers

The Bucks play three games against two opponents this week and arguably the second hottest team in the NBA is one of them. This will be a good test for the Bucks to see where they are at after an up and down last two weeks. In Milwaukee’s second game of the year, they played these Cavaliers and lost by 19 and more recently lost by five points. But, that result should not mean much as the Bucks have since acquired Eric Bledsoe, and do not have players like Tony Snell, Matthew Dellavedova, and Mirza Teletovic all lost to injury at the moment. The Cavaliers are also a much improved team as they seem to have finally figured out their chemistry. LeBron James has five consecutive games of 10+ assists and three straight games of having a triple double. Kevin Love has found his stride again this year and complimentary players like Jeff Green, Dwyane Wade, and Kyle Korver are realizing their roles and embracing them. It for sure will be a tough test for the Bucks coming off a three game losing streak, but we will see what Milwaukee Bucks team shows up.

 

Friday December 22 vs. Hornets and Saturday December 23rd at Hornets

The Bucks other opponent on the week is the Charlotte Hornets. These Hornets have not played up to their expectations so far this year but the Hornets and Bucks always seem to play each other tough. The Bucks won the first meeting by 9 and the Hornets won the second game by 5. Expect these games to be two more extremely competitive games that both teams desperately need. The key to each of the games will be whether or not the Bucks can contain Dwight Howard. He is the type of player that can easily give the Bucks trouble, similar to the way Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins did last week.  Kemba Walker has the potential to go off at any time as well. If the Bucks keep these players relatively in check, they should feel confident with coming out of this week with at least two wins.

 

 

Comments

comments

About Aaron Morse

UW-La Crosse Class of 2019 | Majoring in Sports Journalism. Minoring in Sports Broadcasting and Coaching | You can follow me on Twitter @FlyinHawaiian36

Recommended for you

Powered by themekiller.com