Bucks Buzz: SuperSized Lineup Saves Milwaukee
Mike Budenholzer knew something I had to change with the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night. Indiana came back with a vengenance in the second half and flipped the score to a 10-point lead in the Pacers favor. While Bucks hung in there for the third period thanks to George Hill and others, they kept matching the Pacers and not getting any spots. That’s until Bucks went with a jumbo lineup featuring Brook Lopez, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Ersan Ilyasova on the floor at the same time. With the constant switching and the size of this Bucks lineup, they were able to power through against Indiana finishing the game on a 30-11 run to beat the Pacers, 106-97. Bucks have won seven straight road games and won eight of their last nine games to the All-Star Break.
Player of the Game: Giannis Antetokounmpo – What a night for the Greek Freak. He finished with 33 points, 19 rebounds and 11 assists. Giannis was one rebound away from being only the third player to have 30-20-10 in a single game in the last decade. Giannis could not be stopped. Thaddeus Young talked about how Indiana shut down Milwaukee’s best player last time they played, and it appears Giannis took that comment to heart. Pacers were way too small in the post for Giannis as he busted it out all the movs last night.
Silver Star: Ersan Ilyasova – It’s been awhile since we spoke positively about Ersan. He has been in a bit of a slump, but it appears Ilyasova is working out of it. He scored 11 points, but more importantly was his defense. He added to that jumbo lineup and played really well down the stretch for Milwaukee. The team does not win without Ersan doing all of the little things and frustrated the home team.
Positive: Bucks coaching advantage – One of the better things about Milwaukee this season is they have a coach who can find an upper hand against the opposition regularly. He did it again on Wednesday night. That’s such an advantage for Milwaukee compared to some of the other top Eastern Conference coaches in the playoffs. Budenholzer made Nate McMillian look silly.
Negative: Rough night for Eric Bledsoe – Some nights you have it, some nights you don’t. Tough game for Eric Bledsoe who only scored four points in 21 minutes. It is easily Bledsoe’s worst performance in the last couple weeks. Budenholzer pulled him for George Hill and a supersized lineup during the second half. Not worry about Bledsoe heading into a funk yet.
Highlight of the night: Prez to Freak with a great dish.
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) February 14, 2019
Next up: Bucks take a week off for the All-Star Break. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton will be playing on Sunday night with Khris participating in the three-point shootout. After that, Bucks get a few days off before starting the final push of the season against the Boston Celtics.