Bucks Close Out Short-Handed Celtics
Milwaukee Bucks and the Boston Celtics could be getting ready to battle in a seven-game series by next weekend. We’ll see what the matchups are when the dust settled in a crazy Eastern Conference. If that happens, Milwaukee knows they can compete with Boston. Even though, the Celtics were a bit short-handed yesterday, it’s good to see Milwaukee close out a game compared to what happened on Sunday night in Denver. Giannis Antetokounmpo continues to be a real problem for Boston as they have no answer for him. Despite people’s frustrations including my own, Milwaukee is winners of four of their last six games and it really should be five.
Giannis and Khris carried the load
This is the type of game you want from both Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton. These guys carried the bulk of the scoring, and that’s how it should be with this team. They are much more successful when Giannis and Khris are the two guys to lean on. Antetokounmpo finished with 29 points, 11 rebounds and six assists while Middleton nearly had a triple-double with 20 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists. They both had stellar fourth quarters which helped propel Milwaukee over Boston last night.
Sharing is caring
Led by Middleton, Milwaukee had nearly 30 assists in this game. That’s an encouraging sign. The Bucks have looked selfish at times under Joe Prunty, and they did not have that vibe last night. Milwaukee showed in the past few games that they’re making the extra pass. Even if it’s not resulting in a corner three, it’s still leading to open shots. Four Bucks players had four or more assists last night.
Bench minutes shorten
Other than Jabari Parker, we saw the bench decrease minutes yesterday which might be a sign that we’re in playoff mode. NBA coaches tend to limit their bench come playoff time, and that appears what Joe Prunty may be doing. No bench player had more than 20 minutes if their first name wasn’t Jabari. That’s another encouraging sign. For the playoffs, Milwaukee’s bench unit will likely be Jabari, Tyler Zeller, Tony Snell and Matthew Dellavedova with the likes of Jason Terry and Brandon Jennings getting a few minutes.
Milwaukee stays home to welcome Brooklyn to town. Bucks have had the Nets number in the last few years, and they dominated this team last time out in early February. Giannis had a massive game in that one as well as John Henson. I’d expect more of the same. Milwaukee cannot lose this one.