Bucks Defense Fails To Join Them in Charlotte
There are some good news and some bad news from last night’s Bucks loss to the Charlotte Hornets where they fell 126-121 to lose their second straight game, and their first losing streak of the year. The good news is the Bucks offense figured out a way to score without Giannis Antetokounmpo led by a career-high 43 points from much-maligned Khris Middleton. Bad news was without Giannis, no one decided to play defense especially on Malik Monk who had his breakout game as a Hornet. Bucks could have won this one.
Things I liked
K-Midd breaks out of his shooting slump – ‘Just when I thought I was out…. they pull me back in!’ That could be applied to Khris Middleton who heard all of the critics for the last week. Middleton made a statement with 43 points on 15-of-28 shooting with five made threes. He added seven assists and five rebounds as well. Middleton making five threes might be the biggest deal of them all as he’s been ice cold from deep. He did what he could to bring Milwaukee back in the fourth, but they came up short.
John Henson in the starting lineup – It appears that we’ll see more of John Henson in the starting lineup. The numbers show that Bucks starters are better with Henson on the floor versus Maker. The former first-round pick had another nice game in the middle with 4 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. That’s a solid stat line for Johnny. Once again, we see the big man-Malcolm Brogdon connection work to perfection a couple of times in this one. Henson did okay against Charlotte’s Dwight Howard too who only had 17-11.
Things I didn’t like
No D without Giannis – Rough night for the Bucks superstar who ended up in foul trouble yet again. It led to Giannis on the bench for most of the fourth quarter. This allowed for the Monk show to happen. The first round pick out of Kentucky put on an absolute show in the fourth quarter. Monk finished with a career-high 25 points and five made threes. He couldn’t miss late in this one. Bucks have to pick up their defense when Giannis is out.
Predictable Giannis regression – I’m not surprised to see Giannis struggle over the last two games. Teams have more tape on him through the first two weeks of the season, and these were his first real tough challenges from a defense perspective. Paul George/Andre Roberson are bruisers, and even with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist only playing seven minutes (Shouts to Carl who pointed this out, it felt like he was out there for longer), Charlotte played much tougher than they did last week. Giannis’ numbers were likely a bit inflated by the competition, yet, I still think more teams than not have zero Giannis’ stoppers.
Milwaukee continues on the road for a Friday night matchup against Detroit in their new arena. Pistons are off to a nice start with their 5-3 record including a road win versus Golden State last Sunday. They’ll be well-rested headed into this one. Andre Drummond could give this team a bit of trouble.