BucksCap: Giannis & Bucks Ride Hot Second Half To Victory
Milwaukee Bucks started somewhat slow against the Philadelphia 76ers. After what happened on Christmas Day, there might be a little concern that Philly is the Bucks’ kryptonite. But then the third quarter happened. What we’ve seen recently from the Bucks is they pull off some amazing third quarters. They outscored Philadelphia only by nine points, but it felt like a lot more with how poorly Philadelphia shot the ball. Bucks used that and won 112-101. Giannis had another massive night and he became the first player since Wilt Chamberlain in 1965 to have five straight games of 30-10-5.
Player of the Game: Giannis Antetokounmpo – What a night for Giannis. He scored 36 points, grabbed 20 rebounds, and six assists. It didn’t matter who Philly threw at him in this game. Al Horford and Joel Embiid could not stop him. He is on a complete heater right before the All-Star Game. That’s incredible when you read reporters and hear from analysts about how this is the ‘dog days’ of basketball. Giannis figuring out Philadelphia is a big credit to him and Mike Budenholzer.
Honorable Mention: Khris Middleton – People love to run their mouths about how Khris Middleton doesn’t come up in big games. But last night, we saw a great second half from Midds. He scored 20 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists. Middleton scored 16 of those 20 in the second half. He started to cook as he has in the last few weeks. You can either choose to believe Middleton can do this in big games now or after the Bucks make the NBA Finals, take your pick.
One Thing I Liked: Bud’s Philly adjustment – Budenholzer made it a point to switch up Giannis’ rotations to keep him off the court at times when Embiid was on it. When Embiid came off, Giannis came back in. This made it very difficult for Philadelphia and its coaching staff. This is the type of shit I like to see from Budenholzer. We hear all the time about how they do not make adjustments, but this is a clear adjustment.
Next up: Bucks head out for another one-game road trip on Saturday afternoon against the Orlando Magic. The last team that the Orlando Magic wants to see right now is the Bucks. Magic cannot buy a win to save their soul. They’ve lost nine of their last eleven games. Orlando’s offense in the last few weeks has been very bad, and that’s a problem against Bucks whose defensive rating is one of the best in the league.