BucksCap: Middleton Carries Bucks in Overtime Thriller
Milwaukee Bucks came into Washington as they have in many road games against an inferior team. They were favored by double-digits, they were expected to win and in a way, they were expected to dominate. At some points last night, Milwaukee looked like that team. But in the final quarter, Bradley Beal and Washington carried the Wizards to nearly upsetting the Bucks. Beal got hot late and led the Wizards on this charge with 41 points in the final quarter. To add Giannis Antetokounmpo fouled out, therefore, Bucks had to rely on others. Thankfully, those others are Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe. Middleton broke out of a mini-cold snap and scored nine straight points in overtime to give Milwaukee the victory on Monday.
Player of the Game: Khris Middleton – What a game for Khris overall. Man, it scared me that the haters would get their wish with him going ice cold in the first part of overtime. But then things changed on a dime, Middleton scored nine straight points including a clutch three to put Milwaukee up by three points. They never looked back from there. Middleton had 40 points, five rebounds, and five assists. He shot the ball 28 times which is the most he took since November 1st in 2017 against Charlotte.
Honorable Mention: Eric Bledsoe – Despite what Middleton did, do not sleep on the night that Bledsoe had himself as well. He played great in this game. Bledsoe’s stat line was a thing of beauty. He finished with 23 points, 10 assists, and seven rebounds. He made seven of his eleven attempts including four three-pointers. He hit a big three late in overtime along with playing tough defense on Beal combined with George Hill. The Bucks point guard worked his ass off in this one.
One Thing I Liked: Robin Lopez gave Bucks great minutes tonight – Filling in for his brother, Brook, Robin Lopez played great tonight in his own right. Lopez played 33 minutes, scored eleven points and played some great defense in the final minute of regulation along with overtime. Lopez made a key block to keep Milwaukee’s chances alive in regulation. He has been extremely solid as a bench contributor for Milwaukee in the last couple of weeks.
One Thing I Didn’t Like: You have to close the door – I know the broadcast spun this as a ‘Good game for the Bucks to have’, but in reality, Milwaukee should have never put themselves here. They had a lead and should have finished this one off easily. That didn’t occur which is unfortunate and rare for Milwaukee. I’ll chalk this up to Beal getting super hot and not wanting his team to lose versus a concerning trend.
Next up: Milwaukee takes on the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night. If there was a night to play Giannis 35+ minutes, this would be the game. They do not do it often, but Milwaukee might need it with the extended minutes played by Middleton, Bledsoe, Lopez, and others. If they can win this one, it will be a gritty victory without question.