The Bucks entering this game are on a three game losing streak. Losing to the Suns, Jazz and Thunder. All these games have been without All-star point guard Jrue Holiday. The Bucks have been struggling lately on the defensive end of the floor. They are used to being a top tier defensive team but as of lately they are one of the worst in the leagues.
The Bucks and Raptors were off to hot starts from the field. Kyle Lowry was 7 for 12 from the the field and he only played 22 minutes before hurting his ankle at the end of the first half. The Bucks went up 12 in the second quarter and that lead evaporated within a couple of minutes. Middleton had another bad game going 4-8 from the field and 1-3 from the three point line. The fact that Middleton only had 8 shots is terrible for our second leading scorer.
The first half was all about Pat Connaughton. He was 4 for 5 on threes along with 2 blocks in the first half. He was putting on a show for the people of Milwaukee. Giannis of course had another monster night putting up 34 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists.
Entering the second half it was a neck and neck game until the Raptors just kept draining threes. This has been the recipe all year to beat the Bucks. It seems year after year it has been the same discussion about the defense. This team is too good to be losing 4 games a row. This is the first time happening since the 2019 eastern conference finals against the Raptors.
As a Bucks fam I am worried. The Raptors shot 40% from 3 and teams have been doing that all year against the Bucks. Our defensive scheme is one of the worst in the NBA and if it doesn’t change soon we will not make it far in the playoffs. The time to win for Milwaukee is now.
The Bucks need help on the defensive end on the floor specifically at center. Brook Lopez cannot guard anyone and he has been a reliability all year. Donte DiVincenzo needs to step up. He is in his third year and needs to learn how to be more physical on both ends of the floor. Jrue Holiday is still out and it looks like he is the Bucks glue guy. Once he gets back our team will look entirely different. Khris Middleton can’t be inconsistent. He needs to figure it out.
Bucks lose 125-124 to the Suns
The Bucks entering this game had a 5 game win streak and were without guard Jrue Holiday. The Bucks just beat the Nuggets in Denver, which is always a tough place to play. They ran into a young Suns team that have won 5 out of their last 6 games. Stopping Chris Paul and Devin Booker wasn’t going to happen once our All-Star point guard was ruled out because of the league health and safety protocols.
The Bucks and Suns started of the game very hot with each team making an abundance of 3s to start the game. Giannis Antetokounmpo was off to a a great start with scoring 10 quick points. Also, Brynn Forbes caught fire going 5 for 6 from the three to start the game. That was then matched by big man Deandre Ayton. After one quarter the Bucks and Suns were tied. Entering the second quarter the Bucks took control of the game with DJ Augustine and Bobby Portis coming off the bench. The Bucks extended their lead to 16 points at one point. The Bucks went into halftime up 12.
After halftime the Suns were a different team. They came out hot and stayed hot for majority of the game when the Bucks just watched their lead slip away.
Entering the 4th quarter the Bucks had a one point lead. Giannis put the team on his back the entire game. The Suns took the lead and had a six point lead with 2 minutes left. That didn’t stop the Bucks from making a comeback. Giannis tied the game on a dunk from a pass from Middleton with 35 seconds left. On the other end of the floor where Paul and Booker were having their way. Booker was fouled by Middleton in the act of shooting, and was sent to the free throw line. Bucks had the last shot and Giannis got the ball, and shot a heavily contested free throw jumper with 1 second left. He missed and the Suns got a well deserved win.
KEY TAKE AWAYS
Giannis was dominate all night scoring a season high 47 points along with 11 rebounds and 5 assists. I was very happy with the last shot even if it didn’t go in. Giannis is showing some major improvements in his mid-range shot and in his confidence levels. Especially, at the free throw line. He has been struggling their all year, but as of recent he has been very consistent. He went 17-21 from the line and we will need that to make an NBA Finals appearance this year. Honestly, Middleton was terrible for most of the game. This was a very bad night for him. Which is going to happen to every player in the league. You move on and don’t think about it. Devin Booker and Paul were just too much for the Bucks in the middle of a six game road trip. Things won’t get much easier going to Utah where the Bucks haven’t won in 19 years.
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