Following a perfect Week 4, aside from the injury to Khris Middleton, the Bucks were striving to continue their winning ways, having a more concentrated week of 4 games. Without Middleton, it was essential that Donte DiVincenzo, along with other guards that would inevitably be getting more time on the court, would need to step it up to match the normal contributions from the fully healthy starting roster.
The Bucks opened the week away in Chicago for another matchup against their Midwest rivals. Given the rough first half against the Bulls in last week’s game made a second half comeback necessary, the Bucks knew they could not afford to start off games as poorly as they have been in the opening stages of the season.
Luckily, they managed to perform relatively better in the first half. However, they did find themselves trailing at some points throughout the game. Besides a near mid-4th quarter collapse, the Bucks ended up taking control in the latter stages of the game, securing a 14 point lead and extending the win streak to 4 games. Giannis had another brilliant night with 33 points and 10 rebounds. Brook Lopez also had a crucial performance with 19 points, 10 rebounds, and an astounding 5 blocks. Paired with other decent performances from Donte DiVincenzo and George Hill, the Bucks are seeming to be hard to beat.
The second game of the week was another road game. This time, they flew out to Atlanta to battle against the young Hawks side led by Trey Young. The Bucks also found themselves battling against their former young centerpiece in Jabari Parker, who has moved around to many different teams in recent years.
Unlike other games when the Bucks had been shaky at times, they were dominant for the majority of the game, cruising to their fifth straight victory. Giannis paralleled his Monday night performance with 33 points and 11 rebounds. In addition, Eric Bledsoe proved himself with a 28 point night. Aside from them, the rest of the team equally contributed to the victory in regaining the control of the Eastern Conference.
After their three-game road trip, the Bucks finally returned home to Milwaukee for the first of their four-game home stand. On Thursday night, the Bucks took on the Portland Trail Blazers, who had just signed Carmelo Anthony earlier that week. Although Hassan Whiteside, Damian Lillard, Jusuf Nurkić were inactive, the Fiserv Forum was surely going to be packed to see Carmelo back on the court.
Despite this being arguably the most highly sought after game of the week, the Bucks held a lead for the entire game and ended up winning 129-137, outscoring Portland 38-64 in the paint. As one may expect, the Trail Blazers were going to try to slow down Giannis and force him to pass, but he did not mind this at all. He finished the game with his second triple double of the year at 24 points, 15 assists, and 19 rebounds. The headline was yet again shared with Eric Bledsoe, who recorded 30 points in another monster performance. Pat Connaughton also had a strong night off the bench with 18 points off of 7/10 shooting as the Bucks climbed to the top of the Eastern Conference.
In their final game of the week, the Bucks stayed at Fiserv Forum for a rematch of Round 1 of the 2018-2019 Playoffs, coming up against the Griffin-less Detroit Pistons. In their current form, the Bucks were deservedly favored to win this one.
Much like the game against Portland, the Bucks again seemed to win with ease, holding a lead for the entire game. The depleted Piston-side made it a more relaxing game for Bucks fans and allowed some of the starters to get more rest than usual. Giannis finished the game with 28 points and 10 rebounds in just 27 minutes. Aside from him, the rest of the team again equally contributed to the Bucks seventh straight victory.
In their 4 wins this week, the Bucks have continued to earn the wins that are necessary for any team attempting to secure a top seed for the playoffs. Giannis and Bledsoe have evidently been showing their true talents with Middleton gone and have successfully accounted for the discrepancy. For the Bucks’ success to continue, the bench also needs to stay consistent. Contributions from DiVincenzo, Connaughton, and Hill are going to be essential for Milwaukee moving forward.
The Bucks have had a relatively easy schedule for the past couple weeks, either playing teams plagued with injuries or teams that are in the rebuilding phase. While in they still play teams that are struggling in Week 6, their most important game will be on Monday night against the Utah Jazz, who snuck out of their first game against the Bucks with a win off of a Bogdanović buzzer beater. The game against Utah will surely be a test of Milwaukee’s true self because it will not be an easy win. Giannis and Bledsoe will be required to perform offensively and Brook Lopez will have to do a sufficient job defending Rudy Gobert in efforts to maintain the winning streak.
David’s Milwaukee Bucks Week 5 Grade: A
Milwaukee Bucks Week 6 Schedule: (November 24 – November 30)
- Monday, November 25 at 7:00pm CT: vs Utah Jazz
- Wednesday, November 27 at 7:00pm CT: vs Atlanta Hawks
- Friday, November 29 at 6:30pm CT: @ Cleveland Cavaliers
- Saturday, November 30 at 7:00pm CT: vs Charlotte Hornets