Chippy. That’ll be the number one word used to describe the Wednesday night matchup between the Detroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks. The division rivals have begun to build up a history over the past couple of seasons, mainly between Giannis and Blake Griffin. This one ended the same as the last nine matchups between the two with the Bucks winning 127-103.
The Piston’s offense came into this game rolling, scoring thirty points in each quarter for the past two games. They reached the 30-point mark just once this game and it was the meaningless fourth quarter. Milwaukee struggled to score in the first quarter but got things clicking by the second and steamrolled Detroit for a majority of the rest of the game.
This one had the making of being just another game added to the current win streak. Things started to take a turn in the second quarter and by the third quarter, all emotions were out on the court. A total of five techs were issued throughout the game. One each to Coach Bud, Khris Middleton, Andre Drummond, Blake Griffin, and Bruce Brown.
The main event was a triple tech early in the third quarter after Brown and Griffin mildly shoved Giannis over. Brown was called for the foul and with Giannis on the ground, Blake Griffin stepped over Giannis’ legs. Khris Middleton took offense and went face-to-face with the Pistons’ franchise player.
After the altercation, Giannis and Griffin went at it often the rest of the quarter. After Griffin was called for a shooting foul on a Giannis layup, Griffin was seen boasting that Giannis can’t make free throws and he had preferred the result. Over the next four offensive possessions for Milwaukee, Giannis recorded 10 points on Griffin. He went 5-5 on FTs with an and-one and a deep three. Yet another example to put in the file titled, “Evidence Against Angering Giannis.”
The Bucks have extended and maintained their 13-game win streak largely because of their depth. Game in and game out the Bucks bench unit is outscoring the opposition’s which has resulted in the opponent’s starters having to stay in longer and wearing down by the end. Of the twelve Bucks to enter the game, all saw at least 15 minutes but none more than 28. For comparison, Detroit also put twelve guys on the floor. Four saw 28+ minutes and five had 15 minutes or less. When you have to rely on your top guys that much against a deep team you’re going to find yourself on a 10-game losing streak against that team. Especially when your best is still not better than their best.
Giannis finished with 35/9/2 blocks in 28 minutes. Over his past three games, the Freak is averaging 47.8 points and 17.7 rebounds per 36 minutes and 47% from three. He was 4/8 from three tonight, more makes and attempts than anyone else on the team.
Milwaukee won yet another game they should have on this win streak, pushing their record to 19-3. However, Friday they will finally meet a worthy opponent when the LA Clippers visit Fiserv Forum. We will see if Kawhi and/or PG are around for this matchup. As a fan of good basketball, I hope we see this top-level showdown at the risk of ending the win streak. Tip is set for 7:30