With two important games, despite not being against the greatest of teams, the Bucks were in for an eventful Week 14. Monday afternoon was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, as the Bucks celebrated the life of an American hero yet again as a featured game of the holiday. Later, on Thursday, the Bucks traveled abroad for a game in France against the Charlotte Hornets.
Monday’s game against the Chicago Bulls should have been considerably straightforward for the Bucks, despite the young talent with Chicago. It was a useful game for Middleton to continue to tune his shot and take advantage of the opportunity.
While the Bulls put up an unexpected fight in the first half, holding a lead for a portion of it, it was the Bucks, per usual, that bounced back in the second half and shutout the Bulls. The Bucks ended up winning by 13 points with a strong 28-point, 10-assist, 14-rebound triple double for Giannis and a 24-point night for Khris Middleton off of 10-13 shooting. Kyle Korver off the bench was red hot, shooting 5-5 for 12 points. As a team, the Bucks shot 57.7% and out-rebounded the Bulls 49 to 39. The performance was a little sloppy, though, as the Bucks had 23 turnovers.
As the Bucks then spent the rest of the week in France for their eventual game against the Charlotte Hornets in Paris, the team surely were up to the task at hand. Playing in front of a completely foreign crowd in a geographical sense did not mean that Giannis was foreign to the fans present. Surely fans from Greece made their way to Paris to see their hometown superstar in Giannis, but it was a spectacle for all of Europe as the NBA broadens its horizons.
A perhaps simple game for the Bucks turned very difficult as the Hornets started off strong. The Bucks, despite being close, failed to secure a lead for the entire first half and third quarter. Coming into the fourth quarter, the score was tied 78-78, but the momentum was with the Bucks. They outscored the Hornets 38-25 to win their 8th-straight game. Giannis continues to shine as he recorded 30 points with 16 rebounds and 6 assists. Eric Bledsoe had a good game putting up 20 points and another quality performance off the bench from George Hill, who had 16 points, helped the Bucks come back and show the world why they are frontrunners in the Eastern Conference.
The two games this week were good wins, but the Bucks could have played a little better and less sloppily. 38 turnovers split between two games is nothing to brag about. In the future, the Bucks will have to play crisper in order to be successful. Against stronger teams, comebacks with this many turnovers will be much more challenging.
Aside from the improvements that could be made, the Bucks did put up an average of 61 points in the paint. This dominance will propel their success against most teams in the NBA considering the NBA is transitioning to a perimeter-shot dominant league. Furthermore, it was again satisfying to see the Bucks’ bench continue to perform well. George Hill and Kyle Korver are the two veterans the Bucks needed all along in establishing sufficient depth on the roster.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was named Captain of the Eastern Conference All Stars this week. It is much deserved considering he is averaging 30.0 points, 5.6 assists, and 12.9 rebounds per game. He is far more efficient than any other player in the NBA and is remarkably impactful for this Milwaukee Bucks team.
In Week 15, the Bucks will have another relaxing week with just two games. The first game will be on Tuesday night against the Washington Wizards at home and the second one, perhaps most crucial, will be on Friday night against the Denver Nuggets again at the Fiserv Forum. Considering the Nuggets are 31-14, this will certainly be a thrilling game.
David’s Milwaukee Bucks Week 14 Grade: A-
Milwaukee Bucks Week 15 Schedule (January 26 – February 1)
- Tuesday, January 28th at 7:00pm CT: vs Washington Wizards
- Friday, January 31st at 8:00pm CT: vs Denver Nuggets