Following the tragedy of a Laker legend in Kobe Bryant this past Sunday morning, each NBA franchise made sure to pay their respects to the victims of the helicopter crash amidst the mourning across the league. Bryant, a true epitome of someone who’s dedication and perseverance was honorable not only on the basketball court, but also as a husband and father. His life and legacy will continue to influence athletes, both young and old, both male and female, for the rest of time. Thank you Kobe Bryant for your great example and extraordinary memories. We will miss you.
On an eight game winning streak, the Bucks returned to the United States, back to Milwaukee, for yet another game at the Fiserv Forum. The Washington Wizards came to to town in hopes to get back to their winning ways against a very strong Bucks team. Giannis Antekounmpo would be sitting out this game with right shoulder soreness.
Per usual, the Bucks found little difficulty against the Wizards. Throughout the entirety of the game, the Bucks held the lead and never looked back. The Bucks won 131-151 and MIddleton and Bledsoe, unsurprisingly, put the team on their shoulders. Dedicating his game to Kobe Bryant, Middleton scored a career-high 51 points with 10 rebounds and 6 assists. Bledose added another 34 points with 10 assists, and 6 rebounds. The two shot 22/22 behind the free throw line. Off the bench, Donte DiVincenzo had a strong performance with 16 points off of 6/9 shooting.
Not the real test of the week would come on Friday night against the Denver Nuggets. The Bucks would be at home yet again but the Nuggets were definitely a significant threat against the now nine-game winning streak for Milwaukee. Giannis was active for this game after missing the game against the Wizards.
With a strong start and a 14-point lead near the end of the first quarter, one may have expected the Bucks to run away with this one. While they did keep the lead for the rest of the first half, it slowly slipped away. Midway through the third quarter, the Nuggets were too much for the Bucks as they slowly but steadily pulled away and took the lead. They managed to retain their lead and ultimately hand the Bucks their seventh defeat of the season. Giannis finished the game with 31 points, 16 rebounds, and 9 assists in a near triple-double, and Middleton piled on 24 points with 9 rebounds, but that was not enough against the Nuggets. Every player that stepped on the court for the Nuggets spectacularly scored at least 10 points.
Even though the Bucks were defeated on Friday night, it is important to note that they were without George Hill and Donte DiVincenzo, two significant contributors off the bench. In the future, the Bucks will hopefully have a fully healthy team so that the starters will have more help off the bench.
In the middle of this past week, two Bucks were selected for the 2019-2020 NBA All-Star game. Giannis Antetokounmpo got his 4th NBA All-Star selection and will be one of the captains. Khris Middleton got his 2nd NBA All-Star selection as one of the Eastern Conference reserves. This is the second-straight year with both of them as All-Stars.
Week 16 will be more action-packed for the Bucks, as they have a whopping four games on their schedule. The first will be today at home against the Phoenix Suns, who are fighting for a playoff spot with their young superstar in Devin Booker. The second game of the week, one that will surely be watched by many, will be away against Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans. This will be the first meeting between Zion and Giannis, two promising superstars of the future. Next, on Thursday night, the Bucks will be back at home against the Philadelphia 76ers for a crucial Eastern Conference matchup. Finally, on Saturday afternoon, the Bucks will be in Orlando for a battle against the Magic, who are currently the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.
David’s Milwaukee Bucks Week 14 Grade: B-
Milwaukee Bucks Week 16 Schedule (February 2 – February 8)
- Sunday, February 2nd at 1:00pm CT: vs Phoenix Suns
- Tuesday, February 4th at 6:30pm CT: @ New Orleans Pelicans
- Thursday, February 6th at 7:00pm CT: vs Philadelphia 76ers
- Saturday, February 8th at 4:00pm CT: @ Orlando Magic