Cruising into the All-Star Break with one of the best records in franchise history, the Bucks have had a spectacular first half of the 2019-2020 season. Giannis seems to be having another MVP-contending season and the Bucks are surely expected to go far in the playoffs.
Something unexpected, though, bombarded news outlets as Giannis Antetokounmpo announced the birth of his son, Liam Charles Antetokounmpo, on Monday. For that reason, he sat out both games this week leading up to the festivities this weekend.
On Monday night, the task at hand against the Sacramento Kings at home was not supposed to raise too many problems, considering the Bucks’ depth. Nevertheless, the team did appear somewhat shaky with offensive struggles.
Despite an early and consistent lead throughout most of the first half, the Bucks seemingly collapsed in the second and third quarters. The Kings had a two-point lead going into the fourth quarter; however, it was Milwaukee who stormed back and outscored the Kings 21-35 to retake the lead and secure another victory. Middleton finished with 28 points, 8 assists, and 12 rebounds and Bledsoe, who also finished with 28 points and 8 assists, grabbed eight rebounds. The near triple-double night from both players was much needed as the Bucks were without their star.
Two days later, the Bucks were without Giannis yet again and this time, against the Indiana Pacers, he would be surely missed. Indiana had just got back Victor Oladipo from a lengthy rehabilitation and were hoping to climb their way back up the standings.
The Bucks only held onto a one-point lead for a very short amount of time until the Pacers gained the lead and ran away with the game. A monster night from T.J. Warren, who scored 35 points, sent the Bucks into the All-Star Break with a loss to forget. None of the Bucks finished with over 20 points as the team shot for 40.7%. Donte DiVincenzo had a strong, 19-point night though off the bench as he continues to showcase his potential. The Bucks’ new signing, Marvin Williams, had a promising 9-point night off of 3-4 shooting, as he marks a new veteran presence to this squad.
While the Bucks did lose to Indiana this past week, it must be noted that they were without Giannis and George Hill, two significant contributors to the team. Hill is needed for his leadership and efficacy behind the three-point-line and Giannis is Giannis. There cannot be enough said about his significance to the Bucks and the city of Milwaukee.
Khris Middleton and Pat Connaughton both were not victorious in their involvement with the All-Star weekend festivities so far. Nevertheless, both players evidenced the spirit of the Milwaukee Bucks and represent the growing recognition of the team around the league.
For the second half of the season, the Bucks need to continue to play their style of basketball, with the same intensity and energy. Once Hill and Giannis are both back, there will be no reason for any losses. There are now high expectations for this Milwaukee side, as they have their sights on 70 wins.
The Bucks will be able to rest a little bit more until the latter end of Week 18, as they will travel to Detroit on Thursday night to battle the Detroit Pistons, who could pose a threat with Derrick Rose and Blake Griffin. Finally, the Bucks will be at home against the 76ers on Saturday night for another huge matchup. The Bucks will need to win both games in order to further prove their consistency.
David’s Milwaukee Bucks Week 17 Grade: B-
Milwaukee Bucks Week 18 Schedule (February 16 – February 22)
- Thursday, February 20th at 6:00pm CT: @ Detroit Pistons
- Saturday, February 22nd at 7:30pm CT: vs Philadelphia 76ers