It’s been over a week since we’ve seen any real NBA basketball. The All-Star game and all the other events of the weekend proved to be more exciting than expected, but it still wasn’t the same as the real thing. Tonight, Bucks’ fans were treated with the same team they had before the break, piling on the Detroit Pistons to win 126-106.
Just like nearly every other game against a sure-fire lottery team, Milwaukee put the game away early and coasted to a win the entire night. Now winning 11-straight against Detroit, the Bucks haven’t had a problem with their rivals across the lake under coach Budenholzer. Despite the lopsidedness, the two teams always seem produce some extra excitement you don’t often see with other teams.
Giannis Antetokounmpo completely dominated this game throughout with 33 points and 16 rebounds in 32 minutes. He was often matched up against former Buck Christian Wood and the two got quite competitive, resulting in multiple verbal matches and even a technical on Giannis after an altercation. Regardless of score and the general skill disparity, Wood and Antetokounmpo acted like it was a playoff battle in the closing minutes.
Khris Middleton was named an All-Star for the second season in a row and continued from where he left off before the break with 28 points on 11-18 from the field and 4-5 from three. He’s been one of the best shooters in the NBA all season and to have two players from Milwaukee combine for 61 points along with the depth available, it’s a scary sight.
The Pistons are in a total rebuilding stage in their franchise’s timeline. They recently traded Andre Drummond for next to nothing to the Cleveland Cavaliers and remain without Blake Griffin and Luke Kennard due to injury. They also just bought out guard Reggie Jackson to the Los Angeles Clippers. Those were four important players to keeping this team afloat and without them, they reside at the bottom of the league.
With all of that said, Brook Lopez and Eric Bledsoe had very efficient nights. Lopez put up 18 points and was 9-10 for the line, Harden-like numbers from the strike. Bledsoe was aggressive from the tip-off and was 8-14 for 19 points to round out the 98 total points from Antetokounmpo-Middleton-Bledsoe-Lopez group.
Looking at most of the team stats, you would expect this game to be closer than it was. Both shot right around 50% from the field, Detroit shot 35% from three to Bucks’ 30%, and the Pistons had five more rebounds. But the glaring number that is a tell-tale of a bad team was the turnover battle, which fell in favor of Milwaukee 21-7. Insurmountable differential.
It all sums up the Bucks’ 47th win of the season, continuing their 70-win pace. They get the day off before hitting the floor back home against the Philadelphia 76ers for a nationally-televised showdown Saturday night. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. CT.