The Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 121-103, in what was Brandon Jennings’ much anticipated-return in a Bucks uniform. With the victory, the Bucks move to 36-31 on the season in the middle of a heated postseason push.
1. Brandon Jenning brought it from the start in his first game back. In his first game back in a Bucks uniform since 2013, Brandon Jennings certainly did not disappoint. The “Young Buck” poured in 16 points, dished out 12 dimes, and he corralled 8 rebounds tonight in 24 minutes. Jennings was an efficient 5-9 from the floor and an even more impressive 3-6 from behind the arc. From the get-go, Jennings brought the energy on both ends of the floor and his energy was infectious. BJ finished with a plus-11 on the night. We didn’t know what to expect from him in his first game back, but he passed the eye test. Although it was against an inferior opponent, it was great to see him get off to a hot start.
2. Tony Snell temporarily broke out of his dreaded slump tonight. The heavily criticised Snell poured in 4 triples for 12 points in 31 minutes. It was great to see Tony Snell let it fly from deep with confidence. Yes, Memphis’ defense is porous, but all it takes is one game for a player to get the ball rolling. Tony Snell needs to step up, especially since the Bucks are in the thick of things in the Eastern Conference.
3. Khris Middleton was on fire all night. The silent assassin racked up 24 points on 9-14 shooting from the floor in 35 minutes. Although Middleton is enjoying a career-best season, he has still been the subject of a ton of criticism this season. Khris did it all tonight, chipping in 4 assists and grabbing 6 rebounds too. It’s no secret that Khris Middleton is a huge part of this Bucks team, and he is going to help propel the Milwaukee Bucks to the postseason. Middleton also finished with a team-high plus-24 tonight.
4. Against the worst team in the NBA, Giannis Antetokounmpo struggled. Credit to Memphis, as they made Giannis work for everything tonight. In 28 foul-plagued minutes, the Greek Freak still managed to pile up 20 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists while turning the ball over 6 times. Giannis did shoot 7-14 from the floor tonight and even hit a three-pointer, but he looked out of synch for the most part tonight. He seems to be laboring out there with the season in full gear, and he is still giving the team everything he’s got. Chalk this one up as a fluke performance.
5. Tyler Zeller, the enforcer? He’s made a huge impact on both ends of the floor since the Bucks acquired the big man from the Brooklyn Nets. Zeller has been an enforcer on defense, using his big body to wall off opponents and get good positioning to grab rebounds. Offensively, he’s been a terrific screener and has been an even more reliable finisher around the rim. He does an excellent job at diving to the basket after setting a screen. In 20 minutes tonight, Zeller shot 3-3 from the floor for 8 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 blocked shots. His impact so far cannot be understated.