The Milwaukee Bucks suffered another disappointing defeat at the hands of the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City, 121-108. Believe it or not, this was Milwaukee’s 16th straight loss in Utah. Their last win was in 2001.
- Jason Kidd’s defensive scheme has got to go. Again, Milwaukee was torched by a barrage of three-pointers by the Utah Jazz. Utah teed off for a franchise record 18 three-pointers on 32 attempts (56.3%). Kidd’s defensive scheme has been mostly garbage to say the least, as the Bucks saw another team sink an endless amount of threes. Milwaukee’s defensive idea of over rotating and trapping leaves shooters wide open on the perimeter, which is obviously not a recipe for success. Head coach Jason Kidd’s lack of adjustments is worrisome, and it raises the question if Milwaukee is better off without him?
- Khris Middleton is driving the struggle bus. It’s no secret that Middleton’s bread and butter are when teammates are creating for him, and not vice versa. Too many times we are seeing Middleton ISO and drive to the basket or settle for a contested turnaround jump shot, which are wasting precious possessions. He finished tonight with a dismal 9 points on 4-15 from the floor. Too many times we saw Khris over dribble and get himself into trouble, he finished with more turnovers (5) than field goals made. He finished tonight with a minus-17, and needless to say, the Bucks need a lot more from Middleton if they want to turn the ship around.
- Tony Snell played his best game of the season tonight. He finished with 18 points on 8-10 shooting and was only one of two Milwaukee Bucks players to finish the night with a plus rating (plus-1). He looked much more aggressive tonight and was really looking for his shot which was certainly one of the only bright spots from tonight’s debacle. In a surprising move, Kidd opted to start Gary Payton II over Snell and it didn’t really pay dividends as GPII finished with 0 points and 2 rebounds in 7 minutes. As bad as the Bucks are playing this season, Snell has consistently brought it for the Bucks night in and night out.
- Milwaukee appears to get a bad whistle largely in part of their undisciplined defense. Although Milwaukee shot more free throws than Utah, it doesn’t tell the full story. There were countless plays where Bucks forwards Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton would drive to the hoop, get obviously hacked and there would be no whistle. Since Milwaukee plays an overly aggressive style of defense, they often bail their opponents out with silly fouls. This goes a long way in getting calls in your favor on the offensive end.
- Giannis needs help, to say the least. The Greek Freak played 39 minutes in tonight’s blowout, including playing the entire third quarter. Unfortunately, the Bucks are so bad with Giannis off the court, that you really can’t afford him to sit out for extended periods of times. This is obviously a concerning trend, and someone needs to step up so he can get his rest. At 37.8 minutes per game, Giannis leads the league in minutes per game. We are 18 games into the season, and the Bucks are already at risk of running Giannis Anteotkounmpo into the ground with the heavy minutes he’s required to play. With Milwaukee dealing Greg Monroe to the Phoenix Suns, it’s becoming more and more imperative that Milwaukee needs another backup 5 to give Giannis an extra breather.