The Milwaukee Bucks fell to the Detroit Pistons 105-96 in what was their first-ever trip to the Little Caesars Arena. This is Milwaukee’s 3rd straight loss after starting the year 4-2. Here are 5 takeaways from tonight’s mediocre performance.
1. The disparity at the free throw line was real, tonight. Milwaukee went to the free throw line 9 times, while they converted 8 of them, Detroit shot 28 free throws and made 23 of them. Before the game, head coach Jason Kidd said that the Bucks need to do a better job of defending without fouling. The Bucks played some great individual defense, but they would often bail out Detroit by fouling them. Andre Drummond went 14-16 (!!!!!!!!!) from the line by himself.
2. Milwaukee’s defense is broken. The Bucks have done a terrific job this season at limiting opponents three-point attempts, but they are giving up far too many easy looks at the rim. When the Bucks trapped in the halfcourt, they would leave Drummond or Eric Moreland open at the rim for easy buckets. The Bucks didn’t seem to make any major adjustments on the defensive end, and they paid the price.
3. Thon Maker must step-up. After a solid rookie campaign, Bucks center Thon Maker has gotten off to a horrible start. From the start of the season, Maker has gotten eaten alive from opposing big men, and tonight was no different. Thon is playing very timid on both sides of the basketball, he doesn’t look confident. In his 16 minutes tonight, he was minus-8. He is a big part of the Bucks nucleus, but he has to show more on both sides of the basketball.
4. Tony Snell is living up to the contract he signed this offseason. He has played terrific on both ends of the floor thus far. Snell has been a sniper from deep, knocking down 51% of his triples this season (including 2-4 tonight). What’s really impressed me the most about Snell this season is how much he moves without the basketball. Tony is always looking to make a cut to the basket or get open for a catch and shoot three. This is certainly a great sign for the Bucks.
5. (Not a takeaway, but rather, a burning question) Why does Rashad Vaughn still get minutes over rookie Sterling Brown? The Milwaukee Bucks declined Rashad Vaughn’s option on his contract, making him an unrestricted free agent this offseason. This more than seals his fate in Milwaukee, but he somehow is outplaying Sterling Brown by a big margin. Vaughn hasn’t made any strides forward, he’s actually gotten worse. In Rashad’s 8 minutes tonight, he was a minus-7 and the only stat he recorded was a single block. Go figure.