Milwaukee Bucks defended their home-court Saturday night vs. Portland defeating the Trail Blazers 113-100. Here’s five takeaways from the thrilling victory.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo may not be human, but may be the MVP. The Greek Freak scored his career high 44 points against Portland in emphatic fashion. Threes, mid-range, dunks, Giannis proved to us he can score it in any way he pleases. The 22 year-old (yes, 22!), showed Saturday right now he is a Top 5 player in the league, and he’s only going to get better. The two wins this season against quality opponents (Boston, Portland) gives me the belief that with a little help around Giannis the Bucks can compete with anyone in the NBA.
- A continued problem for Milwaukee has been giving up offensive rebounds, the issue continued as Milwaukee gave up 13 against Portland Saturday night. The good thing for the Bucks is that I don’t believe it’s a lack of effort, but rather their style of play causing the problem. If the Bucks continue to leak guards out to gain an edge in transition there has to be a big on the floor equipped to cover for the guards attempting to start the break. There needs to be a conscious effort for the Bucks to get these rebounds because not only do offensive rebounds hurt on the scoreboard, they also kill momentum which is an advantage in tight home games.
- Although it’s tough sometimes to watch Mirza Teletovic shoot questionable threes, Milwaukee needs Telly to become confident in his shot. Telly showed that on Saturday when he came in for key minutes and hit 3 threes for 9 points. When Mirza is knocking down the long ball it fills up the scoreboard, but also gives the Bucks the ability to rest starters for later moments in the game.
- Greg Monroe’s minutes are decreasing once again as Coach Jason Kidd allocated more minutes to John Henson. Bad news for Greg Monroe is that Henson proved his worth on Saturday night and contributed 7 PTS/9 RBS/3 BLK. Henson truly is a better fit for the Bucks system with his freakish length and when he plays within himself he can be an impactful player off the bench.
- When Khris Middleton sets the tone early similar to how he did against Portland Saturday night, scoring 10 of his 16 points in the first quarter, it opens up avenues for all other players. No longer can teams simply focus on Giannis when playing against Milwaukee. Khris’ drive and kick also made corner three’s for Telly and Tony Snell wide open with defenses focusing on K-Midd.