5 Takeaways: Milwaukee Implements Defense and Effort in Rout of Kings


Milwaukee bounced back in a big way at Sacramento late Tuesday night leaving victorious in blow-out fashion 112-87. This is the first 20+ point victory since last-season in February against the Suns.

  1. D-D-D-Defense. The Bucks entered the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento coming off of their worst showing of the season in the previous contest at Utah where defensive struggles and confrontation headlined a 121-108 loss. The glaring difference between that game and the Bucks victory Tuesday night against the Kings was the impressive first half on the defensive end of the floor. Milwaukee implemented a defensive scheme that allowed the Bucks to utilize their extreme length and created more transition buckets off of 16 Kings turnovers. The peak of defensive potential was shown in the second quarter as the Kings we’re held to only 11 points in the period where the Bucks created separation needed to blow out Sacramento. 
  2. Motion Elevates Bucks Offensively. Offensively the Bucks were extremely impressive against the rebuilding Kings. They dictated the play in the half court passing the ball at least two to three times before taking an open shot. Equally impressive was Milwaukee’s movement without the ball, too many times in games past the ball gets stuck on the wing with Middleton or Giannis, and the other players on the court stand on the perimeter waiting for the kick out and a three (which the Bucks aren’t very good at). Instead of that the players on the outside would cut to the rim playing to their strengths athletically to finish at the rim.  Milwaukee thrives when their assist total goes above 20 and it showed last night in dominant fashion as a team shooting 59% from the floor.
  3. Bledsoe’s Consistency Shows. Eric Bledsoe had an impressive performance against Sacramento posting a stat line of 21 points, five rebounds, and 5 assists. Eric Bledsoe over the last three games has shown how consistent he can be offensively shooting on average 55.3% from the field. Specifically last night Bledsoe showed his explosiveness in-transition and on the drive dominating against Kings Rookie PG De’Aaron Fox. Eric’s impact on the Bucks is largely determined by the tempo that the Bucks are playing with early. When Milwaukee pushes the tempo early and Bledsoe starts to feel it he can fill it up quickly which is important for as the Bucks are begging for some consistency in a number two scorer.
  4. An EASY 32 points for the Freak. Giannis Antetokounmpo had one of his more impressive performances late Tuesday night against the Kings scoring 32 points in a season low 26-minutes. His efficiency and effort looked to have taken a jump having a few days off since his incident with Assistant Coach Sean Sweeney and with some time to rest his sore knee that kept him out of the Suns game last week. One of the more notable things I saw out of Giannis was his ability to take over the game early and late with 11-points in the first quarter, and 19 in the third. It’s no question Giannis is the most skilled on the team, but I saw a step-up in his leadership on the court by playmaking and setting the tone for his team.
  5. Thon Maker Shows Confidence. Thon Maker showed us some signs of potential against an impressive front line for the Kings featuring Willie Cauley-Stein and Zach Randolph. Maker showed some confidence in his jump shot knocking down two long-two’s on back-to-back possessions in the second quarter. The most impressive part of those jumpers was when he caught the ball there was no sign of hesitation to take the shot, as normally there is a split second of hesitation. If Thon Maker can start to contribute offensively coming off the bench it will make Coach Kidd’s job much easier in regards to putting Thon into pressure situations, which will aid in his development as a NBA Center.


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