The Milwaukee Bucks picked up an impressive 116-107 victory against the Golden State Warriors in the raucous Oracle Arena.
1. Giannis Antetokounmpo has it all. The Greek Freak was clearly on a mission tonight and he came out guns blazing. He tallied a quick 11-points in an impressive first quarter, and only got better as the game went along. When it was all set and done, Giannis poured in 32 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and he shot a terrific 14-18 from the floor. His jumper was pure tonight, and he knocked down 2 three-pointers. Giannis has actually shot 36.7% from three since January 17th. Games like this are a testament to his MVP-caliber season. Watch out.
2. The Bucks flourished in transition. Milwaukee forced Golden State into 19 turnovers and converted them into 29 points. It’s no secret that the Bucks are one of the best teams in the open floor, and their length was on full display tonight. Milwaukee’s length made life nearly impossible for Golden State, causing live ball turnovers and deflecting a lot of passes. This is often a key foundation of success for the Bucks because when they aren’t forcing turnovers, they are a very different team offensively.
3. Eric Bledsoe was fantastic tonight. The “Bledshow” is quite the experience, but tonight he could no wrong. The speedy point guard racked up 20 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals and one block in 31 efficient minutes. Bledsoe also shot 9-11 from the field, hitting a bevy of midrange jumpers and converting on acrobatic finishes around the rim. When he’s on like he was tonight, the Bucks are incredibly difficult to beat. Bledsoe is going to play a huge role for the Bucks in the postseason, so gear up.
4. Sharing the sugar. The Bucks were zipping the ball around all night, resulting in 30 assists. When the Bucks share the ball like they did tonight, everyone chips in. They had the Warriors defense on their heels all night, and the Bucks did a great job of making the extra pass to the open man. Milwaukee’s starters combined for 19 of those 30 assists, and the group was very cohesive against the Warriors. The Bucks have a tendency of falling into a ton of isolation play, so to see them share the ball like they did tonight was an excellent sight.
5. Tyler Zeller, starting center? John Henson has really struggled the last few months, while Tyler Zeller’s stock has been on the rise. Zeller does a lot of things well, like setting hard screens which allows for more player movement offensively. He also has terrific hands and is showing that he’s very reliable around the paint. Henson, on the other hand, has been trending downward. His inability to catch the ball cleanly is very concerning and has cost him to turn the ball over very easily. John Henson seems lost offensively and sometimes settles for questionable midrange shots. His defensive anticipation isn’t the greatest either, which lets opponents have easy looks at the rim. This will be a situation to monitor before the postseason.