After two heart breaking losses, the Bucks came crashing down with a thud on Wednesday night in Detroit. Outside of a good patch through the middle section of the first quarter, it was ugly viewing if you’re a Milwaukee fan.
The Bucks went down 87-110, their third loss in a row and they now sit 33-28 overall. Here’s my five takeaways on what was a night to forget:
- Rebounding Woes Hurt: The Bucks are the worst rebounding team in the league, we know this, it’s nothing new. But the beatdown handed out on the glass by the Pistons was of mammoth proportions. The final rebounding tally went Detroit’s way 57-35, while on the offensive glass they reeled in a league season high (tying) 22 to the Bucks 6. Andre Drummond grabbed 10 of his 16 on the offensive glass, while Eric Moreland also helped him self to 5 of what should have been Bucks rebounds. This led to a 26-6 second chance points differential which became far too much for Milwaukee to overcome on the night. Another horrific performance by the Bucks big men further highlighted one of Milwaukee’s biggest needs going forward this summer.
- Giannis Quelled: MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo has taken all before him this season, rarely beaten as his ascent to the NBA’s elite continues. Despite this, he was soundly held in check tonight and it proved destructive to the Bucks chances. Finishing with season lows in points with 11, and rebounds with 3, it was quite possibly the least influential performance of the season for the Greek Freak. His rough night was compounded by receiving to two hits to his face in which the second forced him from the floor and the game. Bucks beat reporter Matt Velazquez reported after the game that Giannis has “some blurred vision” but expects to be fine moving forward. Talk about a rough night.
- Second Half Fade Out: After two taxing encounters including a game that went right to the wire last night, the Bucks ran out of gas. Setting themselves the task of reeling in a 21 point deficit against Washington took it’s toll, and the second half tonight was evidence of this. The wheels began to fall off late in the second quarter as the Bucks could only muster 4 points in the last 9+ minutes of play. This then translated into a second half that seen Detroit outscore them by 14 points. Across the course of an 82 game schedule, nights like tonight will happen. Unfortunately losing two close ones previously compounds the effect it has on the standings and with only one night off before facing playoff rival Indiana, the Bucks will need to find a way to recover. Quickly.
- Refs Hot Whistle: The game became a little ragged early in the second half and the referees where having absolutely none of it. Both teams had committed the five fouls necessary to put their opposition in the penalty with over 7 minutes remaining in the third quarter. These two teams combine to average 43.6 free throw attempts per game on the season. They took 50 tonight as the officials ensured the game was played on their terms. The calls went both ways mind you, which is at least something.
- Jabari Comes Out Hot: The one positive to be taken from all three games in the losing streak, is the continued confident play of Jabari Parker. Tonight marked the first time he has taken part in a back-to-back situation and he came out hot. Making his first three shots from the field, two ‘nothing but net’ mid range jumpers and a triple had him rack up 7 points in his first three minutes on court. Unfortunately things began to unravel for the entire team after that, but it’s nonetheless another important landmark ticked off in what has been an extremely pleasing return so far. His offensive exploits continue to remind us of his undeniable talent on that end of the floor. He figures to be a huge factor as the playoff race deepens.
All in all it was a night to forget for the Bucks. They now head back to Milwaukee to host the Indiana Pacers who are coming off a disappointing loss of their own to Atlanta tonight. Both teams will be desperate to get back on track in what shapes as yet another huge game with playoff implications at the forefront.
Follow Kane Pitman on twitter: @mkebucksaus