Recap: The Milwaukee Bucks again dug themselves an early deficit, as the Boston Celtics jumped out to a 13-2 lead. For the last week or so, the Buck have fallen behind early in the game, which ultimately makes a big difference in the outcome of the game. The Bucks clawed themselves back into the game with the energy Thon Maker and Greg Monroe provided off the bench in the third quarter. The Bucks seemed to have the momentum going into overtime, but Celtics star Isaiah Thomas proved to be too much. Jabari Parker had a horrible game on both ends of the floor, and Giannis Antetokounmpo struggled to get open looks. The Boston Celtics were able to hold off the Bucks just enough for a 112-108 victory. The loss drops the Milwaukee Bucks further below .500 at 21-26.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (21pts, 6reb, 6ast, 0stl, 1blk, 2to): The Boston Celtics were able to shut down the Greek Freak for the first half of the game. In the second half, Giannis played better, but he failed to help the Bucks get over the hump. Granted, Jabari Parker (2-13 FG’s) was awful, the game lays in the hands of your superstar, all star starter. In the extra period, the Bucks got absolutely nothing from Giannis, which ultimately cost them the game. He looked uncomfortable, and didn’t search for his offense. This was still a solid outing for Giannis, it just speaks to how high our standards are for the Greek Freak. He’s only 22. Grade: 81%
Greg Monroe (14pts, 13reb, 1ast, 3stl, 3blk, 1to): Greg Monroe has really provided the Bucks with energy and consistent offense. He has made huge strides from the player he was last year, and credit needs to be given to Moose. Defensively, Monroe is worlds better this season and it is clear he’s really working on his defensive game. All game, his hands were up contesting Boston’s shots and communicating with his teammates. Props. Moose was a force offensively and it helped the Bucks force overtime. He was all-over the floor, hustling and trying to help his team win. Great effort from Greg Monroe. Grade: 88%
Jabari Parker (4pts, 8reb, 1ast, 0stlm 0blk, 3to): This was a horrendous game for Jabari Parker. He shot 2-13 from the field and was really relying on his jumper, but it clearly wasn’t working. I am more concerned about him on the defensive end, though. Early on, Jae Crowder was able to find himself open, en route to 11 first quarter points (3 triples). All season, Jabari has struggled with basic defensive concepts. He gets blown by far too often, his closeouts are soft, and his defensive rotation is slow. This game is definitely a dud for him, and I do expect a bounce back performance next time out in Utah, but his horrible defense is something to watch the rest of the year. Grade: 50%
Thon Maker (4 pts, 2reb, 0ast, 1stl, 1blk, 1to): Getting his second start at center this year, Thon really struggled with foul trouble. He picked up 2 early fouls, which forced him to the bench. In the second half, he keyed a 3rd quarter run which helped the Bucks close the gap. Coach Jason Kidd said pregame that he would like to give Thon Maker more minutes, so this is a situation to keep your eye on. He seems to play well with Giannis on the floor, and the Bucks play with a different type of energy when he is in the game. At 10 minutes, he is limited, but he is making the most of it. I fully expect Jason Kidd to keep throwing minutes at Thon Maker. He is a fan favorite already. Grade: 73%
Next up: The Milwaukee Bucks head out west for a 3-game road trip. The trip starts in Utah with a tough matchup against the surging Jazz on Wednesday.