Recap: The Miami Heat came into this game, winners of 11 straight games but would be without their leading scorer, Dion Waiters. This was supposed to be a great night for Bucks fans, getting Khris “Khash” Middleton back, but us Bucks fans can never have nice things. The Heat dominated the game from the beginning, as Heat big man Hassan Whiteside absolutely torched the Bucks. However, the bigger storyline here is Bucks forward Jabari Parker going down with an ugly left knee injury. Yes, the same knee he blew out in 2014. Jabari went down midway through the third period when he was driving to the basket, it was a non-contact injury and his knee just gave out on him. He had to be carried off the floor and it was almost similar to his ACL injury in Phoenix. The Bucks are calling it a knee sprain for now, but we will anxiously wait on the results os his MRI. The Bucks went on to lose to Miami, 106-88.
Jabari Parker (14pts, 1reb, 2ast, 1stl, 0blk, 2to): Every NBA and Bucks fan needs to be praying for Jabari Parker right now. He went down with an ugly left knee injury in the third period and needed to be carried off the floor by Michael Beasley and Thon Maker. Ugh. Jabari was playing well before he went down, but of course the basketball gods have to torture us Bucks fans…again. It seems like Milwaukee can never catch a break with injuries. Michael Redd, Andrew Bogut, now Jabari Parker? If the Bucks are robbed of Jabari because of injuries, I really don’t know what to say. Let’s just hope for the best. It’s unfair because Jabari Parker worked his ass off after his first ACL tear in 2014, and was playing at an All Star caliber level. To see him go down again is so disheartening, and really laments what it is like the be a Bucks fan. Let’s hope Suki Hobson and the Bucks training staff have more magic up their sleeves. Get well soon, young fella. Grade: INC
Giannis Antetokounmpo (22pts, 8reb, 1ast, 2stl, 1blk, 4to): Giannis struggled early in the game to get anything going offensively, but he started asserting himself after the first quarter. Defensively however, the Greek Freak just didn’t have it tonight. He got lost on his defensive rotation a few times, and also got blown by on a few occasions. Very uncharacteristic of Giannis. The game just didn’t have any flow after fellow teammate Jabari Parker went down, and I don’t blame them. His injury is bigger than basketball and it was clear that it was weighing on the Bucks all night. We’ll give them a pass. Grade: 75%
Khris Middleton (5pts, 2reb, 2ast, 0stl, 1blk, 0to): Khris made his much anticipated debut tonight, but it was quickly overshadowed by the unfortunate event that took place in the third quarter. He only played 15 minutes (part of a minutes restriction), but he looked ok for the most part. The rust will definitely wear off and we should see “Khash” return to form sooner rather than later. It is definitely a welcoming addition for the Bucks. Welcome back, Khris! Grade: 70%
Next up: The Bucks host the Los Angeles “baby” Lakers this Friday.