The Milwaukee Bucks fell to the Cleveland Cavaliers 116-97 in their much anticipated 2017 home opener.
1. The Cleveland Cavaliers totally owned the Milwaukee Bucks on the boards with a 43-31 advantage. Cavs center, Kevin Love, was a thorn in the Bucks side all night. He was able to corral offensive and defensive rebounds without much resistance from Milwaukee’s bigs. Losing the battle of the boards is usually an ominous sign for the Bucks, it was evident tonight.
2. Again, When Giannis Antetokounmpo went to the bench, the Milwaukee Bucks struggled mightily on both sides of the ball. Aside from Giannis (34 points), Bucks point guard Malcolm Brogdon was the only other Buck in double figures with 16 points. Bucks sharpshooter, Khris Middleton, was ice-cold tonight. Middleton was missing early and was unable to breakout of his slump, he finished 3-10 from the field and 0-5 from three. Giannis and Brogdon combined for 50 points on 61.7% shooting (21-34 FG), the rest of the Bucks went 17-48 from the field and shot a forgettable 35.5% with 47 points. Yuck.
3. Malcolm Brogdon continues to shine. He finished with 16 points and only 2 assists, but his three-point stroke is much improved. He hit 4 threes in 9 attempts tonight. The former Rookie Of the Year is going to need to be a focal point of the Bucks offense in order for them to succeed. The Bucks need to make it a point to make sure he is getting his shots up.
4. Kyle Korver won the game for Cleveland in the third quarter. What was a 3 point Bucks deficit, quickly ballooned to 12 as Korver hit three straight three-pointers. Much like previous years, Korver torched the Bucks to a tune of 17 points and 5 three-pointers. His stretch of sharpshooting gave the Cavs enough breathing room and they never looked back.
5. Greg Monroe was awful tonight. In 18 minutes, Monroe was largely ineffective and he was constantly getting bullied for boards. I’m sure Kevin Love and Tristian Thompson will be in his nightmares tonight. Tristian Thompson also was a key factor for Cleveland, grabbing 8 boards in 20 minutes. This was not an encouraging performance from Moose, as he was a minus-15 on the night. He turned the ball over three times and was mostly stagnant on the offensive end. Greg Monroe will look to bounce-back in a more favorable matchup versus the Portland Trailblazers tomorrow night.