The Milwaukee Bucks took care of the Utah Jazz with a 117-100 victory to improve to 15-10. This was an impressive all-around performance by the Bucks, a night after beating the Dallas Mavericks.
1. The EKG (Eric, Khris, Giannis) trio has been unstoppable. Since the arrival of Eric Bledsoe, the Bucks have gone 11-4. They are the second-highest scoring trio in the NBA at 62.4 points per game, only 3 points behind the leading trio of Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, and Klay Thompson. The Bucks are a completely different team with Bledsoe, and they are so difficult to guard because of how much attention Giannis commands. The spacing when all three are on the floor is tremendous. The trio combined for a whopping 77 points in the victory tonight. The Bucks are 4-0 when they each score 20+ points.
2. Khris Middleton has been on a tear as of late. After struggling with his three-point stroke in the beginning of the year, Middleton has bumped up his 3FG% to 37%. He’s been getting it done on both ends of the floor, averaging 22.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.3 steals in the last 10 games while shooting a robust 54.2% from the floor. Middleton’s defense has been solid all season, and his offensive game is catching fire. His mid-range jump shot is butter.
3. Milwaukee put the clamps down on Jazz rookie guard, Donovan Mitchell. The Bucks limited him to 12 points on 4-17 shooting. Last time these two teams played in Utah, Mitchell torched Milwaukee for 24 points and 6 three-pointers. Bucks point guard Eric Bledsoe matched up with him for most of the night and did a fantastic job. Overall, it was a great display of team defense.
4. DeAndre Liggins lack of offensive awareness is baffling. We all know how great of a defender Liggins is, but he gives up a lot on the offensive end. There have been countless times where DeAndre has open shots but refuses to pull the trigger. By refusing to shoot, it forces the Bucks into a deep shot clock where he gives it up to a teammate with hopes they make a play. Liggins is most effective off of a catch-and-shoot, but when he selfishly doesn’t pull the trigger, the Bucks are essentially playing 4 on 5 on the offensive end.
5. Giannis Antetokounmpo looked like an MVP tonight (like most nights). The Greek Freak finished with a shiny line of 37 points, 13 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 steals. Giannis did it on both ends of the floor tonight, using his gargantuan wingspan to disrupt the passing lanes and alter shots at the rim. He was in control all night, getting whatever he wanted on the offensive end. No matter who the Jazz tried to put on him, Giannis was exploiting them. With the Jazz making a late push in the fourth quarter, the Greek Freak put the game away. In the final 2 minutes, Giannis put it away with a dagger broken play three-pointer with the shot clock winding down, and he put an exclamation point on the victory with a thunderous left-hand poster dunk on Rudy Gobert. This was a night to remember for Giannis.