The Milwaukee Bucks survived to defeat the visiting Atlanta Hawks, 97-92. The win brings the Milwaukee Bucks to 8-games over .500 at 32-24.
1. After a rough debut in a Bucks uniform, newly acquired big man Tyler Zeller has settled in nicely. Today’s game was particularly ugly, up until the last 3 minutes, but Zeller was a bright spot throughout the game. He finished with 14 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 blocks in 23 minutes of play. Zeller is very physical and isn’t afraid of putting his body in harm’s way. He’s an exceptional screener and has been a huge plus on the boards for the Bucks. He also had a great night finishing around the basket, making 7 of his 9 shot attempts.
2. Thon Maker showed flashes of his potential tonight. In 25 minutes, Maker finished with a modest 12 points and 3 rebounds, but he made his presence felt with his daddy long-legs length. He hit 5 of 7 shot attempts, including a remarkable reverse layup for good measure. It’s been a struggle this season for Thon, but he looks much more comfortable under interim head coach, Joe Prunty. Thon finish tonight a plus-12. Baby steps.
3. This was a very poor game for Giannis Antetokounmpo. Coming off 32 points against the Magic in Orlando, Giannis put up a dud against the Atlanta Hawks tonight. The Greek Freak finished with 15 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, and 2 blocks in 34 minutes. For anyone else in the NBA, this stat line is a great game, however, Giannis is held to much different standards. He shot 7-16 from the field and only shot 2 free-throws the entire game. His whole game looked off, and he wasn’t making the same reads he usually makes on the offensive end. It was a surprise to see Giannis have a poor performance against the second worst team in the NBA. Chalk this one up as a fluke.
4. Khris Middleton continues to keep it going. Middleton finished with a team-high 21 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 1 block in 35 minutes. In a game where Milwaukee struggled to get going offensively, Middleton came alive in the clutch. He scored two tough midrange jumpers to help propel the Bucks to the finish line. He finished the night plus-11. Middleton continues to play well and is enjoying a career season across the board. Pay the man!
5. Eric Bledsoe giveth, and Eric Bledsoe taketh. This was a very bipolar performance for the speedy point guard, to say the least. He finished with 14 points and 9 assists, but he saved his theatrics until the end. His clutch time included a stupid turnover in the backcourt by dribbling too much, then he flushed one down on Ersan Ilyasova. It certainly wasn’t one of his prettiest performances this season. A win is a win, though.