Bucks Buzz: Bucks Own The North
In late October, the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Toronto Raptors, but people took it for a grain of salt. Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and Fred Van Vleet all missed the game with injuries or rest. Milwaukee didn’t have Giannis Antetokounmpo, but that didn’t matter as much to critics. Now, the two teams met again North of the border to face off on Sunday night with everyone in uniform and ready to play. Bucks were able to pull out a close win by beating Toronto, 104-99, in a major win and continue their streak of not losing back-to-back games. Bucks being 2-1 this week is an amazing feat.
Player of the Game: Malcolm Brogdon – What a game from the President. Brogdon finished with 18 point that included two massive threes down the stretch to help Milwaukee take back the game. Toronto went on a big run through the late fourth nearly resulting in a Bucks loss then Brogdon helped snatch it back. He is the Bucks’ second-best clutch shooter. If it’s not Khris Middleton, I almost prefer Brogdon over Giannis Antetokounmpo (Is that a spicy take?).
Silver Star: Giannis Antetokounmpo – So, you look at his stat line and it’s like ‘holy shit’ yet Giannis didn’t have his A game down the stretch. He had 19 points, 19 rebounds yet he did most of that damage in the first three quarters. I know it’s hard to be mad at a guy who went 19-19 and added six assists yet he didn’t show up in the fourth quarter.
Thing I liked: Winning in a close one – Kane Pittman had the stat that the Bucks were 2-6 prior to this game in close finishes this season. They move that record to 3-6, and you hope it gets better with time. A part of it is Mike Budenholzer figuring out the best plays down the stretch and who needs to be the guy. The other part is the youth of this team. As they continue to grow, the Bucks should get better in this category.
Thing I didn’t like: Close one could have been avoided – Milwaukee had a six-point lead halfway through the fourth quarter, and they ended up letting Toronto go on a 13-2 run right after it. That’s not encouraging. Bucks could have slammed the door and did not. I feel it’s partly because the Raptors are a good team. If this is one of the lower rung teams in the league, Milwaukee pulls away and wins it. Yet maybe, I’m expecting too much with the Bucks playing the best team on the road.
Next up: Milwaukee has a major letdown alert heading home tonight against Cleveland. Cavaliers are coming off a blowout win versus Washington on Saturday plus Larry Drew’s coaching return to Milwaukee. There will be some motivation there. Bucks have done well versus the Central division opponents this year though. This is one of two matchups with the Cavs this week.