Bucks Buzz Vol. 44: Giannis & Jabari Carry The Load
It’s fair to say, Milwaukee Bucks were on the brink. They’ve lost four straight and face three playoff teams this week with a surging Sixers team sans The Process to add into the mix. Milwaukee got off on the right foot with a great closing win beating Houston, 127-114. This is a solid win for Milwaukee, and they can build on it for the rest of the week. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker played masterfully together for the first time in a long while. They combined for 59 points.
Player of the Game (Bucks): Jabari Parker – Sure, Giannis finished with more points, but Jabari Parker responded to some critics in a major way. Parker scored 20 points in the first half and finished with 28 points. He also added eight rebounds and seven assists. This is a great bounce back for 21-year-old. Jabari needed it in the worst way. He’ll get some opportunities this week against some mid-level competition. The fact he’s getting rebounds and assists now is a big time thing.
(Not) Player of the Game (Bucks): Michael Beasley – We’ve seen this before with Jason Kidd giving a ‘shadow rest’, but we’ve seen virtually nothing of Beasley in the last couple games. He only played 17 total minutes against Orlando and Miami and now didn’t play on Monday. There’s nothing I can find about Beasley in terms of injury. We shall see what happens on Wednesday night.
Player of the Game (Rockets): James Harden – Not a surprise here. Harden nearly had a triple-double which almost is the standard with him and Russell Westbrook. Harden finished with 26 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds. He only shot the ball 10 times and went to line 14 times. Even though Harden isn’t the best player in the league, he gets treated like the best by the officials. To be fair, Harden does a great job finding ways to get to the free throw line.
Positive: New Starting Lineup – Finally, Jason Kidd went with a new starting lineup with Mason Plumlee getting his chance and now, we’re back to what the lineup looked like early in the season. Plumlee looked good out there with 10 points in 20 minutes with a PER of -3. Also, Malcolm Brogdon moved back together with Greg Monroe, and the Bucks center responded with 17 points, 10 rebounds. Kidd will likely ride this lineup until another change is needed.
Negative: Kidd’s motives are still unexplained – Listen, I don’t expect to know everything from Bucks head coach, but the moves he makes aren’t clear at all. Jason Kidd benched the aforementioned Beasley and John Henson. Two guys who’ve helped the team in a big way in the last two months. Sure, they haven’t played well, but why are these moves being made?
Next up: Philadelphia 76ers are back in town for their second visit in 10 days. Joel Embiid will not be there as he’s out with a knee contusion. Sixers did not play well against Atlanta on Saturday evening, and we’ll see how they do after a back-to-back as they play Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night.