Bucks Buzz: Middleton’s Hot Night Carries Bucks
Milwaukee Bucks entered the second week of the season with two straight wins. They had not suffered a loss in the Mike Budenholzer era. That did not change on Monday night. Even with an unexpected tight second half, Milwaukee got hot late thanks to Khris Middleton’s huge performance including six threes. He proved to be the difference on Monday giving the Bucks their third straight victory to begin the 2018-2019 season. There were encouraging things again from Milwaukee, but there were a few question marks from the second half.
Player of the Game: Khris Middleton – Remember the contract year. Contract year Midds showed the hell out on Monday. He made six of seven threes and pushed Milwaukee ahead by 19 points at halftime. He did disappear a little bit in the third but came back to life to finish off the Knicks with two big shots. Giannis Antetokounmpo had a very weird 31-15 tonight, and he started the fourth scoring then Middleton finishes it off. If those two are cooking like this in the fourth, look out. Midds just missed out on the top scoring night with 30 points and added seven boards as well.
Honorable Mention: Eric Bledsoe – Here’s a secret… I’ve been enjoying the Eric Bledsoe experience under the Budenholzer era. Mitch called this last week on the podcast. It’s still too early to make broad generalizations, but Bledsoe is showing out with this new-look Bucks team. He played really well on Monday. Bledsoe did struggle with Trey Burke a bit on defense, but I’ll let that slide. Bledsoe finished the night with 16 points and 13 assists.
Thing I like: The starting five is a wagon – Through three games, the Bucks starting five is playing at a ridiculous level together. They’re clicking as a whole which is a lovely thing to see considering the shift with Malcolm Brogdon then adding Brook Lopez to the equation as well. Wednesday will be a great test for this lineup. I’ll be fascinated to see how they do versus Philadelphia.
The Bucks' starting line-up of Bledsoe/Brogdon/Middleton/Antetokounmpo/Lopez has now played 32 minutes.
— Dean Maniatt (@AllTheBucks) October 23, 2018
Thing I don’t like: Third quarter struggles – I blame the FSN crew for saying they haven’t talked about offensive droughts all year. It’s clearly they’re fault for what happened to the team Monday. But seriously, that was rough. Knicks are a scrappy bunch, but the Bucks should have buried them in this one. They left the door wide open. The threes were a little outrageous at times and do think the team found themselves too comfortable from beyond the arc.
Highlight of the night: Middleton buries the Knicks – This wasn’t the dagger, but the Bucks pulled away after this swaggy three from Khris. He stepped back only to pull up and drew a three straight in Enes Kanter’s eye. He did get fouled as well but we’ll forget that.
Khris is KLUTCH!!
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) October 23, 2018
Next up: Bucks take on Philly for an 8:30 pm ESPN game on Wednesday. Sixers might not be with Ben Simmons. He left Saturday’s game with a back injury. He’s questionable for tomorrow’s game versus Detroit. Also, Philly comes to town on a back-to-back plus a late start, it’s time for Milwaukee to make another early statement.