Three Things to Know About Milwaukee’s Powerless Performance Against Memphis
Milwaukee Bucks returned home for the first time since last Friday, but the first homestand since late April. Milwaukee had spent nine of its last 10 games on the road. Bucks looked like a team that needed a little more rest and relaxation at home versus playing a basketball game on Saturday night. They did not have the punch and the energy to match what Memphis was doing on the court. Milwaukee played from behind for most of this one and could not make enough stops to beat the Grizzlies. Bucks fall in this one, 128-115.
1. Bucks tried a zone for most of the second half… It didn’t work – Milwaukee tried to channel their inner Syracuse and play zone for most of the second half. It was unsuccessful. Mike Budenholzer said after the game that it changed the rhythm of the game which is somewhat true yet it never did anything to push Milwaukee past Memphis. I don’t get the idea of a zone defense for the Bucks when they suck at defending the three and have dealt with some rebounding issues this season.
2. Budenholzer’s minute allocation was all off – With P.J. Tucker joining the Bucks, the expectation is that minutes for the bench will change. What I did not expect is Tucker taking a majority of Bobby Portis’ minutes. That cannot be the case. They need to be Pat Connaughton’s minutes. Portis played nine minutes. A Season-low for him. The same guy who is scoring 12-8 this month and had a double-double streak of four games. That’s bad coaching, plain and simple. That’s a definite thing to watch tonight and this week.
3. Giannis Antetokounmpo is almost there health-wise – We saw 29 minutes from the Greek Freak. He was not on the injury report either, so, it is safe to say that Antetokounmpo’s knee is feeling better. Antetokounmpo still didn’t play his full allotment of minutes going for 29 minutes while Jrue Holiday played 38 and Khris Middleton 35. Antetokounmpo looks poised for the stretch run here. I don’t expect him to play every game with some obvious rest days down the stretch, but he seems in good shape to play with the big boys this week.
Milwaukee gets set to take on Phoenix tonight. I wondered to my podcast co-host Mitch if both teams look ahead on Saturday to this game. Suns also lost by double-digits to San Antonio. Both San Antonio and Memphis are fighting for playoff spots, so, there is more to play for. Suns-Bucks could be an NBA Finals matchup. Interested to see if the Suns have an answer for Giannis, and what Holiday can do on defense against CP3 and Devin Booker.