Live the home of the reigning and defending NBA Champion Milwaukee Bucks, it’s the What The Buck Is Up Report! Each week I will be sharing my thoughts about anything and everything Bucks related as they look to defend their world championship status.
Results and Random Thoughts
Bucks: 100 Hawks: 120 (6-8)
Another week, another revenge-fueled loss for the Bucks. This time, Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks exacted their vengeance as Young poured in an impressive 42 points including eight threes. Each of the Bucks staters scored in double digits, but only Giannis eclipsed 20 points.
Bucks: 109 Lakers: 102 (7-8)
Ever the competitor, Giannis Antetokounmpo was tired of the Bucks losing games to start the season and he played like it. Antetokounmpo put in one of the best performances of the season against the Lakers, providing a statement win for the Bucks early in the year.
-Khris Middleton returned to the Bucks after an extended absence due to COVID-19. For the Lakers, LeBron James remained sidelined.
-Middleton was a welcome addition for the Bucks as he hit two clutch threes with ten minutes left in the game. The second three tied Middleton with Ray Allen for most three made in Bucks history at 1051.
-Bucks had a great close to the first half, highlighted by a confident trey swish from Giannis and a number of crowd-igniting hustle plays from the People’s Champ (Milwaukee-based) Bobby Portis.
-Giannis had 28 points in the first half, missing only one field goal attempt. The GQ Athlete of the Year scored a total of 47 points in a tremendous and efficient effort. He seems to enjoy playing against the Lakers.
Bucks: 96 Thunder: 89 (8-8)
-Middleton made Bucks history as his first three pointer of the game put him in sole possession of most three pointers made by a Buck player with 1052. David Gruber must be so proud.
-Bucks passing was on point against a smaller and slower Thunder team. Having Middleton back as one of the most efficient scorers in the league seemed to open the spacing that was an issue when Middleton was out.
-Bucks held the lead for the entire game, even reaching a 20 point advantage that was reduced to two with five minutes remaining in the fourth. The two-point advantage was held until the very end of the game until Giannis hit a clutch 15-foot jumper and two late free throws to ice the contest.
-Giannis put in a ton of work defensively, as he racked up 19 rebounds, two steals and four blocks. He also added an impressive seven assists for an excellent all-around game.
Bucks: 117 Magic: 109 (9-8)
While the Magic were able to cut the game close at the end, the Bucks truly dominated in every aspect. The Magic had no answer for Giannis, who drove his way to the lane picking up foul after foul in the victory.
-Bobby Portis had an excellent showing for the Bucks providing his trademark energy plays as well as a much needed 24 points and 15 rebounds. Portis was 6-7 from three, igniting the Fiserv Forum crowd time after time, yours truly included.
Bucks: 123 Magic 92 (10-8)
Another night, another utter thrashing by the Bucks to the Magic. This time, the Bucks defense stifled the Magic, who had no player score over 20 points. The Bucks also had no one go over 20, but did have seven players in double digits including all five starters.
-The Bucks carried a 77-36 advantage into halftime, the largest lead in franchise history at the half.
-Pat Connaughton stayed hot from three point range, knocking down 5-7 from beyond the arc.
Bucks: 114 Pistons 93 (11-8)
After a somewhat slow and injury-ridden start to the season, the two victories over the Magic to begin their home stand offered a return to normalcy for the defending champs. This continued against the lowly Pistons, as starters Giannis, Holiday and Portis combined for 83 of the Bucks 114 points. Portis continued to prove his worth as a starting forward with another excellent performance.
Bucks: 120 Nuggets: 109 (12-8)
There was much for the Bucks to be thankful for on Thanksgiving this year, as they were able to defeat a formidable opponent in the Denver Nuggets on the road. The Nuggets were without star player and MVP Nikola Jokic.
-Middleton was able to pass the 10,000 career points mark with his first three-point made in the game. Middleton and the Bucks offense have clicked into place following the sharpshooter’s return to the team.
Bucks: 118 Pacers: 100 (13-8)
The Bucks were able to secure their seventh straight victory with a win over their rival Pacers. The victory was a team victory, as the Bucks had six players in double figures and an efficient 51% field goal rate.
Bucks: 127 Hornets: 125 (14-8)
In an absolute thriller of a contest, Giannis Antetokounmpo was able to make the final difference with a gorgeous finger-roll layup in the final seconds to secure the Bucks eighth straight win. Just before Giannis game-winner, Middleton and Hornets up-and-comer LaMelo Ball traded major three pointers to add to the intrigue.
-DeMarcus Cousins made his Bucks debut to the delight of me and many Bucks fan. Boogie was effective in his first game scoring seven points and grabbing four boards in 15 minutes of play.
-Giannis was a whirlwind against the Hornets scoring 40 points and adding 12 rebounds and 9 assists in a near triple-double.
Bucks: 93 Raptors: 97 (14-9)
The short-handed Bucks were a last-second Connaughton rim-out three from possibly gaining their ninth straight victory. Middleton and Holiday were effective without Giannis in the contest, but a poor collective three point shooting night cost the Bucks in the end. Fred VanFleet, Pascal Siamkim and rookie sensation Scottie Barnes did most of the damage for the Raptors.
-The Bucks announced Brook Lopez received surgery for his back injury without a timetable for return. Giannis Antetokounmpo did not play in the contest as he sat for a rest day on the second night of a back-to-back. George Hill and DeMarcus Cousins also sat out for veteran rest.
-MAMU ALERT: The MaMan played significant competitive minutes in Giannis Antetokounmpo’ s absence. Sandro was a made field goal short of a double-double as he put in eight points and ten rebounds.
Bucks: 124 Heat: 102 (15-9)
Led by strong games from Middleton, Portis and Holiday, the Bucks were able to beat the heat on a chilly night at Fiserv Forum. P.J. Tucker, eternal Buck legend and dog, received his championship ring in a touch pre-game ceremony.
-Giannis sat out for the second straight game with right calf soreness. Grayson Allen also sat out. Sandro Mamukelashvili made his first start which means…
-MAMU ALERT: MAMU MADE HIS FIRST CAREER NBA START 🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨
-New Bucks signee and old friend Wes Matthews made his first appearance back with Milwaukee. The Bucks waived rookie Georgios Kalaitzakis to make room for Matthews, who brings solid veteran leadership and effective 3 and D play back to Milwaukee.
Stat-line Of The Week
More than a week has passed since the last Bestest Buck was give out, which calls for a monster performance for a winner. That is exactly why Giannis Antetokounmpo’s masterful game against the Magic takes the crown. Giannis put together 32 POINTS, 20 REBOUNDS, 5 ASSISTS, 2 STEALS and 3 BLOCKS. While the obvious choice appeared to be Giannis against the Lakers, his better overall game was against Magic.
Week Record: 9-2
Overall Record: 15-9
Next Opponents: Cavilers, @Heat, @Rockets, @Knicks