Game 2: Milwaukee Bucks 113 Washington Wizards 118 Grades & Reactions

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Oct 30, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks center Greg Monroe (15) and Washington Wizards forward Nene Hilario (42) battles for a rebound in the fourth quarter at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Reactions: The Good

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo is for real. You don’t need need me to tell you that, of course, but it feels great just saying it. He is a monster. A blossoming talent ready to bludgeon the league with his “go ahead and try to stop me” attitude. He neared his career high in scoring in the first half (23) before succumbing to an apparent leg stinger and foul trouble in the second. Regardless of slowing down late (perhaps due to injury) he enchanted the home crowd with scintillating quickness and an increasingly accurate jumper. Welcome back, kid.
  • What is that? Is it highlight-reel wonders you crave? Go ahead and indulge. Giannis is a never ending fountain of these things. Here’s Friday’s best.
  • Basketball is a simple game when you make extra passes and take smart shots. The Bucks did lots of that in the first three quarters (30) including an impressive first half sequence that saw a series of four passes around the top of the key before Monroe flashed open for the easy and-one layup. Both Middleton and Copeland passed up decent looks from three during that sequence. Both are decent shooters. Both shoot a lower percentage from three than Moose shoots from right underneath the rim. Less dribbling, more passing is always a good thing.
  • Under no circumstances should Michael Carter-Williams shoot five threes (OK, one was from half court), but other than that he was great. He virtually eliminated the costly turnovers from Wednesday night and in their absence delivered with a game-high 11 assists. The offense looks so much better when he’s playing diligently. He even flashed a decent mid-range jumper, coming off of screens three times in the second half to find himself with open looks. He made all three. You take the jumpers as they come–but where he flourishes is getting to the rim. It’s a shame the Bucks don’t have more perimeter players to take open threes off his penetration.
  • The 0-2 start is disappointing, but this is still a team destined for big things this season. Let’s break it down. The Bucks were without Jabari Parker, O.J. Mayo, and John Henson against the Wizards. While you never want to blame losses on key injuries, that’s kinda sorta what’s been going on here. The Bucks were good enough to beat the Wizards Friday night, but lacked the push to get over the top. The presence of any of those three could have made the difference. Reserve judgment for when this team is completely healthy. Having said that Sunday’s game against Toronto is essential.

Next: Reactions: The Bad