Game In Review: Milwaukee Bucks @ Washington Wizards – November 17th


Starting Lineups

Milwaukee Bucks: Michael Carter-Williams, Jerryd BaylessKhris Middleton, Giannis AntetokounmpoGreg Monroe

Washington Wizards: John Wall, Garrett Temple, Otto Porter, Kris Humphries, Marcin Gortat

The Milwaukee Bucks always knew that their three-game road trip was going to look considerably more difficult after the news that Jabari Parker will miss a stretch due to a foot sprain, but once they took to the court in the national’s capital on Tuesday, it became abundantly clear just how tough.

The news of Bradley Beal‘s injury ruling him out of the game would likely have buoyed Milwaukee, but having been listed probable at one stage, O.J. Mayo‘s absence was yet another disappointment for the Bucks.

Jerryd Bayless was the man to get the nod for the starting lineup in the first game of Parker’s absence, and even in the midst of a poor start from his team, he continued his personal hot streak.

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Lackadaisical defense early on would cost the Bucks though, as they allowed Washington to establish a firm early footing. First John Wall was allowed a clear path from the perimeter through to the rim for a simple dunk, and then Otto Porter was left wide open for a simple three from the left corner (wouldn’t be the last we’d see of that).

Four straight turnovers compounded Milwaukee’s misery, with two straight Michael Carter-Williams live ball turnovers closely resembling a pick six. Khris Middleton’s jumper was as smooth as it’s ever been, yet two quick fouls meant his seven points in four minutes would be all we’d see of him until well into the second quarter.

Nov 17, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) grabs a rebound over Washington Wizards forward Kris Humphries (43) in the first quarter at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Still, somehow the Bucks pulled themselves into the lead and actually looked pretty good for a little while. A 10-0 run behind Middleton and Bayless, set the stage for the introduction of Vasquez and Henson.

Those two reserves made a real impact when they took to the floor as well. Vasquez came in and quickly got himself into rhythm with a soft floater, which would soon be followed up with some stellar long-range shooting.

Henson’s first action was to set a great screen for Bayless, before then grabbing a couple of quick buckets of his own, alongside some forceful rebounding.

The second quarter started positively for the Bucks too, yet it would all go south in a hurry. A sloppy foul by Giannis Antetokounmpo sent Otto Porter to the free throw line for three free throws, while shortly afterwards Middleton would pick up his third foul and head to the bench again.

With Middleton sitting, Chris Copeland was the man tasked to step up and he couldn’t have been any less up to the challenge. Copeland isn’t renowned for his defensive ability, yet his brain clearly wasn’t working at times during this one either.

Jared Dudley reminded Milwaukee of the wing depth that they could have had by hitting three deep shots in the second quarter to turn the game on its head. Chris Copeland not only failed to defend him, but generally didn’t look like he knew where he was.

Considering how well they had been playing, the fact that Henson and Vasquez sat on the bench for 18 and 14 minutes respectively from the middle of the second until late in the third was quite the surprise. When Vasquez sat down, Milwaukee trailed by two. When he returned the deficit was 15.

Still the Bucks tried to make a bit of a run back into it early in the third, with Michael Carter-Williams doing his best to be the catalyst after a horrible start to the game.

Carter-Williams stunned everybody watching by knocking down two quick threes, and then followed that closely with a nice combination play with Greg Monroe that led to this simple dunk.

That cut Washington’s lead to six with 5:50 remaining in the third, but the Bucks would not score again until a Henson free throw with 11:24 remaining in the final period.

That was effectively game over. You know, the Bucks would have been better served by getting on a plane to Cleveland there and then too. Plain and simple, Milwaukee needs to be better.

86. 89. Final. 115. 142