Game In Review: Milwaukee Bucks @ Charlotte Hornets – November 29


Milwaukee Bucks lose to Charlotte Hornets as Jason Kidd shakes up starting lineup to no gain.

Starting Lineups

Milwaukee Bucks: Jerryd Bayless, O.J. MayoKhris Middleton, Giannis AntetokounmpoGreg Monroe

Charlotte Hornets: Kemba Walker, Nicolas Batum, P.J. Hairston, Marvin WilliamsAl Jefferson

The Milwaukee Bucks have had a lot of early season problems, yet it all felt like more minor details that needed some working out, or just time and attention, until today that is.

After having missed Friday’s blowout loss to the Orlando Magic due to suspension following on from his decision to slap the ball out of referee Zach Zarba’s hands in frustration late in Wednesday’s game against Sacramento, Jason Kidd returned to the bench, and clearly wanted to make a point.

Kidd dropped Michael Carter-Williams and Jabari Parker to the bench in an attempt to shake things up in search of a positive change in Sunday’s matinee game. The benefactors were O.J. Mayo and Jerryd Bayless, meaning it was clear from the get-go that the Bucks would be doing at least one thing in this game: shooting.

Milwaukee at least came out of the traps playing well, yet that hasn’t exactly been a problem for them so far this season anyway.

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Noted fast starters who tail off quickly, the Bucks came out applying strong defensive pressure, pushing pace, and driving to the rim to score inside.

Khris Middleton started particularly well as he was disruptive in the passing lanes to help the team get out in transition, and that was a trend that would continue all night long.

Greg Monroe’s post passing was equally effective, picking out teammates who made clever cuts to the hoop, most notably for a pretty dunk from Jerryd Bayless.

It was Middleton who had set the tone on both ends of the floor though, and as he and the starters came out, the gap between the two teams narrowed.

After entering the second with a six point lead off the back of a strong defensive showing, Milwaukee decided to stop protecting the three point line and Charlotte punished them swiftly to turn the game on its head.

Each of Mayo, Bayless and Carter-Williams offered up slow defensive rotations on the outside man, which the Hornets punished on three separate possessions with long balls from Marvin Williams, Jeremy Lamb and Jeremy Lin.

In spite of the Hornets having lost Al Jefferson for the night due to injury early on, the Bucks just couldn’t assert their will upon a much improved Charlotte group. Monroe at least showed a willingness to scrap and fight inside, but with Mayo and Bayless simply gunning from range, things went south in a hurry for Milwaukee.

A nine point second quarter represented a new low for Milwaukee this season.

As the third quarter started up, Monroe continued to battle hard, making things happen on both ends of the floor. His defensive tips were just as welcome as his work inside in trying to score, yet on a night where his shot wasn’t falling consistently, Milwaukee needed a spark from elsewhere.

It came (briefly) as the Bucks hit a purple patch of shooting. Three made long balls in a short space of them gave the Bucks a surprising lead, yet with the Hornets shooting off at the time, Milwaukee didn’t show the intelligence to go inside for easy buckets to consolidate their position.

Milwaukee took three-pointers on seven of eight straight possessions as they allowed the game to slip out of their reach.

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In the fourth, the Bucks eventually made a bit of a run, and with the game tied up with a minute remaining it seemed like they might have found themselves in position to steal a win. Poor three-point defense put paid to that as Nicolas Batum knocked down a decisive three though.

What does game mean in the larger scheme of things? Not a lot. So why then did Kidd decide to drastically shake things up in search of a win on a random Sunday in Charlotte? That’s the question that many will ask in their post-mortem.

Thankfully Jabari Parker looked unshaken by the experience, although it certainly did no favors for Michael Carter-Williams, who already appeared to be lacking in confidence.

What about Jerryd Bayless and O.J. Mayo? How about 9-27 from the field, and 4-17 from deep combined.

Bucks need to find a magic potion between now and tomorrow night’s game with Denver.

Final. 82. 89. 87. 170