Milwaukee Bucks Grades, Reactions From 101-95 Victory Over The Phoenix Suns

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Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Reactions: The Good

  • It’s generally accepted that the Bucks made the wrong decision when they traded Brandon Knight for MCW. Opponents of the trade need to only look at the Buck’s record since the trade as evidence that it was indeed the wrong move. But MCW’s play of late may help reverse that sentiment. In addition to scoring an efficient twenty points, MCW provided three key plays in the last minute and a half. First, he hit a floater in traffic to pull the Bucks even at 95 with 1:13 left. Second, he blocked Eric Bledsoe’s game-tying attempt with :20 left. And third, he came up with the game-icing steal in the final ten seconds. MCW is establishing himself as a go-to guy down the stretch when the Bucks are desperate for a basket. Love him or hate him that IS a clear positive.
  • Over the last five games MCW is averaging 19.4 points on 52.5% shooting, 5.6 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 2 steals with just 2.2 turnovers per game. That’s a marked improvement over his November monthly total of 8.8 points per game on 43.3% shooting, 3.1 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.3 steals, with 3.2 turnovers per game. I don’t want to jinx anything–but could this be the moment that he’s finally turned the corner? Let’s hope. The Bucks solve many, many problems if he proves to be good.
  • Greg Monroe is a grown ass man. We’ve seen him provide key baskets down the stretch before, and he did it again against the Suns. Take a look at the play. Monroe flashes excellent ball control, feigns a shot to get Tyson Chandler in the air and then goes under him for the easy left handed finish. WOW. Big men aren’t supposed to be that nimble.
  • If Khris Middleton can play at the level he did Sunday afternoon the Bucks will look like geniuses for the contract they gave him last summer. Without getting carried away, it’s fair to say that Middleton has been a slight disappointment so far this season. His scoring is up 1.4 ppg over last year, but he’s been playing nearly 5 minutes more per game. You can live with his point production–that’s not the cause for concern. His field goal percentage is, which has dipped to 39.9% after last year’s 46.7%. Sunday afternoon he reversed the narrative by tying a season high in points, 26, while shooting 10-17 (58.8%) from the field.
  • After receiving words of encouragement from O.J. Mayo in a timeout huddle, Rashad Vaughn FINALLY decided to let it fly. He proceeded to drain a pair of crucial three pointers. Vaughn may not be ready to emerge as a star or even a rotation guy this season–but it’s great to see him step up in a big game and make fourth quarter shots.
  • Ball movement remained good for the Bucks. 25 of their 41 buckets came on assisted plays. Basketball is so much easier when teammates play together. Just ask MCW who took this no-looker from Greg Monroe.

Next: Reactions: The Bad