Milwaukee Bucks Grades, Reactions From 131-123 Loss To Oklahoma City Thunder

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Dec 29, 2015; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) shoots the ball in front of Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) during the fourth quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Reactions: The Bad

  • One look at the box score tell you the Bucks did a poor job defending. That’s not exactly a novel concept, given the Bucks defensive woes this season, but it’s disconcerting nonetheless–especially when they can’t get stops when they need them. Like in the fourth quarter when the Bucks were hanging around the 7-11 point range, needing one stop and one basket to make things really interesting. But they couldn’t come up with big stops, allowing the likes of Enes Kanter and Steven Adams (the freaky mustache duo) to crush them down the stretch with easy baskets.
  • Russell Westbrook got loose against the porous Bucks defense. He scored 27 points on 10-22 shooting and was a nightmare assignment for the entire team, much less a single defender. Take this layup for example. The clip doesn’t show it, but he split a double team, found a seam in the lane, and finished between Middleton and Antetokounmpo. In other words he beat four Milwaukee defenders on ONE play.
  • Okay, so the Bucks are a young team, but do they have to commit fouls like a high school team? They sent the Thunder to the line 40 times , of which they made 37 (92.5%). (Kevin Durant made all thirteen of his freebies.) Meanwhile the Bucks were just 15-22 from the free throw line (68.2%). If you want to know how the Bucks can shoot so well, rebound well, have three players combine for 82 points (Middleton, Giannis, MCW) and still lose–look no further than free throw opportunities.

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