Game in Review: Milwaukee Bucks v. Charlotte Hornets – February 19

Feb 19, 2016; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks guard Khris Middleton (22) dribbles the ball as Charlotte Hornets guard Jeremy Lin (7) defends during the second quarter at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 19, 2016; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks guard Khris Middleton (22) dribbles the ball as Charlotte Hornets guard Jeremy Lin (7) defends during the second quarter at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

The same-look Milwaukee Bucks begin their march to end the season by fumbling a sizable lead late to the Charlotte Hornets.

Starting Lineups – Milwaukee Bucks: O.J. Mayo, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker, Miles Plumlee

Charlotte Hornets: Kemba Walker, Nicolas Batum, Cody Zeller, Marvin Williams, Frank Kaminsky

If you’ve been keeping score at home, a relatively quiet trade deadline came and went on Thursday afternoon without participation on the part of the Milwaukee Bucks. Maybe that’s just fine, or maybe you think that’s a disaster, but either way we encourage you to head to our home page to peruse through all of our in-depth coverage from events leading up to, during, and after the deadline.

With that plug out of the way, it’s time to get back to the bread and butter that is our daily game coverage. The Charlotte Hornets would end up being the first opponent on the long road to the end of the year, and to say that they were a bit shorthanded is an understatement. They’ll be making a push to the playoffs, so a sense of urgency on their part would be expected.

Retaining OJ Mayo as a starter allowed for the Bucks to space things a bit more with two shooters on the floor, and they took advantage of an opened up Charlotte interior D to move quick in transition. As was the case before the All-Star Break, though, the Bucks played a decidedly swinging door defensive style allowing Kemba Walker plenty of space to make things happen off ball screens on the perimeter.

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For many, the sole reason to watch the Bucks the rest of this year is to see how Giannis, Jabari, Khris, and Rashad do heading forward. So, fans should be pleased with how aggressive those guys were involving themselves on offense. Khris did some play making, Jabari some dunking, and Giannis made everything happen while on the move getting the team into a needed rhythm.

That core would end up combining for 14 of the Bucks first 20 shots from the floor as they showed little fear of ripping off as many shots as they could manage. While the defense still fell apart with regularity for Parker, this core having a green light is all that one could hope for from coach Jason Kidd. Jabari did have a few of these to make up for things:

The young guys would probably continue to feature prominently in the second half given foul trouble for Greg Monroe at the break, but the Bucks weren’t going away easily, tied 52-52.

Charlotte surprisingly had difficulty getting any sort of rounded attack from their roster. Led mostly by Kemba Walker and Cody Zeller who would put together 48 points between one another on the night. That being said, they sure didn’t struggle for putting up numbers in the paint, and bringing Monroe back certainly didn’t help things at all.

Giannis and Jabari were making nearly everything go with the ball, and they benefited immensely to some ball-hawking play in passing lanes leaving them often in numerically advantageous setups. Some more aggressive defense got a fastbreak or two going, and Giannis took advantage (and flight):


Some foolish passing and three consecutive turnovers on the part of the Bucks managed to go a long way to erasing their lead as they managed to make it a three-point game with 9:15 left in the contest. A shocking 17 attempts from three for Milwaukee did plenty up to this point to get some breathing room, and a paltry 10 assists from Charlotte was indicative of the kind of solo performance-reliant night they were having.

The offense began to crumble in a hurry, and the Bucks would score but 17 points with nine turnovers in the quarter. Walker did as he is wont to do while shooting to bring things even once more at 82. His speed from left to right was far too much for any individual defender to keep in front of, and he made Milwaukee pay at the rim with regularity.

Wonderfully bad play for the Bucks handed the Hornets a growing lead, and only three minutes remained for Milwaukee to work their way back into things. Thanks to some necessary shooting fouls, Jabari and Khris got the chance to drag the team closer with a stopped clock. Chaos erupted shortly thereafter, and somehow the Bucks had a final possession with a shot at tying things up after a Marvin Williams floater put Charlotte up 96-93.

A poor inbounds pass off Jeremy Lamb gave Milwaukee the ball back for one finalchance, down one and with destiny on their side. Of course, they’d waste that chance with a very early Middleton elbow jumper which clanged off to give Charlotte the free throws to finish things off. Bucks lose in disappointing fashion, 95-98.

98. 170. 95. 89. Final

Catch us back here tomorrow night as the Bucks head out on the road to meet up with the Atlanta Hawks in Georgia!