Game in Review: Milwaukee Bucks v. Memphis Grizzlies – March 17

Mar 17, 2016; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Damien Inglis (17) blocks a shot by Memphis Grizzlies guard Ray McCallum (5) in the second quarter at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 17, 2016; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Damien Inglis (17) blocks a shot by Memphis Grizzlies guard Ray McCallum (5) in the second quarter at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

Great bench-unit play in the fourth quarter let the Milwaukee Bucks pull away from the tough Memphis Grizzlies late.

Starting Lineups – Milwaukee Bucks: Jerryd Bayless, Khris MiddletonGiannis AntetokounmpoJabari ParkerGreg Monroe

Memphis Grizzlies: Briante Weber, Tony Allen, Matt Barnes, JaMychal Green, Ryan Hollins

Could tonight be defined as anything more than a textbook “schedule win”? The Memphis Grizzlies are as worn down from injury as a team can get (Briante Weber’s highlight package is a bit slim, and he’s the starting PG), they came into tonight on a back-to-back and third game in four nights, and were riding a three-game losing streak.

That is long-form to say that this evening should’ve been a simple matter of the Milwaukee Bucks deciding to roll out of bed and show up.

If anything, this evening should be dedicated once again to the young core as the primary creators while working in guys like Johnny O’Bryant (Happy St. Patrick’s Day!), Damien Inglis and Tyler Ennis. Sustained effort would end up being the key on the night with this scrappy (trust me, you’ll see) Memphis team.

More from Bucks News

The Grizzlies punched their way into the paint with ease, something the Bucks often impose upon opposing teams. Tonight, however, it was the forcefulness of Matt Barnes (with 18 first quarter points) that got things rolling for Memphis. Greg Monroe went to work on the other end when he got extended first quarter minutes, and his production kept things reasonable.

Interestingly, Damien Inglis found himself getting a solid glut of minutes in the first half. He showed off a great awareness in on-ball defense, got in a nice block, and actually scored his career-high in points (all measly four of them in the first). He didn’t appear totally comfortable in the offense, but given how little he’s been with teammates during in-game situations, his early showing was solid.

Through the second, it was the Lance Stephenson Show for long stretches regardless of who D’d up on him. His play was frenetic bordering on out-of-control, but a lifeless defense for Milwaukee let him get hot in a hurry. The depressing part was that he was the sole lightning rod for Memphis, and he just kept hitting.

Luckily for us poor viewers, the Bucks decided to ramp things up in the second in attack, and a big half-time lead for Memphis dwindled with speed behind a Giannis-led unit. As usual, it was largely up to the starters to make things happen with paltry contribution from the bench, and they rose to the call with each starter getting into double-digit scoring. Their points were the difference between a blowout and a competitive game.

The other point to watch with interest was Giannis’ slow grind towards another triple-double after he secured double digits in points and assists roughly halfway through the third. The high percentage shooting inside by Memphis and Greg Monroe soaking up loose balls limited his chances to grab boards, though he’d be in contention to notch another nice line throughout the night.

As a team, however, a tendency to iso far too often spelled the style Milwaukee settled for, and with tough jumpers being the common go-to, it wasn’t a surprise to see the Bucks struggle.

An Ennis-Inglis-Rashad VaughnMiles PlumleeJohn Henson lineup was what Jason Kidd threw at the wall starting the fourth. At first an interesting choice, it paid massive dividends with four straight defensive stops leading to an immediate 6-0 run to retain the lead. Inglis’s defensive pressure once more made itself felt, and he even got in a nice breakaway dunk.

That unit would continue to perform fantastically on defense. John Henson anchored the interior in a way that hasn’t been seen much this season, and from the interior out the rest of the team began to get into rhythm. A big Inglis block (seen below), a big Vaughn three, and snappy ball movement let Milwaukee pull away halfway through the final quarter.

That group would stick together the rest of the way, giving much-needed rest and a fantastic opportunity to let some not oft played guys show out. Damien Inglis looked like an honest-to-goodness NBA player and Tyler Ennis was making a lot of things happen with his own scoring.

A little bit of a scuffle after a hard John Henson foul on Lance Stephenson would be the biggest source of excitement until Tyler Ennis decided to take over closing things out with poised jumpers and contested layups. He’d end the night with 15 points, five rebounds and three assists and the Bucks walk away tonight with the energetic 96-86 win.

Oh, and John Henson ended the night and a contentious back and forth with Matt Barnes with this:

Go Bucks, go John Henson.

89. Final. 86. 211. 96

Bucks return to action on Sunday versus the Utah Jazz.