Milwaukee Bucks: Takeaways from 109-102 win over Dallas Mavericks

Milwaukee, WI - DECEMBER 8: (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
Milwaukee, WI - DECEMBER 8: (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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MILWAUKEE, WI – DECEMBER 08: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI – DECEMBER 08: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

The Big Three march on

The Big-Three (or whatever other name you want to call them) have well and truly arrived. Whether it be Antetokounmpo’s rehearsal for the 2018 dunk contest, or Middleton’s fourth quarter heroics, there is no doubt Milwaukee won Friday’s game thanks to their star trio.

Bledsoe was tremendous on Friday night, keeping Milwaukee in the contest early as Dallas threatened to repeat their game one trouncing. Bledsoe finished the night with 24 points, four rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks as he continued to find ways to contribute on both ends of the floor. His partnership with Antetokounmpo is thriving and they have certainly silenced any doubters who claimed you couldn’t pair the Greek Freak with another non-shooter.

As for Antetokounmpo, his résumé for MVP continues to grow as he finished the night with 27 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Dallas coach Rick Carlisle clearly had a gameplan for Antetokounmpo, as many times he was forced to settle for a jump shot. However, as that part of his game continues to develop, that gameplan becomes less and less effective. In transition, Antetokounmpo was as brutal as previously advertized, finishing many highlight reel dunks on the night.

As for Middleton, he has finished with higher point totals this season, but none more important than Friday night’s effort. He finished with 31 points, including a team high 5-of-8 from deep. Middleton took over in the second half and drove Milwaukee to victory. The case for Middleton to receive an All-Star selection grows by the day and heroics like this can only help his case.

The Big-3 are combining for extremely productive basketball right now and it is a pleasure to watch. Unlike other systems, these three play well off each other and can competently and confidently distribute and score the ball as required. Just how Jabari Parker fits into this core is becoming a vitally important question for the Bucks’ coaching staff, but that is a problem for another day.