Milwaukee Bucks: Offensive struggles of Eric Bledsoe and Brook Lopez continue

MILWAUKEE, WI - DECEMBER 11: (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images).
MILWAUKEE, WI - DECEMBER 11: (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images). /

After their sixth loss of the season, the Milwaukee Bucks by no means have any need to panic. However, with the offensive struggles of starters Eric Bledsoe and Brook Lopez carrying over into the new year, this could be troublesome down the line.

In the Milwaukee Bucks’ January 6 loss to the San Antonio Spurs, there were not many bright spots aside from good games from guards George Hill and Donte DiVincenzo off the bench. It was a night where nearly the entire Milwaukee roster struggled immensely on the offensive end, finishing with a total of 104 points, far short of their normal 119.2 points per game.

Though the lack of offense was infectious everywhere, it was notably on display between starters Eric Bledsoe and Brook Lopez. The pair combined for 16 points, shooting a combined subpar 5-of-13 from the field. The tandem’s offensive struggles have been an inconsistency all season, and with the playoffs inching closer, things could become alarming very quickly.

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Bledsoe did dish out five assists in the loss to the Spurs but shot a grave 2-of-7 from the field, which included two makes from behind the arc. Typically, the 214lb point guard finds most of his success in the paint, particularly at the basket. Yet, he did not have a single make from inside the three-point line on this occasion.

Coming off of a game versus the same team where he excelled, this latest performance from Bledsoe is a head-scratcher. Previously against the Spurs on January 4, the guard scored 21 points on an efficient 8-of-12 from the floor, including 4-of-6 from deep.

This two-game stretch serves as a representation of how the 30-year-old guard’s season has gone to this point. This shows cause for concern because, on a night when Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton are struggling, Bledsoe should be the next man to step up.

As for Brook Lopez, his struggles on offense have been even more concerning over the course of the campaign. This season, the big man has been more of a threat on the defensive end, while last season, he was a massive part of this Milwaukee offense as a deadly three-point shooter. Yet, Brook’s numbers have gone down tremendously with the ball in his hands.

After shooting 36.5 percent on 6.3 attempts per game last season, Lopez has been struggling to put on an encore. This season, Brook has seen a significant decline in his shooting production, currently amounting to 30.4 percent on 4.8 attempts. The lack of an accurate three-point shot has hurt the Bucks, even if their record doesn’t necessarily show it.

With that being said, the Bucks have a plethora of star-studded players such as Bledsoe and Lopez, but the inability to consistently produce on offense is problematic. If the team wishes to make a deep playoff run this season, they are going to need everyone performing, particularly among their starters. As the postseason is still a few months away, hopefully, the pair can create some consistent offensive play by then.

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While there is no immediate cure, the best thing to do is stay aggressive and be smart with shot selections. Both players tend to fall in love with the three-ball, although they are much more effective closer to the basket. At this moment, the best thing for them is to create a steady rhythm on offense, and try to work into a more meaningful rhythm from there.