Milwaukee Bucks: 3 takeaways from 131-126 loss to New Orleans Pelicans

Jan 29, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 29, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Pat Connaughton, New Orleans Pelicans: Nicolo Melli
Jan 29, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /

The Milwaukee Bucks suffered their seventh loss of the season following a turbulent 131-126 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans Friday night.

It was a game that New Orleans controlled from early on, and four of their starting five finished the game with 21 or more points. The oddball, big man Steven Adams, made his presence felt by grabbing an astounding 20 rebounds against the Bucks, who came in as one of the best rebounding teams in the association.

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On Milwaukee’s side, it was the Giannis Antetokounpo show all night long as he finished with a game-high 38 points and 11 rebounds.

Jrue Holiday played second fiddle with 22 points, nine rebounds, and five assists, while Khris Middleton struggled for a good portion of the game, finishing with 16 points on just 6-of-17 shooting. Brook Lopez also continued his recent hot streak with 16 points of his own.

There were several takeaways from the Milwaukee Bucks’ seventh loss of the season, most of them negative. With that in mind, here are three takeaways that stand out in particular from Friday’s contest.

Takeaway No. 3 from loss to New Orleans Pelicans – Milwaukee Bucks’ awful perimeter defense

The Bucks’ abysmal 3-point defense has been one of their most fatal flaws during the Mike Budenholzer coaching era, and it was certainly on full display in last night’s loss. The Pelicans knocked down a franchise-tying 21 of their 48 attempts from behind the arc, which doomed the Bucks from the start.

Due to Milwaukee’s poor defensive efforts from the outside, these outings where their opponents hit franchise-tying or even record-setting numbers from 3-point range is nothing new. However, it undoubtedly stings coming from a subpar shooting team such as the Pelicans.

New Orleans entered the game shooting 33.7 percent on 30.8 attempts from 3-point range per game, which stood as the league’s 27th worst mark. Judging by how they torched Milwaukee from the outside, it looked like they were one of the premier offensive units.

Time and time again, the Bucks have found themselves in trouble due to their opponent’s red-hot 3-point shooting. It was their demise against the Miami Heat in the postseason last year, and it is rearing its ugly head into this year. That will not bode well for the Bucks down the road, and they need to get things figured out soon.