Milwaukee Bucks: 3 areas in need of improvement at the All-Star break

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE - MARCH 04: (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE - MARCH 04: (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Jrue Holiday, Memphis Grizzlies, Dillon Brooks
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE – MARCH 04 (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /

Third area the Milwaukee Bucks must improve after All-Star break — Winning clutch contests

Dominating the regular season on a nightly basis for the past two regular seasons, the Bucks did not find themselves in close contests very often.

Although they have not reclaimed their typical juggernaut stature, that remains the case this season, and the team has their share of late game blunders. The Bucks are just 5-8 in games that end in clutch time scenarios this season with a 38.5 winning percentage, which ranks 25th in the league.

A large reasoning for that is because Milwaukee’s league-best offense fails to take form when the game is on the line. Per, the Bucks are among the 10 worst teams in points, field goals, and 3-point field goals per game in the clutch this season.

If the Bucks will finally plow throughout the unbreakable wall that has been the postseason, they must learn to close out games more regularly. Thankfully, they closed out the first portion of the season by doing just that in two of their last three contests.

The first came in their big win against the LA Clippers, where the Bucks held the Clippers scoreless in the final minutes to rally from behind and showcase their resiliency. Capped off by an emphatic Giannis Antetokounmpo dunk, Milwaukee snagged the 105-100 victory in what was arguably their biggest win of the season.

In their most recent contest, the Bucks battled down the stretch in the closing minutes with the Memphis Grizzlies. Ja Morant’s layup left the Bucks with a one-point deficit with no timeout and just a few seconds left on the clock. Still, Jrue Holiday’s effortless baseline jumper helped Milwaukee take the improbable lead and eventually win the game.

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These two games do showcase optimism in this regard, but the Bucks must make closing out games consistently a habit.