Milwaukee Bucks: 3 takeaways from frustrating loss to Atlanta Hawks

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - NOVEMBER 14 (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - NOVEMBER 14 (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
1 of 3
Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Atlanta Hawks: Clint Capela
ATLANTA, GEORGIA – NOVEMBER 14 (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The Milwaukee Bucks are an incredibly hard team to evaluate right now due to injuries, so it is understandable not to get too high or too low on the champs this early in the season.

They have looked great in several games but outright awful the next, with the latter being the case in last night’s 120-100 loss to the Atlanta Hawks. Atlanta had lost six consecutive games heading into the matchup, but they certainly played like a team at the top of their game as they downright steamrolled Milwaukee by 20 points. Despite still being down several players, this is a matchup that the Bucks should be competing in, not losing, let alone by 20 points. Frustrating would be the best word to describe it as the Bucks played one of their sloppiest games of the year, and here are a few more specific takeaways from the contest.

A frustrated Giannis Antetokounmpo cannot will the Milwaukee Bucks to victory against the sliding Atlanta Hawks

Giannis Antetokounmpo has played some of the best basketball of his career this year as he has taken on more responsibility with several of his running mates sidelined. He and the Bucks would be without both Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez once again, meaning the Greek Freak would be tasked with taking on a larger workload.

Understanding this, the Hawks aimed to make life difficult for Antetokounmpo by putting their starting center in Clint Capela on Antetokounmpo all night. Capela’s hulking stature has allowed him to match up against Antetokounmpo previously, notably in last year’s Conference Finals. It would be a difficult shooting night for No. 34 as he shot 9-of-21 from the floor, including a brutal 1-of-5 from long range. Looking to keep the defense guessing, he tried to get the outside shot to fall, but Antetokounmpo once again struggled in that department. While he would score 26 points, it was not on his typical efficiency against a tough Atlanta team.

Antetokounmpo was visibly frustrated throughout several points of this game. Some of it could be attributed to his shot not falling as he would like, but he also tallied three turnovers and a grueling five personal fouls. Several of these fouls came on the offensive end, where, to his credit, Giannis has been much more careful this season. However, the Hawks caught him out of control on more than one occasion, deflating the Bucks whenever they seemed geared to stage a comeback. There is certainly no reason to panic about the Finals MVP, but it was far from his best outing last night.