3 takeaways from Milwaukee Bucks’ fiery win over New Orleans Pelicans

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 01 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 01 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
1 of 3
Milwaukee Bucks: Jordan Nwora, DeMarcus Cousins, New Orleans Pelicans: Jaxson Hayes
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – JANUARY 01 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

After an eventful 2021 came to a close, the Milwaukee Bucks hoped to kick 2022 off with a bang as they squared off against the New Orleans Pelicans on New Year’s Day.

The Bucks were looking to even up the season series after the Pelicans defeated them in a thriller last month, a matchup where Jrue Holiday scored 40 points. Holiday had yet another spectacular performance as he tallied 21 points and six assists against his former team last night, but he and the Bucks managed to get the win this time around. It was a convincing one as well as the champs secured a 136-113 win on their home floor, a great way to start the new year. With all of that said, let us take a look at three takeaways from the matchup.

Jordan Nwora dazzled for the Milwaukee Bucks in his return to the rotation

With the Bucks getting healthier recently, second-year forward Jordan Nwora lost his spot in the team’s rotation. After going several consecutive games without logging a single minute, Nwora got his chance to play again as Khris Middleton, Thanasis Antetokounmpo, and Donte DiVincenzo all missed the matchup due to various reasons. He certainly did not disappoint in his 19 minutes.

Nwora showed zero signs of rust as he scored an eye-popping 23 points off the bench in this one, shooting a red-hot 9-for-11 from the floor, including 5-of-7 from 3-point range. His 23 points are the second-most he has scored this season, while those five 3-pointers are the most he has hit in a single game throughout his career thus far. With the Bucks missing approximately 20 points that would typically come from Middleton, Nwora provided a significant spark offensively in the second unit and covered for him. After a string of DNPs, it looked like Nwora was trying to send a message as he clocked in one of his best performances of the season.

The discussion surrounding Nwora’s role with the Bucks is bound to heat up following this stellar game from the 23-year-old. Nwora has been in and out of the rotation nightly and recently lost his spot entirely with the team nearing full strength. When the players who missed last night’s game return, head coach Mike Budenholzer will once again have some decisions to make regarding his rotations. There has not been a clear-cut role for Nwora yet, but after this performance, many will debate that the sophomore needs a role. Though he still has some areas of his game to improve upon, it might be hard to argue with those clamoring for him to see more time at this point.