3 takeaways from Milwaukee Bucks’ disgraceful loss to the Brooklyn Nets

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 26 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 26 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Grayson Allen, Bobby Portis
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – FEBRUARY 26 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

In their first game back from the All-Star break, the Milwaukee Bucks hosted the Brooklyn Nets in a prime-time matchup last night. However, the Nets were far from full-strength, as they would be without two of their three stars in Kevin Durant and Ben Simmons. Though Kyrie Irving was able to play for Brooklyn, it seemed clear that Milwaukee had a clear advantage. Yet, this one did not quite pan out in their favor due to a horrendous second half.

Holding a 59-53 lead over the Nets at halftime, the Bucks looked to be in good shape. However, in typical Milwaukee fashion, they collapsed in the third quarter. The Nets won the quarter 43-34 in a grueling 12-minute stretch for the Bucks, where they looked as discombobulated as ever. They did battle back to trail by just three points after the third period and even regained the lead in the final quarter, but the Bucks fell apart down the stretch and let the Nets crawl right back into the game, ultimately losing by three points.

Given the circumstances of Brooklyn’s roster and how well-rested Milwaukee should have been for this game, the end result is embarrassing. With all that being said, here are three takeaways from the Milwaukee Bucks’ first game back from the break.

The Milwaukee Bucks doomed themselves with a poor night at the free throw line against the Brooklyn Nets

Free throws have always been an Achilles heel for the Bucks, but last night was certainly one of their worst shooting nights at the stripe in a long time. They shot an ugly 25-of-38 (65.8 percent) from the line, which stings when considering that Milwaukee lost by only three points.

The Bucks missed several timely free throws, including a handful from Jrue Holiday. The guard had a chance to extend Milwaukee’s lead to three late in the fourth with a pair of free throw attempts, but he missed both. Holiday would be tasked with hitting two more clutch free throws with seven seconds left to play and the Bucks trailing by three points, but he missed the first before making the second. He finished 4-of-8 at the line, which proved fatal as the team lost by three points.

Grayson Allen had a chance to tie the game late after being fouled on a 3-point attempt, but the typically-great free throw shooter uncharacteristically missed the second attempt. Bobby Portis and Khris Middleton each missed two free throws, while Giannis Antetokounmpo missed four of his attempts, though he did shoot it well overall – by his standards – at 12-of-16.

It would certainly be tough for the Bucks to win a contest where they shot just 65.8 percent from the line. Missing 13 free throws is outright unacceptable, especially considering how many came late in the game when the Bucks had some semblance of a pulse. Foul shooting has been a huge issue for the Milwaukee Bucks for quite some time, and it flat-out cost them this game last night.