3 takeaways from Milwaukee Bucks’ sizeable win over Charlotte Hornets

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 28 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 28 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Grayson Allen, Giannis Antetokounmpo
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – FEBRUARY 28 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

After collapsing late against the incredibly short-handed Brooklyn Nets in their previous outing, the Milwaukee Bucks desperately needed a win to right the ship. They would get the chance as the Charlotte Hornets – a team that defeated the Bucks in back-to-back games earlier this year – came to town. Although the Hornets have been slipping lately, they have played the Bucks close during all of their meetings this season, and this would be a good test for the defending champs.

Thankfully, the Bucks showed more energy and urgency in this one than they did throughout their matchup against the Nets. After things were tied up at 32 after the first, Milwaukee exploded in a dominant second-quarter effort that saw them score an eye-popping 44 points while holding the electric Charlotte offense to just 21 points in that timeframe. The Bucks followed this up with an uncharacteristic strong third-quarter, where they outscored the Hornets by nine points. Handling their business down the stretch, the champs secured a much-needed 130-106 win.

With that said, let us take a closer look at three takeaways from last night’s game between the Bucks and the Hornets.

The Milwaukee Bucks shot it much better at the free throw line than they did in their previous outing

Arguably the biggest storyline to come from Milwaukee’s recent loss to Brooklyn was the awful free throw shooting put on display by the champs. They shot just 25-of-38 from the line, which proved to be fatal in what turned out to be a single-digit loss. Given how poorly they shot it, the Bucks needed to come out with more focus at the line against the Hornets, which they did.

Excluding Lindell Wigginton and Thanasis Antetokounmpo, who got playing time when the game had already been decided, the Bucks shot a perfect 30-for-30 from the stripe in this one. It was a team effort, but Giannis Antetokounmpo did a sizeable portion of the damage by knocking down a flawless 14-of-14 free throws. Khris Middleton followed by hitting all six of his tries, and even the newcomer Jevon Carter followed suit by hitting four free throws. Bobby Portis and Jrue Holiday hit a pair of free throws each after they missed some crucial ones on Saturday, and Wesley Matthews joined by adding two makes of his own.

Following Saturday’s debacle at the stripe, it is welcoming to see the Bucks bounce back in such a big way. Given that they are among the worst free throw shooting teams in the league, seeing the regular rotation players shoot it so well was beyond refreshing. Hopefully this can become a trend as the Bucks look to improve upon their poor free throw shooting numbers this season.