3 keys for Milwaukee Bucks to keep win streak alive against Atlanta Hawks

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JUNE 25 (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JUNE 25 (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: George Hill, Jordan Nwora, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Atlanta Hawks: Trae Young
ATLANTA, GEORGIA – JANUARY 17 (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The Milwaukee Bucks will need more key contributions from the bench

After much bemoaning about the Milwaukee Bucks’ bench being useless, can’t score, and has all-around just not been very good, things have certainly changed in recent games! 

The stars of the reserves lately have been new additions Serge Ibaka and Jevon Carter.

Ibaka’s best two games as a Buck have come in the last two games, looking much more confident and comfortable at both ends. I said in his first couple of games that Ibaka looked hesitant to let shots fly when he had open looks, but that hasn’t been the case lately — and they’ve been falling!

He has also been a very good threat as a roller, getting good looks from Holiday and Khris Middleton in pick and roll as well as crashing the glass with nine offensive rebounds. I thought he had already played well defensively before these last couple of games, but he has gone to another level with four blocks in his last two games and eight defensive boards.

For as much of a soft spot as I had for Carter from his college days, I didn’t think he’d have as much of an impact as he’s had so far.

The scoring has been hit or miss so far (though he had a great game against the Thunder, hitting four 3s), but his defense has been as good as advertised and perhaps better! He has been a great substitute for when Holiday needs a break and can maintain a high level of energy as a point of attack defender.

It’s clear that head coach Mike Budenholzer trusts him quite a bit with the minutes and situations he’s been put in. I’m curious what his role and minutes look like when George Hill eventually comes back, but for now, he’s been a revelation from the buyout market.

Wesley Matthews, Jordan Nwora, and DeAndre’ Bembry have also all had their moments which is just great to see while the Bucks are without two of their best reserves in Hill and Connaughton (as well as Bobby Portis when Brook Lopez returns).

3 big takeaways from Milwaukee Bucks sweeping tough 3 game stretch. dark. Next

This is one of only six remaining home games left for the Bucks and it sure would be nice to keep this win streak going with how the Philadelphia 76ers are playing to keep pace.