Several Milwaukee Bucks reserves shine in loss to the Memphis Grizzlies

Apr 7, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 7, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

After locking up the NBA’s best record with a win over the Chicago Bulls, the Milwaukee Bucks were expected to give their regular rotation players some rest.

Indeed, the injury report ahead of a Friday night meeting with the Memphis Grizzlies was lengthy, leaving the Bucks without many key components. This gave Coach Budenholzer an opportunity to dig deep into his bench and get an extended look at some players who might not typically see the floor consistently. Though the Bucks lost 137-114, they put up a good fight, and several players turned heads with their impressive performances.

Several Milwaukee Bucks reserves shine in loss to the Grizzlies

The Buck of the game was Lindell Wigginton, one of Milwaukee’s two-way players. Notching the first start of his NBA career, the young point guard played an excellent game. Wigginton finished with a team-high and career-high 25 points while also tallying out 11 assists, five rebounds, and even a blocked shot. The worst part of his night was notching five turnovers, but Wigginton still put together the best performance of his young NBA career.

Jae Crowder, one of the few veterans to suit up in this game, put together his best performance of the season. He started the game off red hot and never took his foot off the gas with 24 points on 10-of-12 shooting, including 4-of-5 from three. Goran Dragic, who also sunk four triples, had his best showing as a Buck by finishing with 14 points, six rebounds, and four assists off the bench.

Milwaukee’s rookie first round pick, MarJon Beauchamp, struggled to find his shot, having knocked down just three of his 12 attempts, but stuffed the stat sheet overall with 13 points, six rebounds, four assists, two steals, and two blocks. Even when he was not scoring the ball, it was great to see him impact the game elsewhere. Another player with a solid stat-sheet-stuffing performance was Thanasis Antetokounmpo, who had 12 points, eight rebounds, and four assists.

Excluding Crowder, these players might not have a consistent role in Mike Budenholzer’s rotation moving forward, but it was great to see them step up when called upon. Seeing Crowder play this well was terrific. Two games prior, the veteran notched his previous season-high with 19 points in a win over the Washington Wizards, so it is welcoming to see him get into a groove with the NBA Playoffs nearing. He’ll be a key piece for this Milwaukee team as they look to win another title.

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The Milwaukee Bucks will finish off the regular season on Sunday against the Toronto Raptors.