With one sentence, Doc Rivers perfectly sums up Bucks' effort in loss to Grizzlies

Milwaukee Bucks v Memphis Grizzlies
Milwaukee Bucks v Memphis Grizzlies / Justin Ford/GettyImages

In what has been an absolute roller coaster ride of a season to this point, the Milwaukee Bucks desperately needed to go into the NBA All-Star break on a high note.

In their final game before the break, the Bucks visited the Memphis Grizzlies, who have been hit with injuries to their entire roster this season. In fact, Memphis is so banged up that they started a 10-day player in Jordan Goodwin. At full strength outside of Khris Middleton, the Bucks should have beaten this Memphis team with little to no resistance.

Unfortunately, in a theme that has been all too common this season, the Bucks played down to their competition and were on the ropes for most of this game. These two went back and forth late, and it came down to a Damian Lillard 3-point attempt to tie it. However, in a play that summed up the game, he and Brook Lopez collided, hindering Lillard's ability to get off a good shot.

The undermanned Grizzlies secured a 113-110 victory, sending the Bucks into the break with their heads hung low. After the game, Doc Rivers summed up Milwaukee's efforts by saying, "We had some guys here. We had some guys in Cabo." Some players were clearly looking ahead to the break.

With one sentence, Doc Rivers perfectly sums up Bucks' effort in loss to Grizzlies

To their credit, the Grizzlies played a great game. In fact, they have something that the Bucks have not for most of the season, and that is the ability to embrace the next man up mentality. With so many of their regulars hurt, players who might not play as much got a chance to shine, and they showed why they deserve more attention. This season, the Bucks really don't have players like that.

GG Jackson, who has been a tremendous surprise for the Grizzlies this season, continued to make a name for himself with 27 points off of the bench, having hit six 3-pointers. He outscored Milwaukee's entire bench unit (24 points) by himself. The Bucks' bench failing to give them a spark is nothing new this season, and it continues to plague this team.

Ziaire Williams also had 27 points of his own to go with four rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Vince Williams Jr., another breakout piece, had 18 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists, and two steals as he outhustled pretty much everyone on Milwaukee's end.

Looking closer at Milwaukee's bench, it remains puzzling why Pat Connaughton continues to receive significant minutes. He logged 24 minutes and finished with two points, five rebounds, and two steals. The two steals were nice, but two points just simply is not going to cut it. After the All-Star break, the team needs to have serious discussions about lessening his role mightily.

Bobby Portis did his best to carry the workload off of the bench with 15 points and seven rebounds.

The bench is not entirely at fault, as several of the starters did not look much better. Damian Lillard had another rough shooting night with 24 points on 7-of-21 shooting. He hasn't looked like the key piece the Bucks thought they were getting this season, and they need him to get there if they will be fighting for a title at the end of the season. The break will give him a chance to reset.

Meanwhile, Brook Lopez shot 5-of-14 from the floor, including a vile 2-of-9 from deep. Malik Beasley hit just three of his 10 3-point attempts as he struggled for most of the night. With Lillard also having his issues getting going, these two cannot struggle this mightily. It's a recipe for disaster.

The only Buck who truly stood out in a positive way was Giannis Antetokounmpo, who finished with 35 points on an extremely efficient 15-of-17 shooting to go along with 12 assists. He needed some help from anybody in this matchup and didn't get it.

Milwaukee desperately needs to do soul-searching during the break. They have not looked like a title contender lately, and if they come out of the break like this, doom could be on the horizon. Getting a starter in Khris Middleton back will obviously help, and perhaps the addition of Danilo Gallinari could give the Bucks' bench a needed jolt on offense.

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