Stat that doomed Milwaukee Bucks in loss to Grizzlies is simply inexcusable

Memphis Grizzlies v Milwaukee Bucks
Memphis Grizzlies v Milwaukee Bucks / John Fisher/GettyImages

The Milwaukee Bucks were upset by the wounded Washington Wizards on Tuesday night, falling to a team holding one of the worst records in the association.

The following night, they would host the Memphis Grizzlies, another team with one of the NBA's worst records that was incredibly banged up. Surely the Bucks wouldn't drop another matchup to an injured foe struggling to crack 20 wins on the season, right? Right?...

Just like against Washington, the Milwaukee Bucks fell victim to a team with nothing to lose that was giving players with little to no experience an opportunity to showcase their talent. They were faster, more intense and simply showed more desire than most of this team. Yes, the Bucks were banged up themselves, with Damian Lillard, Khris Middleton and Patrick Beverley out, but that's no excuse.

The Grizzlies secured a 111-101 road victory, sending the Bucks to 1-4 in their last five matchups.

Stat that doomed Milwaukee Bucks in loss to Grizzlies is simply inexcusable

The Milwaukee Bucks were outscored a whopping 76-36 in the paint. The Grizzlies simply had their way down there from start to finish, despite the Bucks having a 7-footer who is touted as one of the greatest rim protectors in the business in Brook Lopez and another elite 6-foot-11 defensive ace in Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Memphis' Jaren Jackson Jr. particularly feasted at the hoop, shooting 8-of-12 from 2-point territory (10-of-17 overall) when Brook Lopez was his primary defender, per Jackson had 12 points in the final six minutes. The play that irked a lot of fans was when Memphis rookie GG Jackson, who stands at 6-foot-9, took advantage of the big man and dunked on him.

These paint woes are not entirely Lopez's fault, but as the team's primary rim protector - and one who is getting paid handsomely to do so - he'll shoulder a significant portion of the blame, especially when plays like the one against Jackson are on tape. This type of turnstile defense right at the hoop cannot happen in games if the Milwaukee Bucks want to win it all.

On the other side of the ball, Lopez actually had a quality game for the Bucks, tallying 25 points while making five of his seven 3-point attempts. With 10 rebounds to go along with it, the big man finished with a double-double. It was truly a tale of two sides of the court.

In the scoring department, Giannis Antetokounmpo was clearly out of sorts, scoring just 21 points on 23 shot attempts. He simply didn't look right. Defensively, he did what he could to protect the paint by totaling five blocked shots. The Greek Freak, dealing with some sort of injury, may need a day to two to catch his breath, given the heavy workload he's taken on with his co-stars sidelined lately.

Bobby Portis had an all-around impactful performance with 19 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal. Although the Milwaukee Bucks are in a rut, it's been nice to see Bobby Portis put up quality numbers and mostly be a positive contributor off of the bench.

In a game where Giannis was running on fumes, the role players needed to step up their game, and outside of Portis, none really did. Pat Connaughton, Jae Crowder and Malik Beasley combined to shoot 7-of-30 from the floor. Yes, 7-of-30. That just cannot happen, especially when the Bucks are short-handed and needing as much help with possible.

The frustrating thing about Connaughton has been that he's playing quality basketball lately in every department except for his scoring output. In this one, he had eight assists, six boards and two steals. He's been making a positive impact except for when he's asked to shoot it. The team desperately needs him to find his stroke before the NBA Playoffs.

As for the opposition, Jackson Jr. had 35 points, dominating late to seal the victory. GG Jackson had 15 points and 13 rebounds, making his presence felt greatly. Jordan Goodwin finished with 13 points, 12 boards and seven assists, while Brandon Clarke had 14 points and seven rebounds.

Ultimately, this was another gut-punch for the Bucks. They are running out of time to find their stride before the playoffs begin, and they've got a tough schedule coming up. This could be a stretch where they gain confidence heading into the postseason or one where the vibes will be horrendous.

Stay tuned for more Milwaukee Bucks analysis.