Stud - Damian Lillard
As mentoned with Middleton, Lillard didn't start the game well but he did manage to keep the Bucks going and was one of the reasons they managed to make the scoreline look better than the performance suggested.
He finished the game with 27 points, five rebounds and five assists. From the field, he was pretty good, hitting 11 of his 24 shots (45.8 percent) but struggled a little beyond the arc, hitting three of 10 shots from deep. This season, he has been shooting at the .325 mark from deep, so this is no different. However, he is a career .372 shooter so hopefully he can get himself back to hitting at that clip.
The reason he is a stud is he of course helped the team but he was brought to Milwaukee to help in these kind of games and he did play well after a slow start. Yes it may have ended in defeat, but he still performed to a good standard and showed the levels that we know of him.
We are only 15 games into the season and so there may still be some growing pains but things are clearly improving both for the Bucks and Dame.
Dud - Cameron Payne
It feels a little strange to have Cam Payne as a dud, considering he is the backup point guard, but he never steadied the ship or really added to the offense when he came into the game. Payne finished with just three points on 1-of-5 shooting, and the bigger issue was the Bucks were -12 with him on the court.
Of course he is not to the level of Lillard offensively but having the worst plus-minus of anyone on the roster having played just 10 minutes really isn't good. I don't want to pin it on Payne as the entire performance was poor. The starters got off to a poor start and the bench unit never managed to resurrect it and so there's more of a blame across the board but Payne really struggled when in the game.
From the field, he is almost hitting 50 percent of his shots this season, and even if the Bucks aren't expecting him to score, if he does take shots against a team as good as the Celtics, they need him to be around his season average.
It was a tough night as a whole for the Bucks, and they will bounce back from this. The game was a real test for them and Coach Griffin, and the performance was poor, and yet they lost by just three points. They don't face the Celtics again until January so that will be a better test as to where both teams are. We are early in the season, so I don't think there is any need to overreact just yet.
Stay tuned for more Milwaukee Bucks analysis and reactions as we delve further into the NBA season.