One night after a disappointing loss to the Boston Celtics, the Bucks will get the chance to redeem themselves, as they play the Denver Nuggets in Colorado.
There are definitely things that need to be tended to regarding the Bucks gameplay on the court, and Head Coach Jason Kidd will be the first one to say that. In his postgame press conference following the game last night, Kidd referred to his own team of “not being as good as we think we are.” Kidd knows that this team needs to make improvements, and the Bucks will get their chance tonight against a Nuggets team.
By far the most glaring weakness in the Bucks’ loss to the Celtics was a lack of production from the bench. Compared to Boston’s 50 points, Milwaukee’s bench players were only able to muster 25 points. This lack of scoring from the bench is what set the Bucks back in the second half of last season. Post All-Star Break last season, the Bucks’ bench only scored 29.1 points per game, resulting in their sluggish second half of the season. Now, they are without a major asset in O.J. Mayo, and hopefully he returns soon. Once Mayo returns, continuity to the bench may return as well.
Another thing has seemed to doom the Bucks early on in the season as well, and that’s Giannis getting in early foul trouble. He always seems to try blowing past his defender to the hoop to try and scoop a layup in, but the ref gets him for pushing off on his opponent. Giannis then has to be taken out of the game early, meaning Kidd has to go to his bench sooner than expected, which almost nearly always results in a loss of momentum for the Bucks. We saw it last night. The Bucks cruised out to an early lead over the Celtics. They had a steady pattern of feeding the ball to Greg Monroe low in the post and it was working out well for him. However, Giannis immediately picked up two quick fouls and had to be substituted out, which in turn sucked all of the momentum Milwaukee had right out of the building and supplied it to Boston. A key aspect to look for tonight is to see how Giannis responds to his defender, which will more than likely J.J. Hickson. If Hickson gets Antetokounmpo into foul trouble early on, things may go downhill for the Bucks.
As for the opponent themselves, Milwaukee takes on the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets currently sit in last place in the Northwest division at 3-4. The Nuggets boast a lineup that can get hot quickly from the offensive side of the ball. Danilo Gallinari leads the team in points per game at 16.9 and Kenneth Faried has been known to post strong numbers from inside the post as well. One weakness that the Bucks can make stick out is their defense. The Nuggets come into tonight’s contest sitting 23rd in defensive efficiency in the league. Look for the Bucks to strike fast on offense. Khris Middleton has the possibility of having a big game tonight. As we hinted at earlier, the matchup between Hickson and Antetokounmpo will be worth putting your eyes on. That matchup alone can set the tone for the entire game, as if Giannis gets into foul trouble and has to be substituted, momentum can shift right over to Denver’s side. Given the fact that Johnny O’Bryant is more than likely to start for Jabari Parker tonight, the Bucks’ bench will be even thinner. Speaking about Johnny O’Bryant, if he gets the nod in the starting lineup tonight, he will have his hands full with the Nuggets’ leading scorer, Danilo Gallinari. It will be intriguing to see if J.O.B. would be able to hold him down.
The Bucks definitely have their hands full tonight with improvements that they can possibly make, and its up to them on if they fulfill those weaknesses. If they do, there’s a good chance they can leave the Mile-High City with a victory.
Milwaukee Bucks (4-4, 2-1 Away) vs Denver Nuggets (3-4, 1-2 Home)
November 11, 2015
8:00 pm CT
Fox Sports Wisconsin | AM 620 WTMJ
PG Tyler Ennis
SG Khris Middleton
SF Giannis Antetokounmpo
PF Johnny O’Bryant
C Greg Monroe
PG Emmanuel Mudiay
SG Gary Harris
PF J.J. Hickson
SF Danilo Gallinari
C Kenneth Faried