Bucks Lead

Bucks Head for LA After Dismantling T-Wolves

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Anyone who’s played Mario Kart knows how fun it is to lap opponents on lesser difficulties. The 2018-19 Bucks provided similar entertainment, frequently sprinting to substantial leads and forcing foes to give up. Unfortunately, this season, opponents seem to have unlocked the blue shell. Miami and Boston overcame staggering deficits, and Toronto cut a 26-point hole to 4. Milwaukee needed an easy win in Minnesota to begin a tough road stretch and reinforce franchise dominance. Despite a very unusual first half, Giannis and Khris Middleton slew the wolves with numerous shooting arrows, and the Bucks fly to the west coast satisfied.

Waiting Through Hibernation

Perhaps reminiscent of SNES and N64 load times, the wolves delayed tipoff by 50 minutes due to a basket malfunction. Minnesota rudely pointed the finger at Milwaukee for the delay.

 

To quote James Harden‘s State Farm ad, “we didn’t do nothing!” Well, the Bucks didn’t do much in the first half, anyways. Milwaukee held just a four-point lead, and after a bad Middleton pass, Shabazz Napier shot a three that could cut the lead to one into halftime. Thankfully, the shot bricked, and Giannis grabbed the board. He then slammed into Jordan Bell and seemingly committed a crucial charge.

After a delay to determine if the foul was before the horn, coach Budenholzer‘s challenge led to another lengthy delay. However, by the time Bucks fans were using their BMO Harris Cards to grab 5-Hour Energy, officials reversed the call. The basket now improbably counted! A discouraged Wolves squad, without Karl-Anthony Towns, was easy prey in the second half.

Giannis and Middleton Causes Extinction

Milwaukee started the second half with a 16-6 run preceding a too late Minnesota timeout. The Deer recorded 38 points in the third period, with Giannis contributing 12 and Middleton another 10. Eric Bledsoe assisted with a too-cool behind-the-back dime.

The most crucial component of the successful game was the team’s ability to maintain its focus. The Bucks’ struggles with big leads are understandable; how many times have we lapsed into daydreams during a dull lecture? Now, imagine having to maintain awareness during a physical contest against the world’s best athletes. (If you doubt the NBA’s difficulty, consider Middleton’s copious amount of sweat while on the floor). However, Brook Lopez complimented his teammates on maintaining resolve during the boring delay, setting up the runaway triumph.

Next Obstacles

Milwaukee travels to LA (Clippers), Utah and Oklahoma City in a five-day gauntlet before returning home. Thankfully, unlike Mario’s three laps, the NBA is a long race. The Bucks still have time to practice playing with leads before the battle for home-court appears around the last bend. So, thanks for the warm-up, Minnesota. The Bucks’ basketball temperature is rising fast while the sun turns to a cold winter for the rest of the east.

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About Jeffrey Newholm

"Jammin Jeff" Newholm had been a basketball fanatic since his high school days, and remained a casual fan as a student in Whitewater. Wishing to check in as an active participant, he also completed a writing certificate program at UWM. He loves seeing Bucks games more than any other activity in hometown Milwaukee and especially screaming really really loudly to get someone to miss a free throw. Twitter: @JeffreyNewholm

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