Bucks Lead

Good and Not-So-Good Takeaways From Opening Night

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Milwaukee Takes First Game 113-112

The NBA season is back in full swing and it wouldn’t be as fun if the first game wasn’t a nail biter. That only occurred in the 4th though, what took place before that was magic and excitement for this new and improved Milwaukee team. Coming out of the gate, Giannis and the Bucks looked fantastic. They took control of the game early and showed that the three point shot was an improved and important part to their approach.

Superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo was on a triple-double watch in the first quarter alone. Finishing the game with 25 points, 18 rebounds, and 8 assists. Not bad for game one, but there can always be improvements. Early foul trouble took the Greek Freak out the game late for some time. Without that, there would have been a very good chance that he would have gotten to 10 assists. Being in foul trouble showed that Giannis was skeptical in certain plays, hesitating in regards not to pick up another foul. When all was said and done though, Antetokounmpo did what this team needs him to do.

It Takes Everyone

The box score was impressive across the board, with six players in double digits. This unity gives life to the idea that if Giannis is off, someone else will pick up the slack. Especially off the bench, where veteran Ersan Ilyasova produced 11 points and rookie Donte DiVincenzo contributed eight as well. It seems to me that the player most effected by Mike Budenholzer’s new approach is point guard Eric Bledsoe – who finished the night with 17 points, including three made 3’s. A player who hesitated with his shot has finally found comfort.

As stated above, the three-point shot is now vital to the Bucks game plan. Attempting 34 and draining 14 of them gives the Bucks a brand new advantage that they have not had in previous seasons. With the three ball being popularized league-wide, its nice to see the Bucks following suit. The only surprise is that Giannis didn’t make a three, but there is a lot of season left for that to happen.

Where There Is Good, There Are Problems Too

Milwaukee led by 20 points at one point in the game, but Hornets guard Kemba Walker took it upon himself to make sure Charlotte didn’t roll over in their home opener. Walker poured in 41 points, credit where credit is due for leading his team to an impressive comeback. The Bucks clearly were fatigued coming into the second half and Giannis in foul trouble did not help. The Bucks seemed to revert back to trying to force plays to happen instead of naturally occurring like Bud wants. That will be something that needs to be worked on as the season goes, but as the Head Coach said, “Winning on the road is never easy’, and ain’t that the truth.

The main takeaway here is that the new game plan clearly works. Yes, there are some loose screws, but it is only game one. Improvement will come and after watching this team in action, there is no reason they cannot be one of the best teams in the East. My suggestion though– insert Thon Maker ahead of John Henson. He looked like a chicken with his head cut off, never really knowing what to do and that is unacceptable. Brook Lopez is the natural center the Bucks have always needed, but as for the backup, Henson will not do. The Bucks have their home opener this Friday against the Indiana Pacers. If Milwaukee brings the same energy to each game as they did last night, there is no reason every game cannot be winnable.

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About Melissa Colton

Melissa was born and raised in West Allis, WI, but currently resides in Milwaukee. She is a veteran of the United States Army and has a Bachelors Degree in Sport Management. She has worked in both the sports and music industry. Anything from Wisconsin, sports, food, and beer is her happy place.

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