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Bucks Week in Review: Another Streak Brewing?

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The Kansas City Chiefs were not the only team that had their own victorious Super Bowl Sunday last week, as the Milwaukee Bucks would rebound from just their seventh loss to take down the Phoenix Suns. Looking to keep that momentum into the first full week of February, the league’s best team faced another trio of games, headlined by a showdown with a young phenom and another against a major rival.

At this point in the season, it can be easy to become complacent, especially for some in the Bucks’ position. Would they fall victim to this? It’s time once again for the week in review!

 

 

2/2: @ New Orleans

Result: 120-108 W

Finally, basketball fans got the chance to witness what injury denied them back in December, as this will go down as the first Giannis/Zion matchup in the NBA. This round would take place in the Big Easy, and it would definitely live up to the hype. Smoothie King Center was electric, and the Pelicans responded early on, ending the first with a 33-26 advantage and carrying that lead into halftime as well.

However, the Bucks would respond with a flurry to begin the second half, rattling off a 23-7 run in just 4:42 to make it a 13-point game, stretching it to as much as 19 by the end of the quarter. While New Orleans certainly tried to make it a game in the fourth, with a Zion layup making it seven with just over nine minutes to play, the Bucks simply kept the Pelicans far enough back to pull this one out.

Top performers

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo: 34p/17r/6a/1s/1b, 12/17 FG, +24
  • Khris Middleton: 20p/8r/8a/3s, 2/5 3P, +15

 

 

2/4: vs. Philadelphia

Result: 112-101 W

In a back-and-forth period for the Bucks, this being their third of six games alternating between Milwaukee and away games, their second home game brought about another matchup with Philadelphia. This time, Milwaukee had revenge on their mind after the Christmas debacle in Philly that resulted in their worst game of the season so far. Well, lightning would not strike twice in that regard on this night. For one, the Greek Freak absolutely dominated the 76ers for the second time in three meetings on the way to the first 30/20 game of his career, adding to his ever-growing accomplishments. In addition, Milwaukee did a phenomenal job shutting down Philadelphia’s big guns, as Ben Simmons took just six shots, Joel Embiid was held to just 6/26 shooting, and all five starters finished on the negative side of the +/- line, including two in double digits.

It wasn’t just Giannis who performed, however, as Eric Bledsoe turned in a solid performance on the defensive end and All-Star Khris Middleton added another 20 points. It may not have been the prettiest offensive game, but when you hold your opponent to just 101 points, you’re going to find yourself winning a lot of games in the NBA.

Top performers

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo: 36p/20r/6a/1s, 13/25 FG, +18
  • Khris Middleton: 20p
  • Eric Bledsoe: 14p/8r/6a/2s

 

 

2/6: @ Orlando

Result: 111-95 W

From a primetime contest to a rival matchup, next came a potential playoff series preview, as the Bucks took their show on the road to take on the Orlando Magic. The Magic were on the heels of acquiring James Ennis from the 76ers, with him joining Al-Farouq Aminu, D.J. Augustin and Jonathan Isaac on the inactive list for Orlando in this one.

This would be a relative walk in the park for the Bucks, though, rather fitting for where this game was taking place. Giannis may not have been his usual self, but that’s essentially like saying that a Da Vinci that sells for less than a million dollars was not him at his usual self. The rest of the team stepped up in a big way, though, especially Brook Lopez, which was great to see after his struggles as of late. His 23 points paced the Bucks in that category on their way to yet another win in establishing their dominance in the East.

Top performers

  • Brook Lopez: 23p/6r/1a, 5/5 3P, +27
  • Khris Middleton: 21p/13r/6a/2s, 8/15 FG, +28
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo: 18p/18r/9a/2b

The Week Ahead

Milwaukee will take part in just two (official) games this week, as they square off against the young and talented Sacramento Kings on Monday at Fiserv Forum before turning around once again to put their perfect division record on the line against the Indiana Pacers. After that, it’s the fun of All-Star Weekend with Planet Pat, Khris Middleton (twice!) and Giannis among the featured attractions.

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