Milwaukee Bucks vs. New Orleans Pelicans: Let The Time Bucks Roll

In a New Years revenge game, the Bucks beat the Pelicans by a score of 136-113 thanks in large part to Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 27th career triple-double, his second of the year. The Greek Freak tallied 35 points on 12/18 shots (including 9/12 on the line and 2/4 from deep), 16 boards and 10 assists in just 32 minutes. Jordan Nwora contributed 23 off the bench and Jrue Holiday maintained his recent productivity with 21.

Even with a 5:30 p.m. CST notice, it was a rough start for both teams in this one. The Pelicans and Bucks combined to shoot just 6/25 in the opening 6 minutes and for 10 turnovers in the quarter. 12 of New Orleans’ first 14 points come from Milwaukee turnovers. Maybe a little too much festivities on New Years Eve? A 9-0 Bucks run after the 4:25 mark put them in the lead and they led 27-24 after one.

New Orleans regained the lead early in the second while nabbing the Milwaukee defenders on switches like midges in a spider’s web, briefly holding a 7-point lead. However, a straight three from Nwora and Bobby Portis started a 14-3 Bucks run to regain the lead in just over 2 minutes. They maintained a single-digit advantage for the remainder of the half, entering the locker room with a 64-56 lead. Giannis led all scorers with 17 points on just 8 shots.

The closest the Pelicans would get – early in the third – was 6, after which the Bucks went into a 21-7 run to really start parting ways with their understaffed opponent. They built the lead up to 19 and led 96-82 after three. Milwaukee stayed warm behind the arc, shooting 5/10 in the period after a sizzling 7/13 in the second.

From that point on, it was pretty academic as the Pelicans could never get closer to 14. The main storyline was if Giannis – who went into fourth with 7 cents – could achieve his second triple- double the season. He did so with 6:55 to go and left the floor shortly thereafter to sing “MVP” as the Bucks lead increased to 23. Bud actually reinserted Giannis a few minutes later when that number fell to 15 and naturally that would end at 23 for a 136-113 final.

Three dollars

Giannis Antetokounmpo is the best player on planet Earth. Regardless of the opponent, very few players can achieve a triple-double as efficient and as high as Giannis did last night. As mentioned in the quick recap, his ten assists were three-point buckets. Nwora and Grayson Allen sharp outside after the game, how New Orleans gave him an open look from the perimeter. No matter how much the Pelicans threw at Giannis, however, there was no way to stop him. The strength advantage he possessed over their active tall men was frankly unfair. His recent performances definitely deserve the consideration of the Eastern Conference Player of the Week.

Nwora The Scora is back, if only for one game. With Khris Middleton and other Bucks out last night (more details below), Nwora seized the opportunity in his first game since December 23. The second-year forward finished with 23 points and 4 rebounds on 9/11 shots, going to 5/7 from depths in just under 19 minutes. He did not enter until the start of the second but quickly won with 8 points in the quarter. It’s not easy to come back after some free time and have such a productive game, even against a bad team.

Jrue Holiday has shot at least 50% in his last ten appearances. His last five shooting performances: 8/14, 8/13, 8/11, 8/14, 8/14. Holiday struggled to finish at the rim earlier in the year, but improved in line with his career average in the restricted area (61.2%), now to 58.8% after starting the season below 50%. Speaking also of number ten: he made his last ten consecutive free throws. After the match, Giannis does the case that he should be an All-Star as his numbers start to surpass those of last year. Holiday had this beauty too, a pass whose angle was directly in line with my perspective from the press box:

Bonus bits

  • About an hour before kick-off, New Orleans announced that star forward Brandon Ingram would be sitting with pain in his left Achilles tendon. With Jonas Valanciunas in league health and safety protocols, the Pelicans were missing their two top scorers.
  • Half an hour before the tip, Donte DiVincenzo was grazed with a sprained left ankle that apparently occurred during his pre-game routine. It’s the same ankle he suffered last June. After the game, coach Mike Budenholzer only spoke about it saying that “he twisted it during warm-ups”. DiVincenzo appeared in three games returning from the offseason proceedings; I imagine we will have an update by Monday.
  • Thanasis Antetokounmpo was also placed in health and safety protocols in the afternoon.
  • Khris Middleton missed this one for personal reasons, as reported the day before. Pat Connaughton started for him.
  • Rodney Hood also saw his first playing action since December 23 thanks to the above absences. He was scoreless in 12 minutes.
  • Against his former employer, DeMarcus Cousins ​​was the only Buck with a plus / minus (-10) in the evening, totaling 5 points on 6 shots in 18 minutes.
  • We know Allen primarily as a sniper on the three-point arc, but he had two great cuts along the baseline last night: Holiday found it first for an easy lay-in from the dunker spot, then he made a awesome reverse overlay through traffic in the third.
  • Giannis and Portis each got T’d in the first half; it was Giannis’ first technique of the year.
  • Javin DeLaurier, who recently signed a hardship exception, made his NBA debut with 2:48 left, recouping his first career rebound and first steal. His 10-day contract is set to expire today, but with two dollars back in the protocols, he could get another.
  • New Orleans shot a dismal 8/16 from the charity strip in the first half. They hit the line a whopping 13 times in the fourth, hitting 11 to increase their percentage to a still bad 63.3%. Milwaukee (well, especially Giannis) shot exactly 20% better at 15/18.
  • It was the 400th career of Bud W. Congratulations Coach!
  • I sincerely hope you all stay healthy and get vaccinated, but if you find yourself stuck in some health and safety protocols, Giannis has some great tips for passing the time:

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