The Milwaukee Bucks just did the unimaginable. The Bucks defeated the Golden State Warriors. The then 24-0 Warriors entered BMO Harris Bradley Center after a grueling double overtime game against the Boston Celtics the night before. Call it what you may, but the Milwaukee Bucks deserve full credit because there are no excuses in sports. The Bucks outplayed the Warriors in route to a 108-95 victory. The Bucks were expected to be one the Eastern Conference’s top teams heading into the 2015-16 NBA season, but have failed to deliver after a 9-15 start. Now they are 10-15 and just won a game that might turn around their season.
The Milwaukee Bucks snapped the Warriors’ 28-game winning streak – dating back to last season – and held the best offense in the league to 40% shooting. The area the Bucks pride themselves on is defense. Milwaukee has one the longest teams in the NBA. Everyone that starts for the Bucks has a taller frame and wingspan than their position normally has.
This allows this young team to get into the passing lanes for easy steals, which leads to fast break points. They’re is fifth in the NBA in points off turnovers with 18.8 per game. That is exactly what they did against the Warriors. They forced the Warriors to turn the ball over 16 times, ran in transition at any possible moment, and forced them into taking bad shots, as well as contested three-point shot attempts.
Milwaukee held the Warriors to 6 of 26 from the perimeter, when Golden State usually makes 13 threes per game. Moving forward the Bucks can build off of this statistic by making more of an effort contesting every three pointer and running teams off of the three-point line. The NBA has turned into a perimeter-oriented league, so if the Bucks can build from this then they will start to see improvement in their defense.
Milwaukee also got a huge performance form their offseason acquisition, Greg Monroe. Monroe had 28 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 assists in the win. This is the kind of performance the Bucks are looking for more often from him. The Bucks brought him in because they felt he would help with last season’s offensive woes, but he hasn’t exactly panned out for them.
The season is young so Monroe who now has some confidence after putting up those numbers against the Warriors. Giannis Antetokounmpo showcased his overall game with 11 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists to go along with 2 blocks. Giannis was doing a little bit of everything, which is what the Bucks need from him as he slowly becomes one of the faces of the franchise.
The Bucks got huge performance from all of their core players, including Jabari Parker and Michael Carter-Williams. This win against the Warriors will definitely give this promising, young core the boost and belief that they can beat any team on any night. The Bucks only average 95.5 points per game, which ranks 28th in the NBA. However, once the Bucks return to their fast pace of forcing turnovers, getting out in transition, and moving the ball then we will see Milwaukee do a complete 180 as the season progresses.
This is a big win for the Bucks. The Warriors will be able to shake this game off and continue to dominate like they have been for two seasons. On the other side, the Bucks now have a blueprint for success. The Bucks can take notes from what they did to defeat Golden State and apply them in the rest of their games. They need to contest every shot attempt and raise their defensive intensity that has been lacking for them in the first quarter of the season.
On offense, the Bucks need to increase the easy opportunities and move the ball side to side to keep opposing teams off balance. The confidence level from their core players will be at an all-time high coming off of this impressive win, but will that confidence carry them the rest of the season? The Bucks go on the road for their next three games and face the Warriors five days from now on December 18th. The whole world watched the Bucks do the unthinkable and you can bet they will be watching the rematch. Even if the Milwaukee Bucks lose that game, expect them to win a whole lot more games as the 2015-16 NBA season moves along.
Spark Sports NBA Analyst