Cleat Geeks

Bucks Give Valiant Effort in Defeat to Cavs

The Milwaukee Bucks gave a valent effort for a national TV audience in a 115-100 loss to the Cleveland Cavilers in Cleveland on Thursday night. The Bucks got behind by as much as 21 points in the second quarter of the game before closing to within five at one point in the latter stages of the third quarter before finally going down by the 15 point margin.

OJMayo1The first half again saw the Bucks struggle with many of the same issues that have been causing them problems over the first month of the season. The Bucks lost the rebounding battle in the game by 21. They also allowed the Cavs to make 11 three point shots compared to the Bucks only hitting 3 three point attempts. Those two stats were the difference in this game. You can’t loose on the glass by 21 and loose from behind the three point line by over 20 points and expect to beat arguably the best team in the Eastern Conference. The perimeter defense and interior rebounding have got to improve. But negatives aside, this was a positive night for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Tonight marked only the second time all season the Bucks had their projected starting line-up all healthy and on the floor together and it marked the first time all season the Bucks did not have anyone miss the game due to injury as the entire roster was healthy including Jabari Parker and OJ Mayo. Parker was expected to miss the entire road trip with a foot sprain but returned Thursday night to start and play 31 minutes while scoring 14 points. OJ Mayo also saw his first action of the season due to a hamstring injury.

It also did not help the Bucks cause that Kris Middleton fouled out with over six minutes to go. Middleton is one of the Bucks better shooters and he was missed over the last six minutes. The foul calls against him were questionable at best. It also caused the Bucks to be in the penalty for the majority of the final quarter.

middletonBucksThe Greek Freak also made excellent use of the national TV audience. He looks to be budding into a potential all-star. He showed the versatility of his all-around game by tallying 33 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals. He has tremendous length and athleticism and has made significant improvements to his game since being drafted by the Bucks two and a half years ago.

Bucks fans can be much more satisfied with the effort from their team on Thursday night. Although the Bucks got down by as much as 20 points they did not fold or quit against the best team in the Eastern conference. They can also feel good about the player they have in the Greek Freak. He looks to be a legitimate star in the making. The Bucks are in one of the toughest stretches in their schedule by playing eight of ten on the road but their finally appears to be reason for optimism because the team is fully healthy for the first time this season and they gave the best team in the east a fight for the second time in a week.

 

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