Cleat Geeks

Turnovers Doom Bucks In Third Loss of Season To Wizards

On many occasions this season the Milwaukee Bucks have attempted to stack successful performances on top of each other. That is the path to a winning streak. But that consistency has been hard to achieve. Case in point, last night’s great comeback win over the Chicago Bulls followed by a road loss tonight where the team committed tons of turnovers, missed a bunch of free throws and lacked energy at times in a 106-101 loss to the Washington Wizards.NBABucks

There are lots of problems for the Bucks in this game that outweighed the things the Bucks did well. The Bucks were very productive in the paint outscoring the Wizards 62-38. They shot a better percentage then the Wizards by margin of 52.8% to 45.2. The bottom line on this night was they did far too many bad things that significantly minimized the impact of the good things they did.

The list of bad things is topped by turnovers in both quantity and timing. The Bucks opened the game with a lot of turnovers in the first quarter and had a total of ten in the first half. Throughout the night the Wizards made the Bucks pay dearly for their turnovers as the Wizards got 16 points off those turnovers. Another problem area for the Bucks was second chance points. The Wizards had 10 more points off offensive rebounds. So the Bucks went to the locker room down 13 points. It honestly could have been far worse being as the Bucks basically gift wrapped 26 points in the half for the Wizards.

greekFreakThe third quarter showed a reversal in many of those areas. The turnovers stopped. The defensive intensity picked up and the Bucks went on a big run behind Jabari Parker and the Greek Freak. Those two were able to take advantage of former Buck Jared Dudley with their speed and athleticism. It all started with defense as the Bucks would outscore the Wizards 31-15 in the quarter to turn the 16 point deficit into a three point lead by the end of the quarter.

As the fourth quarter opened the turnovers returned. The Bucks committed two in the first 40 seconds of the quarter both leading to lay-ups. They would never lead again. The Bucks were forced to call a time-out under a minute into the fourth quarter. Just like that all the work and momentum from the third quarter was gone. The Bucks would commit 12 of their 27 turnovers in the fourth quarter and six of them occurred prior to the Bucks scoring a point. The Wizards turned those 27 turnovers into 36 points. The 27 turnovers were a season high following a night when the Bucks committed a season low five the night before.

Milwaukee Bucks v New York KnicksPutting the turnovers aside, the Bucks for the second game in a row struggled to hit free throws. They missed 11 free throws but were not hurt by it thanks to the comeback. They would not be so fortunate on Wednesday night as they again missed ten free throws in a game that was decided by a mere five points. Free throws can be a streaky thing and can be a team wide issue if it is allowed to get into the players heads. I would imagine the Bucks players will spend some time shooting free throws prior to the back to back this weekend on Friday and Saturday night.

Lastly the Bucks were forced to play their starters a significant number of minutes against the Wizards largely because their bench was outscored 41-10. The lack of production from the bench led to the starters coming back in early in the fourth quarter. Middleton and Giannis both played over 40 minutes. One reason the Bucks may have struggled was because of the amount of minutes their starters played on the second night of a back to back. The Bucks need more from their bench especially in back to back situations.

The Bucks will return to the Bradley Center on Friday night to host the Atlanta Hawks.

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