The Bucks are slowly making up for their bad start to the season. The reigning champions managed to defeat Detroit 114-93 this morning, adding their fifth straight victory and placing themselves with a record of 11-8 much more reassuring than the one they had a few weeks ago. Those from Wisconsin have in fact reached sixth place in the Eastern Conference, a position that, being inferior to their aspirations, is already one of those that give direct access to the playoffs.
It is true that Budenholzer’s frame has enjoyed a very smooth stretch of the calendar on this short streak, but it is also true that since Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday’s return to racing the feeling has been improving. On this occasion, they did not seem to need an excessive effort to overcome the Pistons, whom they overwhelmed with a partial 18-2 from the start that put the duel very expensive and made them always go ahead. The visitors managed to narrow the gap as the minutes passed, but once Milwaukee got back on the gas, there was simply no story.
Those from Wisconsin turned around Giannis Antetokounmpo again, who added 33 points with a 70.6% accuracy in the shot and returned to routine excellence. The forward, who also captured 7 rebounds, distributed 5 assists and placed 2 blocks, once again showed his ability to add in all aspects and to carry the Bucks in the air, and in the only 31 minutes that he played his own signed a partial of +25.
The Greek was backed by Bobby Portis, who continues to take advantage of Brook Lopez’s absence to star in great performances. With 28 points, the center signed his best score since arriving in Milwaukee thanks to an extraordinary 6/7 in triples, and rounded off his night by capturing 10 rebounds to achieve his fourth consecutive double-double. While the way Brook fits into Budenholzer’s defensive system makes it hard to imagine the former Knicks taking over the starting lineup, there is no question that he is clamoring for minutes and has found a perfect fit for him in Wisconsin.
Few men were at their best at the Pistons, which kept Casey’s men from fighting too hard at the Fiserv Forum. Trey Lyles, with 17 points, was the leading scorer, followed by 13 in which both Jerami Grant and Saddiq Bey stayed. Cade Cunningham, for his part, could not go beyond 9, although with 8 rebounds and 7 assists he once again demonstrated his versatility and ability to contribute beyond scoring.
With this, the Michigan team added their fourth consecutive defeat, and remain in the lower zone of the Eastern classification with a balance of 4-14. Only Orlando (4-15) worsens his performance in his conference.
(Cover photo: Stacy Revere / Getty Images)