Yesterday afternoon the Los Angeles Clippers (24-12) were defeated in a close game by the Milwaukee Bucks (21-13) 105-100 at Fiserv Forum. Despite the Clippers having poor performances from pretty much everyone other than Kawhi Leonard, it was a close game throughout. Milwaukee was never able to get more than an 11 point lead and pull away. Tthe Clips were able to play just good enough to stay in it. The Clippers needed help from their role players if they were to win and they did not get it.
Notably Patrick Beverley was a game low -19 for the game. Beverley went only 2 for 8 from the field, and 1 for 6 from 3. The Bucks led by 5 at halftime, but a terrific quarter by LAC actually saw them take a 4 point lead into the final quarter. The Clippers stayed ahead for the most of the 4th, but once they got to 100 points with about 3 minutes to go, their offense stalled and they were not able to score another point. The Bucks broke Lawler’s Law, and came away with a hard fought victory.
STAR OF THE GAME
The Greek Freak and his 36 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists, a steal, and 4 blocks. Giannis Antetokounmpo was absolutely dominant on both sides of the ball yesterday and actually had a double-double before halftime. He made 15 out of 27 shots, and even though he is not a good 3 point shooter, he actually put in a couple of 3’s for good measure. This guy has been the league MVP for the past 2 seasons for a reason. He showed why last night as he passed the eyeball test being visibly the best player in the game.
Even if your grandma who doesn’t know anything about basketball or the NBA, watched this game, she would pick out Giannis as clearly the best player out there. Late in the game when the Bucks were fighting back to take the lead, he went right down the middle for a thunderous Earth-rattling dunk. An exclamation point on this impressive W for the Bucks.
The Clippers’ execution in the clutch. The Clippers have not played well in clutch minutes at all this year. They have not played a whole lot of time in the clutch so far this year, but they have played enough that they should be showing some improvement in that area by now. Last I checked they rank right at the bottom of the league in defensive rating during clutch time. They did not score a single point in the final 3 minutes of the game.
That is unacceptable.
Instead of running effective tried and true plays, they revert to far too much isolation plays. A stout defensive team like the Milwaukee, can easily clamp down on these iso’s and force tough shots for misses. This was the case yesterday as Paul George looked like he did last year in the bubble down the stretch of this game. He blew layups he normally makes, and bricked much needed 3 pointers badly. The NBA world singled George out and trolled him mercilessly on social media, deservedly so.
This was a game where the role players for both teams did not contribute much so it is hard to pick a player from either team. No one’s name jumped off the stat sheet really. The only guy I can pick is Bobby Portis. He was the leading scorer off the bench for the Bucks putting in 9 points on 3 out of 5 shooting, including making his one and only 3 pointer. Portis is a pretty good scorer, but it is his lack of defensive ability that has seen his minutes and role diminish on this defense oriented Bucks team.
He did not put in all that much, but what he did he looked pretty good doing it. He showed some good handles for a guy his size, and looked rather smooth sinking a floater in the lane on the fast break. I do not think anyone covering this game was blown away by his play, but the Bucks needed every one of his 9 points to win this game yesterday.
vs Boston Celtics, Tuesday, March 2nd at 4:30pm PT
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