20 Second Timeout is the place to find the best analysis and commentary about the NBA.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Bucks Dominate Paint, Rout Warriors

The Milwaukee Bucks won the 2021 NBA championship, they were possibly a season-ending Khris Middleton injury away from winning the 2022 NBA championship, and with the healthy return of Middleton they look like the favorites to win the 2023 NBA championship. The Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics are neck and neck at the top of the NBA standings, but Middleton has only played six games this season, so it is reasonable to believe that the Bucks have not yet peaked.

The Bucks faced the 2022 NBA champion Golden State Warriors tonight, and it was no contest: Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a game-high 30 points, grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds, and dished for five assists as the Bucks routed the Warriors, 128-111. The Bucks led by as many as 26 points, they beat the Warriors 55-37 on the boards, and they held the Warriors' high-powered offense to .400 field goal shooting. Bobby Portis scored 25 points, and Middleton added 20 points. 

Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 20 points, but he shot just 6-17 from the field, including 3-10 from three point range. Jordan Poole (18 points, 6-17 field goal shooting) and Klay Thompson (14 points, 6-16 field goal shooting) were similarly inefficient and ineffective.

Both teams were missing a starter: Milwaukee's Jrue Holiday has a non-COVID illness, while Golden State's Andrew Wiggins a right adductor strain. 

The Warriors gave up at least 31 points in three of the four quarters as the Bucks pounded them into submission in the paint, with their 48-30 inside scoring advantage essentially providing the margin of victory.

This was the sixth time the Warriors allowed at least 128 points in a road game this season. The Warriors have given up at least 114 points in each of their 14 road games this season, so it is not surprising that they have a 2-12 record away from home. 

Golden State's convincing win against Boston not only seems like ancient history, but it looks like either an aberration--in light of Golden State's pedestrian 14-14 record--or perhaps more reflective of Golden State's matchup advantages versus one team as opposed to Golden State's overall capacity to repeat as NBA champions.

From a historical standpoint, the Warriors' inability to effectively counter talented size is one reason to question the notion that the Warriors' dynasty is on par with championship teams that featured dominant inside players. The Warriors outshot the Bucks 20-12 from three point range and still lost by 17 points to a Bucks team that is championship caliber but not at the level of basketball's all-time great dynasties. Antetokounmpo was by far the best player on the court, but at times he bailed out the Warriors by shooting long jumpers; if the Warriors had to face Shaquille O'Neal, Tim Duncan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Moses Malone, or Robert Parish/Kevin McHale they would, in the immortal words of McHale, not be able to grow enough to have any impact defensively.

Labels: , , ,

posted by David Friedman @ 11:48 PM



Post a Comment

<< Home