The Bucks’ insane triple-overtime victory last night featured big games from Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker, clutch baskets from Brandon Knight, an offensive boost off the bench from O.J. Mayo and big-time contributions in the extra periods from Khris Middleton and Ersan Ilyasova.
When Brandon Knight missed a layup that would’ve won the game at the end of the second overtime, people around the Internet lauded his teammates for coming to pick him up after the tough miss. Throughout the season, everyone has talked about the chemistry of this Bucks team and how great this team plays together.
Everything mentioned above is due to Jason Kidd’s large rotation.
The Internet has derided Kidd’s minute distribution since the start of this season. Game after game, there is someone complaining about too many minutes for one player and not enough for another. It seems to be Bucks fans’ favorite thing to complain about this season.
Throughout this young season, I’ve seen multiple people argue that the minute distribution is OK for now, but it will all change and the “right people” will get the “right amount” of minutes once Jason Kidd gets comfortable with the roster.
There’s only one problem: Things aren’t going to change.
Jason Kidd likes a large rotation and will continue to use it all season long. Obviously, the situation is much different in Milwaukee than it was in Brooklyn last season, but taking a look at Kidd’s minute distribution with the Nets may help us know what to expect this season.
In Brooklyn, Kidd played 10 or more players in 73 of 82 games (89 percent). It wasn’t just about getting guys on the floor, as Kidd played 10 or more Nets for 10-plus minutes in 48 percent of their games. He also wasn’t afraid to use his bench for extended periods of time, with the Nets using three or more bench players for 20 minutes or more in 40 percent of their games.
Kidd has remained adamant that the bench will continue to play a significant role this season.
“My thing is, if you’ve got depth, you’ve got to play it,” said Kidd in a recent interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Charles Gardner. “Especially for an 82-game season, if you have four (games) in five (days) or seven in 12 days, if you’re deep, why not use it?”
To be honest, I just don’t see a reason to go away from the large rotation being used thus far. With so many young players on the roster, Kidd needs to continue to use his veterans to make those kids earn their minutes and show them how to play the game the right way. Will there be nights where we don’t get to see Antetokounmpo and Parker in the fourth quarter? Sure. But ultimately, there will be nights when they do get those reps and capitalize on them, just as they did last night.
Clip of the Week
Today’s clip is Brandon Knight’s game-tying 3-point basket in last night’s second overtime period. The Bucks ran the exact same play they ran for Khris Middleton in the season-opener against the Hornets. This time, it goes in. Bonus: Marc Lasry’s reaction after he makes the shot (0:12, bottom left).
What to Read
Jason Kidd, young Bucks exercise power of the wind sprint – Sean Deveney of Sporting News spent some time in Milwaukee in the last few weeks and watched Kidd put the Bucks on the line to run some sprints. Although unorthodox in the NBA, Deveney explained that players seem to understand the punishment and have fully supported Kidd’s coaching this season. (Deveney also spent some time with GM John Hammond and talked about Kidd’s perceived “power play” in Milwaukee over the summer.)
Bucks’ triple-OT win over Nets closes door on Jason Kidd chapter – Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix rehashes the stories told by each side regarding Kidd’s move and eventually decides that this game may have helped shut the door on this silly fiasco forever.
More bang for your Bucks – Brewhoop’s Frank Madden took his talents to ESPN.com to help the rest of the country catch up with this year’s Milwaukee Bucks. Madden masterfully blends the storylines off the court with what’s happening on the court to give a thorough synopsis of what’s happening here in Milwaukee.
Week in Review
Friday: The greatest nightmare of Bucks fans came to life against the Orlando Magic, as former Buck Tobias Harris led the way with 26 points and 10 rebounds in a 101-85 Magic victory.
Sunday: With Dwyane Wade in street clothes, the Bucks pulled out a 91-84 victory over the Miami Heat. Brandon Knight scored 20 points, the fifth time he’s reached that mark during this young season.
Tuesday: After leading by as many as 26 points in the second half, the Bucks managed to pull out a four-point victory, 117-113, against the New York Knicks. Ersan Ilyasova’s 20 points were the most by a Buck, but six others were in double digits.
Wednesday: Sixty-three minutes of basketball. Sixty-three different storylines. One Bucks victory. There were a lot of great performances in the 122-118 win over the Brooklyn Nets, but the game ball went to Giannis Antetokounmpo with 18 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, three steals, and great defense on Joe Johnson down the stretch.
Next Week’s Preview
Friday: The Bucks will put their three-game winning streak on the line north of the border against the Eastern Conference’s best team, the Toronto Raptors.
Saturday: Despite an early injury to Bradley Beal, the Washington Wizards have put together one of the best records in the Eastern Conference, and it includes a victory over the Bucks. They’ll be a very tough opponent for the Bucks on a back-to-back In Milwaukee.
Tuesday: There may be some fireworks in Milwaukee, as Brandon Jennings returns to the BMO Harris Bradley Center with the Detroit Pistons. New Detroit head coach Stan Van Gundy has Jennings playing some of the best basketball of his career.
Wednesday: In the first game of the I-94 series, the Bucks will travel to Minnesota and take on the rebuilding Timberwolves. The Timberwolves have won only three games on the season and have given up 100 or more points in all, but two games.
Stats of the Week
33.9 – Brandon Knight is currently playing the most minutes per game for the Bucks at 33.9 minutes per game. Among team leaders in minutes per game, this is the 24th-highest total. Only the team-minute leaders for Golden State, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Boston, San Antonio and Minnesota are averaging less (via NBA Stats).
30.4 – The Bucks are currently shooting 30.4 percent from the 3-point line, the league’s third-worst percentage (via NBA Stats).
16.7 – Before a 3-for-4 shooting night from the three point line against the Knicks on Tuesday, Ersan Ilyasova was shooting 16.7 percent from deep (via NBA Stats).
66.7 – On the bright side, Ilyasova is shooting 66.7 percent from 15-19 feet away. Seems like a nice distance to shoot from, Ers!
Quick Bucks is Milwaukee Magazine‘s weekly roundup of all things Milwaukee Bucks written by Eric Nehm. You can yell at Eric or calmly explain to him how you’d be able to identify Oscar Robertson at an airport on Twitter @eric_nehm. See last week’s column here.