When Doc Rivers came to the Milwaukee Bucks he challenged them, it was to live up to what they thought their potential was. This squad got off to a rough start with their new head coach but they have clearly recovered. The trade for Patrick Beverley allowed them to get into opponents’ skins and be better with their perimeter defense. Now, it has got Giannis Antetokounmpo all fired up after they battered the Denver Nuggets.
“Love the direction we are heading,” were the words that Giannis Antetokounmpo wrote after their back-to-back wins.
Doc Rivers has led this Bucks team to the brighter side of the tunnel. They currently have four wins in their last 10 games and will hope to improve that record after the NBA All-Star break. The Bucks are also in prime position to notch the second seed in the Eastern Conference. All they need is for the Cleveland Cavaliers to slow down while they let Damian Lillard and Antetokounmpo go on a hot streak. Their statement win over the defending champion Nuggets might start a run.
The Bucks domination of the Nuggets
A late-game run that netted 32 fourth-quarter points was not enough to get the Nuggets their 37th win of the season. This was largely because the Bucks shattered all hopes of a loss immediately. In the first three quarters, they completely outgunned the Nikola Jokic-led team by scoring 91 points to their opponents’ pitiful 63 points.
All of this was due to Anetokounmpo’s dominance in the paint. He knocked down 14 out of 19 field goal attempts and sank eight free throws which led to 36 points. Then, he proceeded to not give the Nuggets any chance whenever someone missed. The outcome? Antetokounmpo had four offensive rebounds while also ripping 14 boards straight out of the air. This masterclass inside allowed Rivers to run sets that made three-pointers fly. This is why the Bucks knocked down 47.1% of their three-point attempts.
It was a good day before the Bucks headed into the All-Star break. They will face a tough Minnesota Timberwolves squad in two weeks time after they had ample time to rest. With the direction they are heading to, the Larry O’Brien trophy is not far from reach.