On a night that Milwaukee Bucks’ leader in points (25.8), rebounds (15.6) and blocks (1.8), Giannis Antetokounmpo sat the entire second half, the Orlando Magic still fell victim to one of the last two undefeated teams in the NBA.
The Bucks (6-0) drove past the Magic (2-4) in a 113-91 victory. It was the Magic’s first game in the Bucks’ new Fiserv Forum. And drive they did. The Bucks scored nearly half of their points in the paint with 54 on the night. With a shaky Orlando paint, came numerous trips to the foul line for the Bucks as well.
The Magic were able to stay within striking distance of the Bucks until shortly near the end of the first half when the Bucks started scoring in bunches and Orlando couldn’t respond.
It was another poor shooting night for the Magic as well. Orlando made 33 of their 101 shot attempts and made 10 of their 43 three-point attempts. The Bucks who have been arguably the best three-point shooting team in the NBA so far this season did what the Magic should’ve resorted to after their 6 for 21 start from behind the arc – attack the paint.
The Bucks utilized five-out offense for the entire night against the Magic. Having capable shooters across their whole roster allows them to do so. The Bucks wasted no time in using that to their advantage. Milwaukee players would get the 1-on-1 they wanted, when they wanted, and they usually scored every time. Since there were no bodies in the paint except the one the Buck’s would ride to the rim, it made for an easy layup every time.
That, or the Bucks would call for flex screens and cuts on the tall, lengthy, but slow Magic defenders.
The biggest positive of the night for the Magic? It might be the continued growth and signs of center Mo Bamba’s shooting abilities. Bamba only finished with 7 points and 6 boards, but he knocked down his third and fourth triples of the season.
But a rookie did get to star for the Bucks Saturday night. The Bucks 17th overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft, shooting guard Donte DiVincenzo, finished with 15 points on 6 of 9 shooting.
Center Nikola Vucevic led the Magic with 16 points and 9 rebounds. The center could’ve had himself a night, but the Magic seemed to rely too much on the three ball and didn’t attack the Bucks’ weaker interior defense.
Vucevic finished 7 of 10 shooting and had only two shot attempts in the second half, despite scoring baskets at ease in the post.
Saturday night’s end result was simple. The Bucks stayed undefeated, continued to rebound incredibly well and showed they could beat a young Orlando team without their star. As of now, there’s reason to believe Giannis was kept out of the game for precaution, as he got into a small collision in the second quarter with Magic forward Aaron Gordon.
The Magic on the other hand showed they still are slowly growing past their shooting woes and the key to a consistent offense for the Magic still hasn’t been turned by Head Coach Steve Clifford.