Bucks run winning streak to five

The Milwaukee Bucks won yet again on Friday night. This time it didn’t take an overwhelming effort from either Giannis Antetokounmpo or Khris Middleton, as both players were on the court for less than 26 minutes.

Antetokounmpo finished the 125-95 victory over Minnesota with 15 points and 12 rebounds in just 23 minutes played. Middleton logged 25 minutes and scored 16 points on just 10 shots. All 13 players that were active for the Bucks scored, including Ersan Ilysova with 16 points off the bench.

The Wolves were without forward Andrew Wiggins, but both all-stars Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns struggled on Friday. Towns finished with 16 points, while Butler — who was questionable with an illness — had just four points in 23 minutes in the loss.

The Bucks have a quick turnaround as the Orlando Magic visit Fiserv Forum on Saturday night as Milwaukee will look to move to 6-0.

Bucks improve to 4-0 with win over Philadelphia

The Milwaukee Bucks are 4-0 for the first time in 17 years.

New coach Mike Budenholzer’s club took down Philadelphia 123-108 on Wednesday night at the Fiserv Forum to keep its perfect record intact.

Forward Giannis Antetokounmpo had 32 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists, registering the 10th triple-double of his career in the win. With that effort, he became the first player since Wilt Chamberlain in 1965 to open a season with four straight games of 25 or more points and 15 or more rebounds.

Guard Khris Middleton chipped in 25 points, while center Brook Lopez added 21.

Philadelphia was paced by Joel Embiid’s 30 points and 19 rebounds, while Ben Simmons had a triple-double with 14 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists.

Milwaukee now hits the road to face Minnesota on Friday night.

Bucks stay hot, knock off Knicks

The Milwaukee Bucks have looked impressive to stay the 2018-19 NBA season, there’s no doubting that. With a new coaching staff and new philosophy the Bucks look like an entirely different team despite many of the same pieces on the roster.

The Bucks knocked off the New York Knicks 124-113 on Monday night at Fiserv Forum behind another barrage of 3-pointers. Milwaukee shot 17-of-40 from behind the 3-point arc. This also marked the second consecutive game in which the Bucks shot 40 or more 3-pointers, which would’ve broken the franchise record prior to Friday night.

Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way for the Bucks with 31 points and 15 rebounds in the victory despite a less than stellar night shooting (13-29 from the floor, 1-3 from three). Khris Middleton had a very strong game with 30 points on a very efficient 11-of-14 shooting.

For Milwaukee all five starters finished in double-figures in the scoring column. In addition to Antetokounmpo and Middleton, Eric Bledsoe, Brook Lopez, and Malcolm Brogdon contributed. Of those three, Bledsoe had the best game with 16 points and 13 assists in the victory.

Tim Hardaway Jr. led the way for the Knicks with 24 points in the loss. Trey Burke and Enes Kanter each scored in double-figures as well with 19 and 14 points, respectively.

The Bucks will look to move to 4-0 on Wednesday night at Fiserv Forum against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Last shots: Bucks 118, Pacers 101

MILWAUKEE – Twenty last shots for the 20 minutes played by Milwaukee’s Donte DiVincenzo in the Bucks’ 118-101 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Friday night at Fiserv Forum.

1. The Milwaukee Bucks opened up Fiserv Forum on Friday night with a win over the Indiana Pacers. It wasn’t always pretty, especially early, but it showed what can be expected consistently in this building.

2. The game operations staff did a terrific job of introducing the new coaching staff, arena, and team with a relatively quick pregame ceremony on the video board that hangs high above center court. The Bucks even unveiled what appears to be a new slogan, “Built to Stay” that appears to be replacing the “Own the Future” phrase that’s been used since Jason Kidd’s arrival as coach in 2014.

3. Obviously, Kidd is gone, and now that slogan is as well. This is a good, if not overdue, move for this organization. Although, the whole “Built to Stay” is something that feels aimed at superstar forward Giannis Antetokounmpo.

4. Antetokounmpo has been nothing but loyal to the organization that selected him with the 15th overall selection back in 2013. That being said, things can certainly change between now and when he will enter free agency in a couple of seasons. Especially if the Bucks don’t make any postseason progress between now and then. This new phrase absolutely is aimed at keeping Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee.

5. As far as the rest of the pregame festivities, the Bucks nailed the video and the team introduction, but a weird thing did happen. The Indiana Pacers starting lineup and coach Nate McMillan were never announced. It seemed as if they were waiting for it to happen, then the lights in the arena cut out for the Bucks to have their turn, leaving the Pacers to stand around and watch. Odd.

6. Once the countdown to tip came one of the members of Milwaukee’s in-game entertainment staff was on the microphone and instructed fans to wave the towels that were handed out from before tip-off until the Bucks scored their first points inside Fiserv Forum.

7. Well, Indiana’s Myles Turner scored the first regular season basket in the history of the arena, then Darren Collison hit the second, Victor Oladipo hit the third, and then Turner collected his second. In a short couple of minutes, the Bucks were trailing 8-0, coach Mike Budenholzer spent his first time out, and only a few brave souls were left waving the towels.

8. “The first couple minutes, I don’t know what it was,” Budenholzer said. “It was like we were on another planet or something.”

9. Not how the Bucks envisioned opening the arena.

10. After that rough start the Bucks rebounded nicely and went on an extended 38-21 run and had the game in control, never looking back. A big reason as to why this was the case was the Indiana Pacers had a big-time math problem against Milwaukee.

11. The Pacers – last year at least – relied on the mid-range jump shot heavily. In today’s NBA that’s far from advised. Teams are opting to play with pace and space, looking for open 3-pointers or shots in the lane. The Pacers don’t do those things at nearly the same rate as the Bucks are attempting to, which is an issue for them.

12. The Bucks didn’t just shoot a few more 3-pointers than the Pacers, they more than doubled the number of shots from behind the arc. Milwaukee finished with a franchise record 47 3-point attempts in the win. The previous high was 33 3-point attempts (done twice) most recently last April against the Denver Nuggets.

13. In fact, the Bucks had more attempts from inside the arc than they did outside the arc on the night. Shooting 47 3-pointers against 46 2-pointers was also a franchise first.

14. Naturally, there were both some positives and some negatives to the barrage of 17 makes from deep. On the bright side they outscored Indiana 51-18 in that category and John Henson knocked down a pair of triples as well. Conversely, Antetokounmpo struggled in that spot, finishing without a make in seven attempts.

15. “That’s just kind of the way the offense is,” Henson said after the game. “Our motto is to let it fly. We work on it every day. It’s what we need to do to be successful.”

16. Letting it fly is certainly one way to put it, and on Friday night I’m not sure that’s the phrase to justify it. There are tons of crazy stats to look at from the game in terms of the shot chart, but the one that may explain it best has to do with Brook Lopez.

17. Lopez made a pair of threes on the night, which is fine and nothing outrageous. The crazy part is that he attempted eight of them in 22 minutes on the floor. That’s the same number of attempts that the entire starting unit of the Pacers combined for on the evening, and that came in 140 combined minutes.

18. The Bucks are going to start winning games based on math alone, similarly to the way the Houston Rockets were able to in 2017-18. The Rockets decided that 3-pointers are worth more than 2-pointers (duh) and that they should take as many of those as possible. Even if the team shoots a very sustainable 36 percent from deep, it creates a scoring gap that forces the other team to attempt to keep up.

19. “If we’re attacking the paint and attacking the basket, and we’re getting great shots there, then we’ll take [the threes],” Budenholzer said. “We’re fortunate that we’ve got several guys that can get to the basket that can collapse the defense and create rotations. Then we’ve got to have great spacing and guys ready to catch-and-shoot around those guys.”

20. So, yeah, the Bucks are going to let it fly this year.

Bucks begin regular season with victory over the Hornets

The Milwaukee Bucks started Mike Budenholzer era with a victory over the Charlotte Hornets by a score of 113-112 on Wednesday night.

All-Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way for the Bucks with 25 points, 18 rebounds, and eight assists in the win. All five of Milwaukee’s starters scored in double-figures as with Khris Middleton putting up 19 points on 14 shots. Ersan Ilyasova was the leading scorer off of the bench 13 points.

The style of play that the Bucks implemented was drastically different than how they finished up the previous season under former interim coach Joe Prunty. The Bucks have changed the way they operate offensively, launching 3-pointers with a much greater frequency than at any point last season. On Wednesday night they shot 34 3-pointers, which would have been the third-most in any game for them during the 2017-18 campaign.

Making the 3-pointers is going to be the key to how successful the Bucks are offensively. On Wednesday night the Bucks knocked down 14 of their 34 attempts which would have been the third-most in any single game in 2017-18.

In the first half Milwaukee made 11 of its 22 3-point attempts, storming out to a lead of 20 points. The Hornets were able to storm back and eventually take the lead with less than three minutes left in regulation. Charlotte’s comeback was led by guard Kemba Walker’s 41 points in the loss.

The Bucks will be back in action on Friday night for the first game at Fiserv Forum against the Indiana Pacers. Tip off is set for 7:30 p.m. CT.

Milwaukee Bucks open up Fiserv Forum

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks opened up Fiserv Forum on Sunday afternoon in downtown Milwaukee. The ceremony was filled with speakers, fans, music, and superstar cameos.

Among those in attendance included current Milwaukee Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, Bucks legends Kareem Abdul-Jabaar, Michael Redd and Vin Baker, coach Mike Budenholzer, general manager Jon Horst, and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. Owners Wed Edens, Marc Lasry, Jamie Dinan, and Mike Fascitelli were in attendance as well as former Bucks owner Senator Herb Kohl and Governor Scott Walker.

The arena took roughly two years to complete after construction began back in June of 2018.

The day started off with the franchise breaking a world record for “The World’s Largest Vinyl Welcome Mat” according to Guinness World Records. The mat was set next to the stage where the ribbon cutting ceremony took place to the left of the main stage outside Fiserv Forum. The mat was measured at 2,224.20 square feet, breaking the previous record of 2,152 square feet, according to Guinness World Records.

As for the arena itself, the Bucks immediately move from having one of the worst arenas in the NBA to one of, if not the best. Fiserv Forum is a state-of-the-art facility that is a tremendous upgrade from the BMO Harris Bradley Center which remains next door for the time being. The building will be have a capacity of 17,500 people for basketball games and up to 18,000 for concerts and other events.

While the area is still under construction, the building is mostly complete. There are still finishing touches to be wrapped up, but everything looks suitable for events as of now. Most of the unfinished things are murals and decorations in areas that will never be seen by the large majority of people that enter the building.

There’s plenty of reason for optimism as the new building officially opens up. Commissioner Silver said it will bring an NBA All-Star game in the future, although he could not commit to exactly when that would be. Both Middleton and Thon Maker were excited about the new home for the team as well.

The first event inside of Fiserv Forum is set for Sept. 4 when The Killers are in concert.

Bucks bolster training camp roster with summer league standout

For the second day in a row the Milwaukee Bucks made an addition to their roster with the start of training camp only a little over a month away.

Christian Wood and the Milwaukee Bucks have agreed to a deal, as first reported by Yahoo! Sports.

Wood spent time this summer with the Milwaukee Bucks as a member of their Las Vegas summer league roster. The 6-foot-11 center averaged 20.4 points, 10.8 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per summer league contest. He was honored as part of the All-Las Vegas summer league first-team.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the deal is non-guaranteed.

Wood has played in 30 games in the NBA across two seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers and the Charlotte Hornets. He has averaged 3.2 points and 2.2 rebounds per game in his NBA career.

Report: Milwaukee Bucks re-sign Shabazz Muhammad

As the quiet period of the NBA’s offseason has officially arrived the Milwaukee Bucks are still making moves.

Most free agents have decided on their destinations and teams have rosters that are mostly set as training camps are set to open in roughly six weeks. However the Bucks have added Shabazz Muhammad to the roster before the start of the season, according to Yahoo!.

Muhammad spent last season splitting time between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Milwaukee Bucks. He accepted a buyout with Minnesota before joining the Bucks near the end of February. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the deal is an opportunity for him to earn a roster spot during training camp.

In his time in Milwaukee Muhammad averaged 8.5 points per game over 11 games with the Bucks. He also appeared in four of Milwaukee’s seven playoff games against the Boston Celtics, including a pair of 11-point games.

Bucks to play on Christmas Day

For the first time in 41 years, the Milwaukee Bucks will be playing on Christmas Day.

The NBA released a list of its marquee games Wednesday, including for Christmas, which has become one of the biggest days for the league each year. And the Bucks will take their place on the national stage, as they travel to New York to take on the Knicks in Madison Square Garden. The game will tipoff at 11 a.m. and air on ESPN.

The last time Milwaukee played on Christmas came in 1977, when the Bucks beat the Kansas City Kings 131-122. Overall, it’ll be the fourth time they’ve played on the holiday and they own a 2-2 record.

Here’s a complete list of the Christmas Day lineup:

Milwaukee Bucks at New York Knicks, 11 a.m.
Oklahoma City Thunder at Houston Rockets, 2 p.m.
Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics, 4:30 p.m.
Los Angeles Lakers at Golden State Warriors, 7 p.m.
Portland Trailblazers at Utah Jazz, 9:30 p.m.

Milwaukee Bucks announce arena naming rights

Since the Milwaukee Bucks announced plans to build a new arena the building was referred to as the Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center.

That is no more.

On Thursday afternoon the franchise announced that it had reached a deal with Fiserv, a technology provider serving the financial industry, on a 25-year agreement for the naming rights to the building which will now be known as Fiserv Forum.

The building will open up with a public celebration on August 26 before holding its first event, a concert featuring The Killers, on September 4.

Fiserv Forum will be the home of both the Milwaukee Bucks and the Marquette Golden Eagles basketball teams as well as other various events and concerts including Justin Timberlake, P!nk, Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, and the Foo Fighters.