AND In Milwaukee, doubts linger. The trade involving Lillard has brought about an unresolved uncertainty. The Bucks have undergone a transformation, shifting their focus from defense to winning games with the help of their two star players. However, without their new point guard, they struggle to generate offense beyond Giannis. The Greek superstar finished the game with an impressive 35 points and 10 rebounds.
Visiting Orlando has become a daunting task for opposing teams. The Magic, who have moved past the initial phase of their project, have found the perfect synergy among their young players. Banchero, who recorded 26 points and 12 rebounds, and Wagner, who has made a sensational start, were the tormentors for the Bucks.
The game took a turn midway through the second quarter. Giannis, left to fend for himself against the world, delivered a monologue that lasted the entire match. Only Cam Payne and Portis from the second unit provided minimal assistance. On the Florida side, Jalen Suggs, one of the Magic’s promising talents, attacked the rim with the same conviction he displayed during his time at Gonzaga University.
Without Lillard… or Middleton
The trade has created a problem for Milwaukee as they lack the pieces to secure a victory in Lillard’s absence. Middleton, the main casualty of the new acquisition, is neither present nor expected to perform. In what has been the worst start to the season in recent memory, Middleton had another lackluster night with just 10 points.
This, coupled with their poor perimeter defense, exacerbates the issue and allows it to snowball. Banchero, Franz Wagner, his brother Mo who joined the party in the second half, and even Jonathan Isaac took advantage of these weaknesses to inflict damage from beyond the arc.
Lopez, far from his usual level, and Beasley, who failed to contribute offensively, along with the lack of support from the bench, pose serious problems for Milwaukee. Meanwhile, in Orlando, everything is filled with smiles. Despite the loss of Fultz, the Magic seem to possess infinite resources and their project is on the right track.
It’s a mixed bag for the Bucks, who were considered championship contenders. Giannis appears more isolated than ever when Lillard is unable to play. Another defeat (5-3) highlights the lack of depth that is starting to become evident in Milwaukee.