Steph, Dubs couldn’t adjust to Bucks’ size, height, and strength originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
MILWAUKEE — Here’s how the Warriors began Tuesday night against the Milwaukee Bucks on Fiserv Forum: First, Draymond Green’s defense forced a 24-second shot clock violation on Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Next, Jordan Poole drilled a three-pointer in the Warriors’ first offensive possession. Two jumpers from Klay Thompson gave Golden State a quick 7-0 lead.
Good right? If only the game ended there for Golden State.
Everything went downhill after the Warriors’ strong start, resulting in a 128-111 loss to the Bucks. Their latest loss away from Chase Center drops the Warriors’ road record this season to an absurd 2-12.
“First quarter the game was not aligned in terms of getting good shots, and of course the offense, getting them to the free throw line and slowing down the game and not reading their defense in terms of how they were trying to outrun us. and not making the game easier for ourselves,” Steph Curry, who led the Warriors with 20 points, said after the loss. “Of course we know we had problems along the way and they continued tonight, but our energy was great.
“Just tie that into an IQ. They’re a great defense. We can’t just be stubborn thinking however you show up in those first six minutes, you have to be able to make adjustments to keep yourself in it and to get some momentum.” , and we didn’t.”
After their best win of the season, defeating the Boston Celtics 123-107 in San Francisco on Saturday night, the Warriors took a big step back against another top team in the NBA. Most notable was the difference in size, height and strength between these two teams.
Andrew Wiggins, who missed his fourth straight game with a right adductor strain and will be unavailable for Wednesday night’s game against the Indiana Pacers, usually more than makes up for that.
Wiggins is six feet tall, is one of the Warriors’ best defenders, and while he’s made himself a dangerous 3-point shooter, Wiggins is at his best attacking the basket. The Warriors certainly could have used some (a lot) of that in Milwaukee.
No excuses. The Bucks were also without one of their best.
Jrue Holiday, who averages 19.1 points, 7.4 assists, 5.3 rebounds and made his fourth All-Defensive team last season, was out due to illness. In his place, Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer turned to a six-foot guard bulldog in Jevon Carter.
“I thought Jevon Carter set a great tone for them defensively,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr. “He was all over the ball.”
By halftime, with the Warriors in a 12-point gap, the Dubs had emptied 11 three-pointers and outscored the Bucks beyond the arc by 24 points. But during the first two quarters, the Bucks grabbed 11 more rebounds than the Warriors and scored 30 points in the paint compared to Golden State’s 14.
Although the Warriors committed only two fouls more than the Bucks in the first half, the Bucks attempted 13 free throws as the Warriors went to the charity streak just once with Kevon Looney making one of his two shots.
In the end, the Warriors made eight 3-pointers more than the Bucks, but Milwaukee’s 41.4 percent clip from deep was just a little better than Golden State’s 40 percent. It was closer to the basket where the difference was most noticeable.
The Warriors also shot 40 percent on 2-pointers. However, the Bucks made 62.3 percent of those shots. The Bucks outpaced the Warriors by 55 to 37 and scored 48 points in the paint compared to the Warriors ’30.
With Milwaukee lowering its defenses and hiding the paint, the Warriors were unable to adapt in real time.
There’s a reason, or reasons, why the Bucks went into the night with the NBA’s best defensive rating (106.8) and led the league in opposing field goal percentage, holding their opponents at 44.7 percent. The tape will be studied to reach the heights to which the Warriors want to return.
“I think there were five or six possessions where we went too far downhill,” said Curry. “They were kind of a shadow in the paint and they have guys who have a huge presence. You have Brook [Lopez]you have Giannis [Antetokounmpo]you’ve got Bobby Portis there, so trying to finish them off is hard.
“But we can get better shots just using that to kick it at Draymond [Green] or Kevin [Looney]whether they’re taking shots or DHOs on the weak side. Just let them work an extra pass or two. That’s where the game got a little out of hand.”
Another number that stood out was 25.
That’s the number of assists the Warriors completed, which was still three more than the Bucks. It’s also nearly five assists short of the Warriors’ best 29.6 assists per game, with their magic tally of 30.
“We have to move the ball,” said Green, who led the Warriors with seven assists. “Tonight I think we didn’t move the ball. You should only move the ball to move the ball, not necessarily move the ball because you need to move the ball. Just make it a point to move the ball.
“And then you find gaps. Then that length moves slowly. If you just try to attack the length, you’re going to struggle.”
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The Warriors beat the NBA’s best a few nights ago, but certainly struggled once again to begin their six-game road trip.
Corrections will have to come soon as their next game is less than 24 hours away.
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