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Bucks able to ride out Thunder in double OT without Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday

Last night, we saw the Milwaukee Bucks were without Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday. Many people question the decision to put these under a team where we see they were given the defensive measure while Jevon Carter and Brook Lopez were in the offensive mode.

Rookie Marjon Beauchamp beat the Thunder 136-132. 

Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer said, “It’s a character win,” He added, “Guys were doing whatever it took at both ends of the court. A lot of guys individually stood out but collectively the effort was really good. Just finding a way to win a tough game on the road. Proud of the guys.”

As the match was about to start, we saw how Jevon Carter said that he plays differently and how he is confident that he would be heading to the win. But will it work out?

He said, “Nah. I know it probably sounds kinda crazy but I wake up feeling like that every day,”

Moreover, he added,  “It’s just that opportunities are different day by day. Tonight, the opportunity was there and I was able to capitalize.”

Just before the start of the regular season, Jevon Carter said confidently that he was a much different player than he was walking off the court at TD Garden in Boston when the Bucks were eliminated from the playoffs. When he was off from the game, he spent the entire offseason working on himself. He also suggested that he can work hard and improve his game in the offense whenever needed. 

“Just knowing how they play,” Carter said of the opportunity that presented itself. “They are a big pack-the-paint kind of team. In any driving lane they’ve got guys ready to come help, so, it’s either shot or pass. Just keep it simple.”

Carter started alongside Grayson Allen, but in crunch time the Bucks went with combinations of Carter, Allen, George Hill, and Wesley Matthews with either Brook Lopez or Bobby Portis in the frontcourt. Hill played 36 minutes, the most of all the Bucks bench players.

“Jevon had a hell of a game today — he’s being Jevon,” said Bucks guard George Hill. “He’s put that work in all summer and been shooting the ball well. We both have that competitive mentality to just try to do the best we can to win and tonight was his night and tonight was my night to facilitate and get guys involved. I just think it was a great team effort.”

He and Jrue Holiday are working and making the off-season count for the upcoming match. He is working on his defensive skills and has been performing well throughout the time.   been starting all season alongside Jrue Holiday, and he has maintained his defensive intensity. But even though Carter had been playing just over 24 minutes a game – about 7 more than at any point in his career – he was still picking and choosing his spots to let it fly (5.3 points on 5.4 field goal attempts per game).

But did he know more of those spots would open up heading into this game after Holiday and Giannis Antetokounmpo were ruled out?

Budenholzer addressed the pair before the game:

On Holiday: “I think we’re hopeful that it’s not too serious, but he tweaked his ankle pretty good the other night in Atlanta, and playing tonight is not on the table. He’s done a lot already, too. I would be very surprised if it wasn’t the same case in San Antonio on Friday. Then, fortunately, we’ve got a couple of days without a game. We’ll see how these next three, four, or five days go. I think in the big picture we’re hopeful that it’s not too serious or too significant.”

On Antetokounmpo: “His knee, there’s just constant work and effort that we put in to keep him at his best. It’s just a situation where for tonight he’s not gonna go. While he’s not playing he’s working on his knee, rehabbing, and trying to do things to get it stronger. Again, just get it to where he can be his best.”

Budenholzer encouraged the team and also said that he is happy to be a part of the game. He further added that it would be a real-time opportunity for the rest of the team to perform in different roles and bring out the best of themselves. Along with this, the veterans and the rookie will try to learn new things from each other and it will help them to play the game more confidently for the upcoming time. 

“It was everybody if you think about it,” said Wesley Matthews, who played 29 minutes off the bench and had five points and four rebounds. “Marjon stepped up and had a hell of a game. ‘JC’ from start to finish was phenomenal. Brook reminds everybody that Brook is who he is. And then George made big plays. Bobby being himself.

“Everybody that stepped on that court knew what the job was, knew what the mission was and credit to (Oklahoma City). It’s a hell of a team. They’ve got a lot of great players and they play with a lot of energy, but, you know, we came here to get a win and we were able to do that.”

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