MILWAUKEE – Martin Luther King Jr Day in America saw Ryan Broekhoff and the Dallas Mavericks in town, to take on Thon Maker and the Milwaukee Bucks.
It was yet another sellout crowd in Milwaukee, with the Bucks becoming the hottest ticket in town during their scintillating start to the season. The atmosphere was electric, and the 17,963 strong left happy – as they so often have this season.
The Bucks predictably cruised to their fifth straight victory, outscoring Dallas 59-47 in the second half to run out 116-106 winners. Milwaukee now move to an NBA best 34-12 on the season, improving to 21-4 at home in the process. For the Mavericks, their poor form on the road continued, as they slumped to 4-21 away from Dallas.
It was the Bucks’ 16th win in their last 19 games, and their 12th double-digit win in that span. The Bucks currently lead the NBA for double-digit victories, already registering 25 such wins.
Broekhoff did not see the floor this night. He has received playing time in 18 of the Mavericks’ 47 games, averaging 2.4 points per game.
In an interesting wrinkle, Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer inserted Maker into the game for the final 4:02 of the third quarter. While those minutes may seem minuscule in the grand scheme of things, Budenholzer called on Maker ahead of veteran forward Ersan Ilyasova, and it will be something to watch moving forward.
Budenholzer explained the decision post-game.
“Thon just helped. I thought in the second quarter we took a step backwards where we didn’t meet the standards that we’ve established for ourselves so I thought I’d shake it up a little bit,” Budenholzer explained.
“Thon always brings great energy and he can really impact the game defensively with their length and some of their lobs and stuff like that. He’s been good on a lot of nights when we’ve given Thon a chance.”
It was an inconspicuous appearance for Thon, whose only impact on the box score was an assist, but it will be interesting to see if the slight change in the rotation becomes more frequent moving forward.
Milwaukee will now get a much-needed two days off, before greeting the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday morning. For Dallas, no such rest will be afforded, as they face a short turnaround, hosting the Los Angeles Clippers tomorrow night.
Dallas host Los Angeles on Wednesday morning – Tip-off is at 12:30pm (AEST)
Milwaukee plays Charlotte on Saturday morning – Tip-off is at 12:30pm (AEST)