Orlando Magic Grades: Milwaukee Bucks 114, Orlando Magic 102

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks found a tough challenge in the Orlando Magic. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks found a tough challenge in the Orlando Magic. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

102. 38. 114. 89. Final

The Milwaukee Bucks never trailed in Tuesday’s game against the Orlando Magic, but they were never quite comfortable. Each time it felt like the Bucks would pull away, the Magic would reel them back in, making them just uncomfortable.

It might come in a wall they set around Giannis Antetokounmpo, forcing him to be a scorer or for him to bully his way through the paint against the undermanned Magic rather than a distributor. It could be from a well-timed shot or trip into the lane that set the Bucks defense just a bit off.

The Bucks took the lead in the first quarter thanks to a spate of turnovers to end the quarter. Orlando was not able to get its shots to go down early and that put the team behind the 8-ball. But this was not going to be a blowout. Not if the Magic could help it.

That scrappy play is a good identity for a young team to have. But it is not enough. Orlando still needed to make good shots.

The Magic fell to the Bucks 114-102, despite a good effort on Tuesday night. Orlando made just 41.5-percent shots and that only highlighted all the mistakes they made throughout the game — be it the six missed free throws, 12 turnovers for 18 points or 17 offensive rebounds for 13 second-chance points.

The Orlando Magic turned in a strong effort but could never put themselves in a position to win as the Milwaukee Bucks did enough to keep their distance.

Orlando, without a legit scoring threat, needed to move the ball well on offense and hope for a little bit of luck to compete with Milwaukee. The Magic had just 18 assists on their 39 made field goals. In the end, the Magic were trying to go at it alone far too often.

This game for the undermanned Magic team was about player development and the young players played well.

Orlando had several guys on the court competing for their NBA careers. But third-year player Moritz Wagner outshined them all with a double-double of 17 points and 13 rebounds, displaying all that he has to offer to an NBA team.

A-. . F/C. Orlando Magic. MORITZ WAGNER

Moritz Wagner displayed his full arsenal of skills against the Milwaukee Bucks. The big man was active on both ends of the court, crashing to the boards and moving his feet well on defense. Wagner scored 17 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in another strong showing. He said after the game that playing has given him a new perspective and he has enjoyed his time with the team. He certainly seems like he has taken advantage of the time.

When tasked with guarding Giannis Antetokounmpo, Moritz Wagner did a decent job against the two-time NBA Most Valuable Player. Wagner is good at getting under a player’s skin defensively. They seem to think they can steamroll him and he generally can do a good job positioning himself or being just physical enough to bother those players. On offense, he was his usual self, knocking down threes and attacking off the dribble.

G. Orlando Magic. R.J. HAMPTON. B.

R.J. Hampton did not have his best scoring game with 11 points, but he did a good job creating offense for his teammates. He led the Orlando Magic with five assists on the night and his ability to get the ball downhill and create penetration helped get the Magic offense going.

Hampton had a couple of crafty passes in the paint and has displayed the ability to get the ball to his bigs off pick-and-rolls. His speed will always be a problem for opposing defenders, but what is even more impressive is his efficiency around the basket.

B. . G. Orlando Magic. COLE ANTHONY

Cole Anthony had an efficient game scoring 18 points on 8-for-16 shooting from the field. But the rookie had a goose egg with zero assists. Anthony played a great deal off the ball tonight and that is partially why he did not record an assist. His shooting was impressive and he was able to put some pressure on the Milwaukee Bucks in fourth as they were looking to put the Orlando Magic away.

Anthony’s hot run has certainly cooled off some. He is scoring but still a bit inefficiently and his play and organization can be a bit uneven. Anthony often gets caught trying to force things even with the best intentions. But that is a problem a rookie often has as he learns the league.

B. . C. Orlando Magic. WENDELL CARTER

Wendell Carter recorded 14 rebounds on the night to go along with eight points. Carter passed on a few three-pointers and attacked the paint with a couple of impressive drives. But he did not shoot the ball well from outside. He went 0 for 2 from three and only made 3 for 11 field goal attempts. Carter is still hesitant with his jumper and you would like to see him post up more in the paint.

For it being his first game back in a week after getting poked in the eye, it was a good showing. The Magic leaned on his defensive know-how especially. He got the call on Giannis Antetokounmpo for most of the game and he did not back down from the challenge. Carter helps the Magic’s defense function at a higher level, even if he still needs some help on the glass when he has to absorb the contact from drivers trying to move him off his spot.

. 44-25. 3rd East. MILWAUKEE BUCKS. B-

The Milwaukee Bucks seemed to think they could put their foot down early and put the Orlando Magic to rest. They played with good energy early, matching the determination the Magic showed. They perhaps met more resistance than they anticipated. Even though they took the lead and took care of their business, they never quite put the game away as the Magic’s poor shooting left the door open for an ugly loss.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was still very good with 27 points, 12 rebounds and 11-for-18 shooting. Donte DiVincenzo had 19 points and Brook Lopez had 17. But Orlando ended up making more 3-pointers than Milwaukee — 10 to 8 — and Milwaukee shot equally poorly. It took getting to the foul line to maintain the lead in the fourth quarter. The Bucks just let the Magic hang around but never really threaten the lead in this game.

Next. Orlando Magic must have eye on next season to end year. dark

After Tuesday’s loss, the Magic are tied for the fourth-best odds to obtain the No. 1 pick with its record now at 21-48.

The Orlando Magic have three games remaining on their schedule and travel to face the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday.