Steph Curry, Warriors upset by Bucks size, length and strength in loss

Steph, Dubs couldn’t fit Bucks size, length and strength originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

MILWAUKEE — Here’s how the Warriors started Tuesday night against the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum: First, Draymond Green’s defense on Giannis Antetokounmpo forced a shot clock violation.

Then, Jordan Poole drilled a 3-pointer on the Warriors’ first offensive possession. Two jumpers by Klay Thompson gave Golden State a quick 7-0 lead.

Well, right? If only the game ended there for Golden State.

It all went downhill after the Warriors’ strong start, with a 128-111 loss to the Bucks. Their latest loss out of the Chase Center drops the Warriors’ road record to an absurd 2-12 this season.

“In the first quarter, the game wasn’t connected in terms of good shooting and, obviously, fouling, getting them to the free throw line and slowing the game down and not reading their defense in terms of how they were trying to protect us and not make the easier game for ourselves,” said Steph Curry, who led the Warriors with 20 points after the loss. “Obviously we know we had some difficulties on the road and it continued tonight but our energy was great.

“Just tie that in with an IQ. They’re a great defense. We can’t be stubborn thinking however you show up in those first six minutes, you have to be able to make changes to keep yourself in and get some momentum going, and we didn’t done”.

After their best win of the season, beating 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 noticeable was the difference in size, length and strength between these two teams.

Andrew Wiggins, who missed his fourth straight game with a right adductor strain and won’t be available for Wednesday night’s game against the Indiana Pacers, usually makes up for a lot.

Wiggins stands at 6-foot-7, is one of the Warriors’ best defenders and although he has developed into a dangerous 3-point shooter, Wiggins is at his best when attacking the basket. The Warriors definitely could have used some (a lot) of that in Milwaukee.

No excuses. Even the Bucks were without one of their best players.

Jrue Holiday, who averaged 19.1 points, 7.4 assists, 5.3 rebounds and made his fourth-team All-Defensive last season, was out with illness. In place of him, Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer turned a 6-foot-1 guard bulldog to Jevon Carter.

“I thought Jevon Carter set them a great tone defensively,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr. “He was all over the ball.”

By halftime, with the Warriors in a 12-point hole, the Dubs had drained 11 3-pointers and outscored the Bucks by 24 points beyond the arc. But through the first two quarters, the Bucks grabbed 11 more rebounds than the Warriors and scored 30 points in the box to Golden State’s 14.

Although the Warriors committed just two more fouls than the Bucks in the first half, the Bucks attempted 13 free throws while the Warriors only went to the charity stripe once with Kevon Looney hitting one of his two shots.

Ultimately, the Warriors made eight more 3-pointers than the Bucks, but Milwaukee’s 41.4 percent from depth was only slightly better than Golden State’s 40 percent. It was closest to the hoop where the difference was most noticeable.

The Warriors also shot 40% with 2-pointers. However, the Bucks made 62.3 percent on said shots. The Bucks outscored the Warriors 55 to 37 and scored 48 points in the box to the Warriors 30.

As Milwaukee lowered its defense and clogged the paint, the Warriors couldn’t adjust in real time.

There’s a reason, or reasons, the Bucks entered the night with the best defensive rating in the NBA (106.8) and led the league in opposing field goal percentage, holding opponents to 44.7%. The tape will be designed to reach the heights the Warriors wish to return to.

“I think there were five or six estates where we went too far downhill,” Curry said. “They were sort of a shade in the paint and they have guys who make a huge presence. You’ve got Brook [Lopez]you have Giannis [Antetokounmpo]you’ve got Bobby Portis in there, so trying to finish them, it’s tough.

“But we can create better shots just by using that to kick one of the Draymonds [Green] or Kevin [Looney], whether they’re taking shots or DHO on the weak side. Just have 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.

Here’s how many assists the Warriors finished, which was still three more than the Bucks. That’s also nearly five assists short of the Warriors’ league-best 29.6 assists per game, with their magic number of 30.

“We have to move the ball,” said Green, who led the Warriors with seven assists. “Tonight, I think we haven’t moved the ball. You have to move the ball just to move the ball, not necessarily move the ball because you have to move the ball. You just make sure you move the ball.

“And then you find gaps. So that length is slow to move. If you just try to attack the length, you’ll struggle.”

RELATED: May Steph, Giannis remain civic treasures as stars of a team

The Warriors took down the best in the NBA a few nights ago, but they certainly struggled once again to start their six-game road trip.

Fixes will need to come fast with their next match less than 24 hours away.

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