After acquiring point guard Eric Bledsoe last month, the Milwaukee Bucks faced the challenge of assimilating the new point guard into the mix while also fixing an underwhelming bench unit that lost two key reserves.
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Center Greg Monroe, who led Milwaukee off the bench last season, was sent to Phoenix in the Bledsoe deal while Mirza Teletovic, the top bench scorer through the first 10 games, suffered a knee injury and is now out indefinitely with pulmonary emboli in both lungs.
With Bledsoe immediately taking over as the teams starting point guard, last years Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon was sent to the second unit and has helped alleviate a major void.
After making a start in Phoenix on Nov. 22, Brogdon has reached double digits off the bench in eight of nine games and has scored 10-plus points in seven straight contests. Only Utah Jazz reserves Rodney Hood (9 games) and Alec Burks (8 games) have longer active streaks.
Behind the marquee three Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bledsoe and Khris Middleton Brogdon is fourth on the team in scoring, averaging 12.9 points per game.
Milwaukee is 10-5 with Brogdon coming off the bench.
Most Consecutive Games Off Bench w/10+ Pts, Active NBA Streaks
(any starts ignored; minimum 1 G off bench in 2017-18)
Rodney Hood, Utah — 9
Alec Burks, Utah — 8
Malcolm Brogdon, Milwaukee — 7
Eric Gordon, Houston — 7
3 streaks of 6
* This is the first meeting between the Bulls and the Bucks in 2017-18. The teams have split their last six meetings in Milwaukee after Chicago had won the previous eight such contests.
* After losing 20 of their first 23 games this season, the Bulls have now won four in a row. Chicago is averaging 108.5 points per game on 47.9 percent shooting during this current win streak.
* Milwaukee allowed the Pelicans to shoot 56.3 percent from the field overall and 52.0 percent from 3-point range in its loss to New Orleans on Wednesday. The Bucks are now 0-4 this season when their opponent shoots 50+ percent both overall and from behind the arc.
* Robin Lopez is shooting 54.1 (33/61) percent on shot attempts that are taken eight to 12 feet from the basket. That is the second-highest percentage in the NBA (Reggie Jackson (Det), .725) (minimum 50 FGA from 8-12 ft).
* Eric Bledsoe has had at least one steal in each of his last 13 games, while Chicago’s Justin Holiday has had 1+ steal in 11 consecutive games. Those are the second and third-longest active streaks in the NBA, respectively.
* Giannis Antetokounmpo has had 20 or more points in each of his last 17 games. The last Bucks player with a longer streak was Terry Cummings, who scored 20+ points in 20 consecutive games, Nov. 27, 1984-Jan. 5, 1985.
Statistics courtesy STATS