Brandin Podziemski

Podziemski shines in ‘surreal' Milwaukee homecoming vs. Bucks

NBC Universal, Inc.

Brandin Podziemski is no stranger to Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee. He grew up nearby and was there the day the arena opened when he had a chance meeting with Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Podziemski also played a high school game in the arena and was on the bench in college when Illinois played there.

So, it came as no surprise that Podziemski thrived in the familiar surroundings during the Warriors' 129-118 loss to the Bucks on Saturday.

Making his 10th start of the season and running the point while Stephen Curry rested, Podziemski tied his season-high 23 points with a trio of 3-pointers. The always active and hustling 20-year-old also grabbed 10 rebounds to go with three assists and two steals in nearly 36 minutes of action.

It was Podziemski’s third double-double of the 2023-24 NBA season.

“It was fun,” Podziemski told reporters in Milwaukee. “Obviously we didn’t get the W, which is most important. But being back in front of an environment that I’ve been around before and a lot of people that I know is definitely a surreal moment for me.”

While it indeed was a bittersweet moment for Podziemski, he continued to show why the Warriors believe they hit a home run when they used the 19th overall pick to acquire him in the 2023 NBA Draft.

Constantly in motion and full of energy, Podziemski put it all together against the Bucks. He shot 10 of 14 from the floor, with nine of his 10 rebounds coming on the defensive side.

Podziemski’s night included a pair of two-handed dunks, one off a pass from Trayce Jackson-Davis in the first half and the other coming in the fourth quarter after he made a steal that helped pull the Warriors within five points with 5 ½ minutes remaining.

“Brandin was fantastic,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “Without Steph we obviously needed his offense, and he came through in a big way. He’s a really crafty player. He knows how to get to the rim, he’s got that Euro-step. He just has a feel and a knack. He had 10 rebounds. It’s one of the things we love about him. He just seems to be a step ahead of the play all the time.”

Podziemski had a full crowd of family and friends in the stands during the game. That included his seventh-grade English teacher, who joked with him before the game.

“She said she was glad I went to military school, otherwise I would have been a trouble maker,” Podziemski said.

Even with the loss that dropped the Warriors three games under .500 at 18-21, Podziemski saw reasons for hope. Golden State’s defense, which was a major issue during the team’s most recent homestand, showed some improvement against the Bucks, although Milwaukee was able to pull away during crunch time.

“We’re just playing harder, playing for each other,” Podziemski said, “When you play hard, the basketball gods reward you. The last two nights everybody that’s stepped on the floor made an impact in a positive way. Even though we didn’t come out with the W tonight you could see flashes even with five, six guys out.

“It’s a little bit tough because we have so many people out of the lineup, rotations are kind of in a jumble and have been throughout the year. When we get healthy and we have evreybody back, I think we’ll be solid. Most of it comes down to effort and wanting to do it. We’re getting better.”

Curry is expected to be back in the lineup for Monday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies, so Podziemski likely will be back on the bench for Golden State.

Still, getting a chance to start – then playing well – in front of so many of his people is a memory that Podziemski won’t soon forget.

“Full-circle moment to have all my family and friends here to watch me play,” Podziemski said. “Thankfully Steph took a rest and I got a chance to start.”

Download and follow the Dubs Talk Podcast

Contact Us