A Thanksgiving special recap: Hornets 102 – Bucks 99

Two games, two disappointing losses, two completely different ways.  A blowout in San Antonio and a nail biter that slipped away like it was covered in butter.

There is no easy way to digest this one.  The Bucks were up five with 50 seconds to go in regulation.  A few jumpers, some free throw retaliations by Brandon Jennings and a Darren Collison three-point shot later, the game was tied with seven seconds to play.  But the Bucks had the ball and it was Brandon Jennings’ game to be had, Bucks fans had to feel good, right?  I certainly did.  I mean, Jennings had been struggling all game, but he’s still Brandon Jennings.  But regulation was not meant to be.  Jennings turned it over on a pick and roll initiated deep behind the three-point line on some good defense by David West.

No matter, overtime was a chance for redemption.  For a lot of guys.  Michael Redd had been struggling all game, so had Jennings and the song was the same for Ersan Ilyasova. Surely one of them would be able to get it going in the fifth stanza.  But it never came.  Redd hit a shot and then missed a couple more, including the game tying attempt at the horn.  Jennings had a crucial turnover in the back court and Ilyasova barely sniffed the court.

It’s hard to feel good about any of this game.  But … it’s Thanksgiving.  And in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’ll give thanks about some things, rather than harp on another disappointing Bucks loss.

I’ll Give Thanks For …

A winning basketball team in Milwaukee.  It’s been far too long since Bucks fans felt like they absolutely should have won and even expected to win.  Now, we have that feeling almost every night.  In the Bucks five losses, they could have swung three of them the other way with a bounce or two different.  I am grateful to be cheering for a team that can keep it close.

I’ll Give Thanks For …

Kelvin Sampson.  The former disgraced Indiana basketball coach has had a resurrection in the NBA.  Starting as a volunteer assistant with Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs two years ago, Sampson has fit in well with the Bucks since arriving last year.  His biggest success?  The work he’s done with Brandon Jennings.  He famously met Jennings at 9PM on the youngster’s September birthday at the Cousins Center to get some shots up.  Kudos to you coach.

I’ll Give Thanks For …

The bench.  Hakim Warrick, Luke Ridnour and company have been much better than advertised this year.  Warrick’s had his problems defensively, but is typically one of the more aggressive Bucks on the court and often the only guy getting to the line for the team.  Ridnour has been reborn as a backup point guard, giving more in less minutes and recently playing next to Brandon Jennings with a lot of success.  The Bucks advertised their depth all off-season, and it really seems to be paying off right now.

I’ll Give Thanks For …

Do I even need to say Brandon Jennings?  Is there anything more obvious than that?

He’s number one on this list and number one in the hearts and minds of Bucks fans right now.  Two losses in a row is never fun, but for once, there is still hope in Mudville tonight.

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  1. This game was hard to swallow, but we definitely can’t let it cloud the fact that we have a solid team in Milwaukee for the first time in years. I keep up from Iraq every night there is a game, and I am beyond elated to know the game against OKC will be televised tonight!!! I will sacrifice all hours of sleep to see my city in action. Hope Brandon puts on a display for the world to see and Redd shakes a little more rust off and Warrick and Elson make big contributions tonight.


  2. Mayor – Great to know we have such dedicated Bucks fans overseas! Thanks for everything you do and hopefully the Bucks can pull this one out on the big stage tonight.