Without Andrew Bogut…
- …it’s an understatement to say the Bucks aren’t the same. Offensively, there was very little room for shooters to operate and the guards had no release valve when they drew extra defenders on penetration.
- …defensively, Milwaukee was equally disastrous. If I had a dollar for every time a Bucks defender flew by or fouled their man biting on a pump-fake, I’d have a steak dinner coming to me. Between the poor close out efforts and the lack of interior defense in lieu of Bogut, the Heat ended up at the free-throw line all night Friday (25-28 FT) and made the most of their opportunities inside (34 points in the paint on 17-22 FG).
- …Dwyane Wade was able to get wherever he wanted on the court. Charlie Bell may have been called the “Wade Stopper” earlier this year, but he had nothing for Wade without Bogut behind him. Wade finished with the easiest 30 points he’ll ever have (9-14 FG 1-2 3FG 11-12 FT) and sprinkled in seven rebounds and assists for good measure. He carved up Milwaukee’s defense the entire night.
- …the Bucks were forced to play Primoz Brezec and Dan Gadzuric a combined 32 minutes. I’m not exaggerating or using hyperbole when I say that Brezec tripped over his own feet and fell down within two minutes of entering the game. I’m also not exaggerating when I tell you Gadzuric didn’t take a shot outside ten feet, yet finished 2-7 from the field. Oh, and Joel Anthony and Udonis Haslem (the Heat centers most of the night) combined for 25 rebounds and 18 points (6-8 FG 6-8 FT).
- …Brandon Jennings was unable to make an impact. First, there was concern about Bogut, only to learn he was dealing with some kind of back injury. Now, there seems to be reason to be concerned about Jennings. Jennings probably isn’t injured, he’s probably just going through another dip, but that’s not all that concerns me. It wasn’t so much that Jennings was taking and missing bad shots yesterday, it was that he wasn’t looking to be aggressive. With Bogut out of the game, it seemed reasonable to expect Jennings to control the offense and look for his own shot early. He finished the first half with one shot attempt. Jennings is now 9-34 over his past four games. Coach Skiles on whether or not Jennings was hesitant:
I feel like he’s been that way since the Sac (Sacramento) game. We need him to be more aggressive. However, they were jumping out hard and aggressive with their bigs, pretty much text book of how you want to jump out and aggressively trap people. I also felt like he was looking to spread the ball when they were jumping out. It’s a fine line. When Brandon’s going to his right hand, he’s not nearly as comfortable, they jump out and he tends to pick it up and move it, it’s an area he’s still working on.
- …is one thing, but without Bogut or Ersan Ilyasova (flu), the Bucks front line was beyond depleted. The newly signed Darnell Jackson was not yet with the team and the Bucks simply were outmatched inside. Milwaukee was outrebounded on the defensive glass 37-19. They made up some of that deficit on the offensive boards, winning that battle 17-9, but what good does it do when Brezec and Gadzuric grab offensive boards only to miss another shot? Even the typically strong finishing Luc Richard Mbah a Moute was 2-10, with a number of misses inside.
- …the Bucks shot 31.5% and allowed the Heat to shoot 49.2%.
- …the Bucks didn’t block a shot.
- …Milwaukee had fewer assists (nine) than turnovers (10).
- …and Ilyasova was making it hard enough on the Bucks and then things turned for the worse. Carlos Delfino went down on a drive in the second quarter and has his head/neck area inadvertently stepped on by Heat power forward Udonis Haslem on a rebound. Haslem made an outlet pass and the Heat moved down the court, but Delfino didn’t move. He continued to lie under the hoop until a stretcher was brought out to carry him off. The Bucks reported that he did have movement in his extremities and he was being taken to the hospital for precautionary x-rays. No further word was available on Delfino, but keep him in your thoughts.
- …the Bucks weren’t so good Friday night and it was clear in every which way. The Bucks lack a competent back-up plan if Kurt Thomas is in foul trouble like he was Friday, making Bogut’s absence all the more notable. Before the game, Coach Skiles said he’d hoped Bogut would be back Sunday, said this injury had nothing to do with his last back injury and wrote it off as “back spasms more or less.” I’m skeptical but hopeful. One thing is clear though …
Without Andrew Bogut, the Bucks can kiss any playoff optimism goodbye.