Without Brandon Jennings the Milwaukee Bucks were sure to fall to the Los Angeles Lakers in L.A. on Tuesday night. Hell, with Jennings the Bucks didn’t stand much of a chance. But since he had the occasionally ability to get hot and carry a team for stretches, there was always the hope when he played that he would be able to sustain the Bucks offensively while the rest of the team got going. No one else on the Bucks had flashed a similar ability very often this season.
Better late than never though. Earl Boykins was at his shot-making, ball-handling, backup point guard best Tuesday night in Milwaukee’s impossible improbable 19-point win over the Lakers.
He chipped in offensively early with nine points through the first three quarters and then turned into an offensive Molotov Cocktail in the fourth. Boykins scored 13 of his 22 points in the final quarter, left the Lakers shaking their heads wondering how it had all happened and his Milwaukee teammates joyfully hooting and hollering on the Bucks bench.
One night after coming up short on nearly all of his shot attempts, constantly hitting the front of the rim, Boykins seemed to have corrected his errors and made shots that he’s been making his entire career. It’s possible sitting out the majority of the last 10 games before seeing more action in Portland left Boykins more out of sync that one would expect out of a veteran. Whatever the case, Boykins looked like a completely different player just one night after missing nine of 11 shots against the Blazers.
With Jennings out, long range shooting and creation are two areas in which the Bucks could struggle mightily, and while Boykins had just two assists, he did a good job balancing distribution and shooting. When he had open looks, he shot the ball and made it more often than not. When he had a man in his face, he quickly moved the ball or penetrated. Lakers Coach Phil Jackson prefers point guards that are big to ones that are quick. Boykins made a habit of getting by his larger counterparts in Derek Fisher and Steve Blake every time they closed out on him.
It was the ultimate “I’ll take what they’ll give me” game from Boykins and they simply gave him too much.
Jeremy Schmidt writes the Milwaukee Bucks blog Bucksketball.com. Follow him on Twitter. Then become a fan on Facebook (in the sidebar).