Bucks Inexplicably Only Lose By 7
|Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, SF 12 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -6
I don’t know where LRMAM belongs on this team. He definitely belongs somewhere, right? Without Bogut, the Bucks can’t afford Moute’s weak offense and the best offensive options for the power forward and wing spots are clear.
|Drew Gooden, PF 36 MIN | 6-14 FG | 10-10 FT | 15 REB | 6 AST | 23 PTS | +1
I look at his stats and then I think about what I saw and then my brain hurts. No matter how I slice it, Gooden was an offensive force. He was wild though: looking unruly on his drives to the basket. Plus his passes are always just a bit off. But it isn’t offense that he needs to replace. He has to replace Bogut’s all-world defense. For that he is woefully incapable. Sure, let’s give him a pass today because he was protecting the rim against Derrick Rose and that’s a problem for 98% of the league. But Gooden and the other big men need to reliably guard the paint on their own. Often the wings had to swarm into the paint which left easy passes to make to open shooters from the post.
|Brandon Jennings, PG 37 MIN | 10-22 FG | 1-1 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 25 PTS | -1
Jennings was all fire in the first quarter. After that he did what stat geeks like to call ‘regressing to the mean.’ He was unaggressive in the second and third quarters and ineffective in the fourth. He’s going to lead the Bucks to a lot of close losses. Jennings wasn’t looking for teammates as much as he usually has this season. Perhaps he feels a lone without his buddy Bogut. The pair was looking awfully good together before the injury.
|Jon Leuer, F 20 MIN | 9-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 19 PTS | 0
It took a Bogut injury and Ilyasova foul trouble, but Leuer finally got back on the floor after he was benched for no discernibly good reason at all. The dude just knows how to ball: has a wonderful understanding of floor spacing and how to cut. Plus he has a swell jumper.
Three Things We Saw
- The Bucks best opportunities to score at the rim are timely cuts and penetration, mainly by Jennings. Leuer, Tobias Harris and Shaun Livingston seem to have the best post moves. Leur and Livingston aren’t strong enough to establish effectively deep position and Harris doesn’t play enough.
- 22 assists simply isn’t enough for this offense to thrive. They also need five guys to get four assists or more every game. Teamwork and ball movement is what’s going to get group through this season.
- The Bulls didn’t do it tonight, but a better three-point shooting team is absolutely going to make the Bucks pay for their close outs. And it’s going to be soon and often.