If you are interested in the Milwaukee Bucks’ young players, this game was for you
|Shaun Livingston, PG 28 MIN | 6-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 12 PTS | +7
Livingston did a whole bunch of good, big backup point guard things. He posted up well. He got to his spot inside the paint and made the short jump shot he goes to with regularity. He isn’t quite the creator on offense I hoped he’d be, but he keeps the ball moving well enough.
|Jon Leuer, F 22 MIN | 4-9 FG | 3-4 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 11 PTS | +4
Blessed with minutes thanks to the blowout nature of the game, Leuer took advantage and tossed up nine shots, making four of them. His jumper hasn’t been as accurate over the past couple games, but he’s still taking good shots and playing intelligent basketball.
|Larry Sanders, C 25 MIN | 4-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 8 PTS | +6
He’s nearly completely ineffective as an isolation offensive player at this point, but he typically isn’t going to have those chances anyway. He tried to take advantage of his minutes and role as essentially a veteran in the Bucks lineup late in the game with more looks on offense, and it proved more comical than effective. He did all of the other little things very well tonight.
|Darington Hobson, F 17 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 4 PTS | +8
He scored the first four points of his career tonight and some of his ball handling and passing skills we’ve heard so much about were on display. That was fun. But he’s kind of redundant with Jackson, Livingston, Dunleavy and Delfino in front of him. Milwaukee would be better served with another shooter in Hobson’s place.
|Tobias Harris, F 23 MIN | 4-8 FG | 7-10 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 15 PTS | +11
Harris received extended minutes for the first time in his career and performed as well as anyone could have expected. He made two nice cuts off the ball, once resulting in free throws and once in a dunk. He lacks the explosion that makes star players, but getting 10 free throws is always a good thing. It was a treat to see him score with relative ease.
Four Things We Saw
- The Bucks starters? Each was nearly invisible in their own way. When Nash wasn’t destroying him on offense, Brandon Jennings was doing little on offense. Drew Gooden wasn’t making the shots he’s hit the last few games, but was still playing the mediocre game that most forwards could play at a much lower price. The Suns were making a ton of shots, but the Bucks rotation on defense wasn’t what it typically is.Some of that is because Steve Nash is so talented, but he’s still just one man.
- Milwaukee’s young players all showed some value tonight. Milwaukee won’t get many extended looks at their young players with veterans blocking the way across the board, so it was at least fun to see that they are all capable in their own way. Even if none has star level explosion or shooting skill.
- Milwaukee has now lost 24 straight games in Phoenix, which owes to the Suns dominance in the 90s and most of the 2000s and the Bucks general awfulness through the same period. More important than those 24 straight losses is the five straight losses Milwaukee’s dealing with right now. They’ve been much better at home over the past few years, but this trip was a sobering reminder of how far the Bucks are from being anything other than playoff fodder.
- Dan Sinclair put it best on Twitter: Without Bogut, the Bucks are bad enough to get a good pick. With Bogut, they’re good enough to get a bad pick. Uh oh.Uh oh indeed.