Run and gun and not so fun: Nuggets 105 – Bucks 95

Denver Nuggets 105 Final

Recap | Box Score

95 Milwaukee Bucks
Stephen Jackson, SG 17 MIN | 0-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | -20

Holy hell. It’s tough to say Collapsin’ Jackson’s season has been a roller coaster ride. It’s been more like that episode of The Simpsons where Homer is getting airlifted from the bottom of the gorge, and he gets up and then falls back down and then they keep hitting his head on the side of the cliff as they bring him up. That’s been Jackson’s season thus far. He fell back down tonight right about when Scott Skiles opted against playing him in the second half.

Jon Leuer, F 18 MIN | 4-6 FG | 3-3 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | -8

Leuer still did well the same things he always does well against the Nuggets. He hit a couple open shots, finished around the rim and found open space on offense. He can’t make enough of a difference by himself to matter all that much in most games though. In spurs, sure, but Leuer making smart plays alone certainly isn’t enough for the Bucks. Like most Bucks, he’s a role player. He’s just better at it.

Andrew Bogut, C 19 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 2 PTS | -17

This probably wasn’t how Andrew Bogut envisioned following up his 20 and 11 effort in Philadelphia. The saga continues.

Brandon Jennings, PG 38 MIN | 13-22 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 6 AST | 30 PTS | -11

It’s almost heart breaking to see the various pained looks Jennings wears on his face throughout a game like this. He wants to succeed so bad and when the Nuggets beat his teammates backdoor or bust out while four other Milwaukee defenders stand flat-footed after yet another miss, Jennings looks defeated. It certainly isn’t him giving up either.

I can’t say that I blame him and I can’t say it seems like he’s being a bad teammates. Competitiveness isn’t something you can fake and it isn’t something you can turn off. It’s always on with Jennings kudos are well deserved for him for his second half effort (21 points, 12 in the fourth quarter).

Tobias Harris, F 27 MIN | 5-10 FG | 4-4 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 14 PTS | +13

Chubby appearance be damned, Harris was running the floor and playing well Tuesday night. Brandon Jennings is often looking to run, but it’s not often he finds anyone running with him. Harris may have lost a pound or two in sweat on Tuesday simply by trying his best to keep up with Jennings. Better yet, Harris looked effective in the half court as well. His constant attacking efforts should serve him well … so long as no one ever steps up to take a charge on him. The eight rebounds and three assists were nice too, as sometimes it’s looked like Harris is a bit one dimensional. Defensively, he does look to have some work to do.

Three Things We Saw

  1. Oh my god Nuggets fast breaks and bust outs on makes and misses. The fast break points (Milwaukee actually won the battle 23-18) don’t even tell the tale. The Nuggets ran off makes better than any team since the 2005 Suns. Someone is always busting out, then setting up in the corner. Fast breaks and three-pointers galore were the Nuggets on Tuesday.
  2. Each of the Bucks that spoke after the game and Coach Scott Skiles all referenced the team’s awareness that the Nuggets liked to run. Everyone knew it was coming and they still couldn’t stop it. That says something abut the Nuggets skill. They aren’t the league’s fastest team and sixth best offense for no reason. But it also says something about Milwaukee’s focus and lack of attention to even some basic details like getting back to stop transition.Skiles said something we often forget after games like this: “They are humans.” Some times, human beings keep making the same mistakes, especially when they are overmatched.
  3. Jackson didn’t play in the second half. His thoughts?: “If they want to blame it on somebody I’ll take the blame. It is what it is. I guess they expected me to spaz out and go crazy. Too late in the game for that. I don’t know what they was trying to prove. Hopefully they proved the point, whatever they was trying to prove.” More on this later. Don’t get too bothered in the meantime.

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  1. John Hollinger in the preseason picked the Nuggets to be the best team in the West, I saw that and scoffed. Still don’t think they are best but they look like they’re top 4. The main reason I think that the Bucks lost this game is because they were just outmatched and out shot. Sure, Jackson and Bogut did not play well but I think it was more than that.

    The loss proved yet again how valuable Dunleavy is to this team. The game fell apart while the two teams second units were out there and u look at the players in the Bucks 2nd unit. Udrih, Livingston, Harris, Ilyasova, and Gooden. Who in that lineup is going to stretch the floor? Playing against those guys you can condense your defense and no1 is any kind of threat from the 3 point line. Also none of them attack and finish very well. Harris looks like he could potentially be the guy to do that but with him playing the 3 u lose another shooter, ditto with livingston at the 2. Udrih is creating for others and can create his own pullup midrange. Ersan can shoot at times but he’s better suited crashing the glass. Gooden who knows what u’ll get from him.

    What I’m saying is that this team NEEDS a spot up shooter coming off the bench especially with Dunleavy sidelined for a few more weeks. There is little chance that the Bucks will be able to make a trade because they have no expiring contracts that any team would desire and no talent that anyone wants either outside of Jennings and Bogut. So Free Agency is where they need to look. James Posey is availible, as is Kelenna Azibuke, I think either of them would be a good addition right now. The Bucks either need to make the playoffs or completely tank this season or I really and truthfully think that they will no longer be located in Milwaukee. In all likelihood tho they’re lottery bound with the 9th-14th pick….

    • That last sentence stings, but seems like it could be true and I agree, the lack of another shooter really handicaps the Bucks. The Nuggets get looks at the rim and looks from three, that’s why they win. Those are the two best shots you can take and they pound opponents over the head with them.

    • @Teddddd I admit I am already looking at the draft prospects and this year it seems to have some supreme big man talent. I am still of the opinion this team needs a star PF, but to get one of the guys who might become a star the Bucks will need a top 5 pick. Drafting in the late lottery just doesn’t seem to have gotten them over the hump in recent years.

      Perhaps Dunleavy and Mbah will make a difference and this team will become above average.