There are no stupid questions about Milwaukee’s 97-92 loss to the Hawks

Atlanta Hawks 97 Final

Recap | Box Score

92 Milwaukee Bucks
Andrew Bogut, C 25 MIN | 3-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 12 REB | 4 AST | 6 PTS | 0

Offensively, Bogut isn’t where he wants to be, he isn’t where the Bucks want him to be and he isn’t where Scott Skiles wants him to be. Skiles was asked about Bogut after the game and he said he thought Bogut struggled tonight. Asked if he was concerned this far into the season that Bogut hasn’t been able to find his touch on his post-up moves and Skiles said, “A little bit.”

Take that for what you will. The center’s absence late in the game did little to increase Skiles’ popularity in southeast Wisconsin.

Brandon Jennings, PG 40 MIN | 9-22 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 11 AST | 21 PTS | -2

It can’t be all 30 point games and it can’t be all 5-20 nights for Jennings. There has to be some kind of middle. Monday night was just a little better of the middle. He shot a decent percentage, but most importantly, he was in attack mode all night and was finding teammates regularly. Jennings detractors often point to his low assist totals as a sign he’s not much of a real point guard. They didn’t have much to point to Monday.

Stephen Jackson, SG 28 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 PTS | -1

Maybe he was tired of hearing everyone complain about his shot-selection or his ball holding or whatever else we’ve all been complaining so much about. Whatever the reason, Jackson took just one shot on Monday night, which was a fair amount of unbelievable. It wasn’t like he wasn’t playing hard – he drew a particularly nice charge on Joe Johnson in the fourth quarter. It was strange to see him so uninvolved with the offense though. He just moved the ball quick and went on his way while Jennings, Gooden and Dunleavy did the heavy lifting in the fourth quarter. Very un-Jacksonlike. He’s a man who could stand some balance in his game now that we’ve seen both extremes.

He said after the game that shots didn’t come tonight and that his role was no different. He went as far as to say a question about whether or not his role was different tonight was dumb. For the record, this is the first game in Jackson’s career that he’s played at least 25 minutes and attempted one or fewer shots. Seemed like a relevant question.

Drew Gooden, PF 23 MIN | 4-10 FG | 4-5 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 13 PTS | -5

Gooden is so many things. Ridiculous. Polished. Aggressive. Complacent. Clever. Foolish. He’s all these things at once. It makes for a maddeningly frustrating player to watch and it was curious that he played so much of the fourth quarter. Yes, he has the ability to make a shot and his drives to the basket do often result in the free throws that Bogut never draws, but he’s just so damn all over the place. Despite the okay numbers, he had some costly defensive three second violations in the fourth. But hey, somehow he hit a three to tie it with a minute to go.

I give up.

Mike Dunleavy, SF 31 MIN | 6-15 FG | 5-5 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 17 PTS | +2

Dunleavy still didn’t hit a three. So he decided he could be useful in other ways. Instead of coming off screens behind the arc, he curled in an extra step and shot twos. His form is terrific, spin unreal and release the same every single time. But really, he needs to start making some threes too. A good time to start would have been the one he missed with Milwaukee down three and no one within five feet of him with 30 seconds to play. Also he turned it over on Milwaukee’s last important possession. Sigh.

Ersan Ilyasova, PF 28 MIN | 3-7 FG | 4-7 FT | 11 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | -1

Ilyasova is very, very tough. He has to be leading the Bucks, if not the league in one handed rebounds that were tipped away from two or three other defenders. Jon Leuer has lost some playing time, a lot of playing time, lately, but be sure that Ilyasova is earning his share of what were Leuer’s minutes.

Two Things We Saw

  1. The fourth quarter was a back and forth battle. Milwaukee needed stops on a number of occasions and Joe Johnson had really been getting into them. Yet still, no Luc Mbah a Moute and no Andrew Bogut. Very curious. Milwaukee had to double team Johnson late just to try and contain him and it led to two passes and a wide-open three from Josh Smith that pretty much sealed the game, given Milwaukee’s three-point shooting struggles. That a bad defensive rotation came with Bogut and Mbah a Moute on the bench left fans on Twitter pretty furious.
  2. Joe Johnson reminded us in Milwaukee once again that it’s very nice to have a superstar late in games. And if that star is 6-foot-8 and can handle the ball, it’s all the better. Johnson was giving Milwaukee fits late in the game, and while Jackson did his best, he simply didn’t have the athleticism to keep Johnson from getting into positions where he could make shots.

Categories: Recaps

Jeremy Schmidt writes the Milwaukee Bucks blog Bucksketball. He founded it in…

21 Comments

  1. Isn’t part of being a successful team defining roles for your players? Bucks need to figure out who their eight or nine man rotation is and stick the $@%! with it. Leuer scored double figures in five of six games before being given seven minutes, four minutes and a DNP in the last three. Gooden posted 24-12, 18-9 and 18-13 in three starts early in January — since then he’s logged fewer than 20 minutes seven times in 10 games (fewer than five twice). Harris scored 26 points in two games and has logged 11 total minutes in the three games since. WTF kind of message does that send? No matter how well you play today, tomorrow it won’t mean $@%!. The only guy that seems to be immune to the whims of Skiles is Jennings. I just don’t get it.

  2. Isn’t part of being a successful team defining roles for your players? Bucks need to figure out who their eight or nine man rotation is and stick the hell with it. Leuer scored double figures in five of six games before being given seven minutes, four minutes and a DNP in the last three. Gooden posted 24-12, 18-9 and 18-13 in three starts early in January — since then he’s logged fewer than 20 minutes seven times in 10 games (fewer than five twice). Harris scored 26 points in two games and has logged 11 total minutes in the three games since. What kind of message does that send? No matter how well you play today, tomorrow it won’t mean a damn thing. The only guy that seems to be immune to the whims of Skiles is Jennings. I just don’t get it!

  3. I’ve come to the conclusion that Drew Gooden plays NBA basketball as if it’s a real life version of NBA 2k12 My Player mode

  4. Great post-game analysis here … I didn’t miss Bogut much late in the game, though. His offense is faltering all too often. Gooden in his own awkward ways at least has some offensive punch at times.

  5. I wasn’t all that concerned about bogut not being in during the 4th because he had been struggling offensively all night and his interior D wasn’t needed as much seeing as how Joe Johnson was taking a lot of outside/mid-range shots. However, the absence of luc Richard was a little disturbing. Even though I don’t think he could have played any better D than jack was. There was just no denying Johnson in the 2nd half tonight.

  6. You know what the problem is? Pro players not knowing to foul immediately down 1 with 24 seconds left to play. Inexcusable. Follow that up with a TO on the other end. This is why the causal fan prefers College to Pro basketball, its one thing to see a college kid screw up its totally different for guys whose livelihood is basketball.

    • @TylerThrune I think they were first trying to get it out of Johnson’s hands and then Jennings absolutely tried to foul Teague. I think you’re confusing not knowing to foul with a strategy at first and then the speed of NBA players and their ability to move the ball to open guys before they are fouled. And the turnover was just a good defensive play by a very athletic player. Not sure what the college game has to do with any of that.

      • @jeremyschmidt OK the last part was more me being fed up with people saying either game (NBA or College) is so great and not appreciating each for what it is, not really related. But from what I saw the players were totally unprepared to get a foul there and if you chalk it up to speed of NBA guys, shouldn’t the Bucks also be fast enough to get that foul? If not this team is much worse than I thought. As for the TO I’ll pretty much always blame the offensive player late in the game, yes the D made a good play and good for them but you have to protect the ball in that situation. Down 3 and you don’t even get a shot off? Yikes. Again hats off the the D there but man was that sequence frustrating.

        • @TylerThrune You make some good points for sure. I still think they were trying to foul and when guys are passing, it’s tough always to get them. Not much of an excuse – they should have gotten to Teague. The turnover was terrible, I’ll give you that. Poor Mike Dunleavy had a rough couple minutes.

  7. Anyone see the highlights from the mother ship? Jennings got in there with a layup, but other than that it was a couple jump shots from the Hawks. No Jennings to Bogut alley-oop or anything. If I didn’t know better, that must have been an extremely boring game. Typical though, no love from the big cats.

    Also, I just gotta say I’m pretty upset about this loss. Not that the Hawks are a bad team, but we were at home, won two straight on the road, and three in a row would have been really nice…

  8. Yea i think screaming for Skiles head is the easy thing to do just because in sports the coach is almost always the first scapegoat. I’ve always liked Skiles but this season my opinion of him is see-sawing. I figure that no matter what though Skiles will be the coach the rest of this season and to fire him in season in a shortened season would just be a complete cluster(u know what) And no matter what happens there is still too much talent here for them to completely tank and get a good lotto pick. So I think we might as well trust in Skiles and hope the Bucks can sneak in that 7 or 8 spot and then it’s a brand new season.

  9. There are times that I really Skiles. For the past few seasons, its been nice having a coach who can draw up a play and get a quick two out of a timeout. He’s a good defensive coach and does a good job of getting their best effort from his players, when they follow suit. However, his offensive mind is sub-par. When a team is not shooting well, you need to find a way to come up with more creative ways to reach the basket and penetrate the opponents defense more effectively. And it’s almost as if he’s in the beginning stages of digging his own grave. For starters, the whole Stephen Jackson situation. Not surprising in the least. But benching Bogut the entire fourth quarter and not having your best defender out there for the last few minutes of the game in Bhah a Moute?

    I understand the logic of keeping the guys that got you there in the game. But with a few minutes left, the Hawks were coming to the point of taking the lead and Joe Johnson was happening. I was sure that when Johnson made the go-ahead basket Skiles was sure to put in Bogut and Moute. Nope.

  10. And even with Bogut struggling offensively, I think they’re offense is at its best when they have their inside out game going. Just the act of Bogut starting to go towards the hoop attracts more attention.

    • @min2g2 Except Bogut doesn’t go toward the hoop, he pivots away and shoots a weak baby hook shot that hits front iron every single time. If Joe Johnson wasn’t sinking jumpers like Kobe last night, no one would be talking about these little things. I’m upset about the loss, but it’s hard to blame the Bucks when Johnson was completely unstoppable. They should have just played better in the first half so they didn’t have to comeback AND try to maintain a lead in the 4th

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