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.