Who is this Stephen Jackson and can he play every game going forward?
|Stephen Jackson, SG 42 MIN | 12-17 FG | 7-7 FT | 1 REB | 8 AST | 34 PTS | -1
This is as good as it gets for Stephen Jackson. Don’t take that as me saying it can’t happen again. Just take it as me saying this is what Milwaukee envisioned from him when the team acquired him. He was willing to share, making the extra pass and making a high percentage of his shots. When Jackson is moving the ball as well as he was Tuesday, you live with the bad shots he’ll inevitably take.
|Andrew Bogut, C 35 MIN | 7-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 11 REB | 3 AST | 14 PTS | -6
Bogut was back, in a big enough way. For the first time all season, Bogut was making some of his baby hooks. He was getting more looks at the rim and he even showed some of that explosion he occasionally finds on a dunk over DeJuan Blair. Tim Duncan’s mid-range jumper gave him trouble, but it was an acceptable first game back against a tough opponent for Bogut. And in true Bogut fashion, he took a crucial charge on Duncan to help put things away for the Bucks.
|Carlos Delfino, SF 36 MIN | 7-13 FG | 0-1 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 18 PTS | -3
Someone had to start making threes. Milwaukee couldn’t keep shooting under 30% forever. So it figures it would be Carlos Delfino that would step up. The Argentinian connected on four of six from deep and took the burden off Milwaukee’s mid-range game. It’s amazing how much more relaxed the whole team looks when one member starts hitting some threes.
|Brandon Jennings, PG 36 MIN | 7-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 11 AST | 15 PTS | -2
I don’t know that Jennings was really doing anything all that different tonight than he usually does. Sure, his results were different, but his execution was nearly the same. The biggest difference? His teammates played well. That’s why Jennings had eight first half assists and five first half shots. More teammate makes are always a good thing for Jennings.
It could be a chicken or the egg thing with Jennings’ assists and his teammates shooting a high percentage, but I suspect his numbers simply benefitted from his teammates making shots rather than his teammates benefitting from him creating something different for them on Tuesday.
|Jon Leuer, F 30 MIN | 4-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | +7
Leuer parlayed a smart first half into a starting spot when the second half began. Quick rotations, rolls after picks, moving into open spaces, Leuer does these things well. If he’s making open shots and finishing around the rim (which he was doing often Tuesday), the ability to know what’s going on and limit mistakes is what separates him from other Bucks power forward candidates.
Three Things We Saw
- Milwaukee’s season high total of 31 assists was kind of what the team had in mind when they put together this group and touted their creating skills and the ball-handling ability of all the new guys. Ultimately, Milwaukee’s passing got them some better looks at the hoop and they just made more shots than they usually do too. Tuesday was a step in the right direction, but they left themselves a few steps behind in the East with that trip out West.
- Another uncustomary Bucks maneuver from Tuesday: The making of timely shots. Ilyasova put the Bucks up four late in the fourth with a three off a Stephen jackson drive. A Jennings scoop layup put them back up four after a Tony Parker bucket and a behind the back assist from Jackson to Ilyasova put them up seven. And after the Spurs had whittled it back to one, a Brandon Jennings fast break dunk sparked by a Jennings poke away gave the team room to breathe. So that one wasn’t a timely shot, more like a timely play, but the Bucks need those too.
- With injuries and excused absences, Milwaukee’s struggled to find much in terms of a rotation, and they had plenty of new lineups on the court Tuesday with Tobias Harris getting minutes, but Milwaukee stuck with the same nine guys all night Tuesday. Four Bucks (Jennings, Leuer, Jackson and Bogut) played the entire third quarter and it was the those four and Delfino back on the court to end things.