Orlando Magic 93 Final

Recap | Box Score

90 Milwaukee Bucks
Ersan Ilyasova, PF 40 MIN | 6-15 FG | 3-3 FT | 15 REB | 0 AST | 15 PTS | +9

The difference between battling Robin correction:Brook Lopez for boards vs. battling Dwight Howard is ten rebounds. The freaky thing is that Ersan almost always has more offensive rebounds.

Brandon Jennings, PG 38 MIN | 9-19 FG | 3-3 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 22 PTS | -6

He had a fiery first and fourth, but was mostly nonexistent in the second and third quarters. Three weeks ago he would have rained hellfire and brimstone on Jameer Nelson and Chris Duhon. Right now he’s settling for long twos and lazy drives. This is mildly frustrating.

Mike Dunleavy, SF 36 MIN | 7-13 FG | 2-3 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 18 PTS | +8

My favorite play this season has been Dunleavy running baseline, then someone setting a screen for him as he pops to the wing. Swish. The Bucks run it a lot, but not nearly enough to satisfy my bloodlust for points.

Larry Sanders, C 28 MIN | 6-12 FG | 1-1 FT | 12 REB | 2 AST | 13 PTS | +2

After the game I just wanted to hug Sanders and scream, “It’ll be okay!” Not that he needed any encouragement from me. Rather, I needed to do that for me.

I ended up not hugging him because that would have been weird and I would have been thrown out of the Bradley Center. Sanders had a fine performance marked by his strong defense on Dwight Howard. Howard had 28 points and 16 rebounds, but Sanders forced him into a lot of tough shots and got a few late offensive fouls for the Bucks. Plus, he caught the ball a few times! Imagine that, getting a double-double isn’t too hard when you catch the ball.

Three Things We Saw

  1. More creative play calling needs to happen when the team doesn’t have a true center on the floor. If Dwight Howard is guarding Jon Leuer, then shove Leuer in the weakside corner. Leuer has corner three range, he can make Dwight pay for straying. Plus it keeps Dwight away from the strong side and I can’t stress enough how remarkable he is at swallowing an entire side of the court.
  2. Making up for Bogut isn’t about finding a bigger body to replace him. It’s about replacing his responsibilities. Ilyasova matches all the rebounding Bogut did and more. Sanders is developing very nicely as a defender. He didn’t commit stupid fouls against Howard and he moves well enough to become a solid help defender. There is hope for this frontcourt yet, at least until Ilyasova gets traded.
  3. How many of you called an awful crunch time play? How many of you called two?