|Ersan Ilyasova, PF 27 MIN | 5-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 11 REB | 1 AST | 13 PTS | -10
After a strong start, nine points and seven rebounds in the first quarter, Ersan was largely kept captive. The effort that typically lands him a few rebounds was matched in the second half by Booker. Again with this Booker guy. He really muscled up in the second half and helped get Ersan off to a bad start after the break. Down the stretch, Skiles rode a small lineup that had Mbah a Moute and Harris up front and Ersan watching.
But Ersan came back in a big way down the stretch. He hit the offensive glass hard on the Bucks final possession and tipped in Jennings’ floater to give Milwaukee a win they badly wanted.
|Brandon Jennings, PG 31 MIN | 6-18 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 10 AST | 14 PTS | -14
Jennings and John Wall took turns dribbling past each other most of the game. Both effectively at kicked out to open shooters too. Watching either one of them dribble through traffic in an up-tempo game is incredible. Both are so smooth and controlled. Watching either one of them in a half court offense is often painful though. Jennings settles for everything and Wall missed on a number of easy opportunities at the rim/failed to really take control the way it seems like he should be able to.
Wall got his teammate an easy dunk on the pick and roll and then rose over Jennings late for what seemed like it would be the game winner. Jennings dribbled it off himself to set up that possession. Things looked bad.
But Milwaukee’s young point guard got to his left and got off a look as good as Wall did on Milwaukee’s last possession. He doesn’t have Wall’s athleticism, so he couldn’t soar up and bank it in, but his look created the opportunity for Ilyasova’s tip.
|Mike Dunleavy, SF 33 MIN | 9-17 FG | 5-5 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 28 PTS | 0
16 points in the second quarter on 6-9 FG and 4-6 3FG. Dunleavy was feeling it. Each of his catches from deep in the second came without a defender within a few feet of him. It was awesome when Dunleavy used a pump fake to get a Wizards player to fly by then calmly dribbled once and knocked down his shot as no other defender helped on a few occasions.
|Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, SF 23 MIN | 4-6 FG | 5-7 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 13 PTS | +6
Mbah a Moute helped calm down the Wizards in the fourth quarter. He nabbed a few offensive boards and made good on a few put backs and shots around the rim. When he’s doing this, no one can say anything bad about him. When he’s shooting jump shots, which it seems like he’s done way too often over the past month, he’s kind of a problem. Work to your strengths and keep your weaknesses in a dark closet Luc.
|Tobias Harris, F 21 MIN | 4-7 FG | 3-4 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | +11
Aggressive as ever, Harris got to the line a couple of times and finished around the hoop just as frequently. Offensively, he’s pretty ready to be good – at the least – on most nights. But defensively he certainly wasn’t answering any of the Bucks many questions.
Four Things We Saw
- I’d blame the Wizards first half woes on rust from the All-Star break, but I’m confident it has more to do with them not being good, so we’ll go with that. They found some life at the start of the second half when Randy Wittman benched starters Trevor Booker, JaVale McGee and Nick Young. The subs helped spark a run that eliminated Milwaukee’s halftime lead of 14. The Wizards reserves, mainly Mo Evans, Roger Mason and Jordan Crawford, made this a game.
- But the Wizards reserves are still Wizards players. So, they found a way to blow it. JaVale McGee played so poorly in the first half that he never returned and the feel good group couldn’t close the deal against the Bucks. That says a lot about the Wizards.
- Milwaukee’s defensive holes were evident throughout the night. When Booker – yeah, Trevor Booker – started going to work inside, that was a pretty alarming moment. He was overpowering Milwaukee’s forwards and muscling home baskets around the rim and on the block. Without a center to protect the hoop, Milwaukee simply was out-muscled when they opted – maybe not by preference – to go small.
- Defense is still a problem. 118 points to the Wizards. Credit John Wall, he blew by Jennings and anyone else guarding him most fo the night and set his teammates up for open threes. Credit his teammates too – they made them.