A good team once again beats the Bucks: Boston 100 – Milwaukee 91
|Carlos Delfino, SF 31 MIN | 5-9 FG | 4-4 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 16 PTS | 0
Milwaukee’s second leading scorer despite hitting just two threes in six attempts. Typically his big nights coincide with his hot shooting nights from behind the arc, but that wasn’t the case against the Cs. A pair of transition dunks late off defensive plays helped Delfino pack on some easy points. On the down side, Pierce eviscerated him in the first quarter and then for much of the rest of the game.
|Drew Gooden, PF 25 MIN | 2-12 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 6 PTS | -4
The good times stopped rolling for Gooden against KG, Stiemsma and company. Prior to the Celtics game he was making jumpers. In the Celtics game he wasn’t. That’s his story. When he did attack, Stiemsma’s size caused some problems for him a few times.
|Monta Ellis, SG 36 MIN | 6-18 FG | 1-1 FT | 1 REB | 7 AST | 13 PTS | -8
Ellis struggled from the field despite taking most of his shots from within nine feet of the hoop. He’s been surprisingly bad this season from 3-9 feet, shooting just 33% with the Warriors, down from better than 40% two seasons ago. It looks pretty easy for Ellis to get where he wants on the floor. I’d like to see him handling the ball a little less and working more off screens and cuts. The one free throw was a surprise, as it seemed like he was hacked a few more times.
|Brandon Jennings, PG 35 MIN | 6-14 FG | 7-8 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 19 PTS | -18
I was hoping we’d see more Ellis curls leading into kick backs to Jennings. Jennings attempted just one spot-up jumper and he had to dribble first. His first attempt came off a pass from Delfino coming out of a curl. Jennings cut to the hoop and had a good look possibly goal-tended by KG. Maybe Boston is too good defensively, but it would have been nice to see that sort of action a little more. Jennings got real aggressive late in the game for a stretch again, but couldn’t find and then didn’t often look for his 3-point shot.
|Ekpe Udoh, PF 21 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 2 AST | 2 PTS | -7
I can already see what everyone was talking about with Udoh. He does a lot of tapping out rebounds, poking away balls and often seems to be in the right spot defensively. It looks like he has a ways to go on offense, a really long way, but he is a really sound defensive player. He’s rebounded much better for Milwaukee than he did for Golden State too.
Three Things We Saw
- Down goes the win streak. Milwaukee had been roughing up the league’s lower class teams over the past two weeks, reeling off six straight wins, most in convincing fashion against sub-.500 teams. But the Celtics proved much more of a challenge. Luc Mbah a Moute did not find himself alone at the rim over and over as he did against the Warriors and Mike Dunleavy didn’t stand unguarded on the perimeter like he did against the Knicks. The Celtics turned up the defensive intensity in the second half and limited the Bucks to just 33 second half points.
- Spirits had been pretty high around these parts and one loss is no reason to jump ship. Milwaukee can still be a playoff team. They certainly won’t be playing Celtics like teams every night. But being a playoff team and being a really good team are two different things. Really good teams seem to have established a pattern and the Bucks did it in 2009-10. First beat bad teams at home. Then on the road. Then beat them by a lot wherever you play them. Then play close games with really good teams at home. Then beat them at home. Then play them tough on the road and then beat them on the road. Milwaukee has the first parts down. Now they have to figure out above .500 teams.
- Had things not completely fallen apart for the Bucks in the second half (12-41 shooting), Milwaukee would have had a chance in this one. Whether that falling apart was of their own doing, at the Celtics hand or, more likely, a combination of the two, is probably grounds for debate. Still, things played out as they did and Milwaukee is now 6-19 against teams with records above .500.