Third game, second loss, one reason to worry: Pacers 125 – Bucks 104
|Ersan Ilyasova, PF 22 MIN | 6-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 15 PTS | +4
You’ll hear that the Bucks were tired I’m sure. You’ll hear that shots just didn’t fall, all the excuses we’ve all heard frequently for so long, but you won’t hear any of that about Ilyasova. Another strong night from Milwaukee’s most reliable player. He hits the glass on nearly every offensive possession. That’s a hell of an asset, especially when you combine it with his overall polish.
|Drew Gooden, PF 25 MIN | 7-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 12 REB | 4 AST | 14 PTS | +7
So maybe Drew Gooden isn’t the best player in the Eastern Conference. On one play, Roy Hibbert established position so deep against him, he simply wrapped him up before he could get a shot up. He was overmatched all night. And that jump shot wasn’t going down for him either. Just like it wasn’t against the Celtics. The games Milwaukee could most use it to go.
|Monta Ellis, SG 27 MIN | 4-12 FG | 5-10 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 13 PTS | +5
Ellis had nine points in the first quarter. Ellis had 11 points when this game ended. He didn’t play in the fourth quarter. I don’t know. He actually looked really good on pick and rolls, but he only took four shots after the first quarter and nine in the game. It seems pretty crazy that every Bucks starter took more shots than the guy who is supposed to be their best scorer.
Skiles on Ellis after the game: “He’s trying to blend into a new team and feel his way through. We certainly need him to be aggressive.”
|Brandon Jennings, PG 26 MIN | 6-14 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 12 PTS | +5
Not such a good night. More shots than points, struggled defensively, really the whole game was bad for Brandon Jennings. Both Darren Collison and George Hill are point guards who attack frequently and they seemed to relish the opportunity to attack Brandon Jennings without much of a defense behind him.
|Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, SF 25 MIN | 8-12 FG | 4-8 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 20 PTS | +21
More of Mbah a Moute moving off the ball and finishing around the hoop. But he couldn’t do much by himself to help the Bucks defensive issues. Even what should eventually be a potent combo on defense in he an Udoh had little success.
Three Things We Saw
- Three games in three nights is a difficult proposition. Milwaukee didn’t look like a team that was exhausted though. They looked like a team that wasn’t as good as their opponent. The Pacers were too strong and physical for Milwaukee inside. Roy Hibbert and David West overwhelmed Gooden, Ilyasova, Mbah a Moute and Udoh.
Skiles on the three games and three nights leading to fatigue: “It was their third game too.”
- Milwaukee’s bench typically gives them a lift. The Bucks depth is one of the things that’s helped them destroy bad teams lately. Well the Pacers aren’t exactly only five deep. George Hill made life difficult for Jennings on defense and did some serious work to him when he had the ball on offense. Leandro Barbosa and Dahntay Jones chipped in 22 between the two of them and Indiana’ bench outscored Milwaukee’s 67-38.
- The Knicks waxed the Pistons in New York tonight, so Milwaukee now finds themselves in a dangerous position. They travel to face the Knicks on Monday and sit a game and a half back of the eighth seed right now. A loss to the Knicks leaves them two and a half back and the tiebreaker over the Knicks would still be uncertain. So long as they are healthy these are the early March Knicks either. Big game Monday. But it’s safe to be worried that the Bucks can’t beat good teams.