All probability defied and obeyed at once: Bucks 105 – Cavs 102

Cleveland Cavaliers 102 FinalRecap | Box Score 105 Milwaukee Bucks
Ersan Ilyasova, SF 27 MIN | 1-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 3 PTS | -7Pretty pedestrian effort out of everyone’s favorite hard working power forward. Ilysova was getting a lot of shots that he usually gets, he just wasn’t making them. He did take a charge late that was crucial in holding the Cavs off, so points for that, Ers.
Tobias Harris, SF 13 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -21Harris couldn’t follow up his impressive season opening effort against the Celtics, despite having the smaller Kyrie Irving on him most of his 13 minutes on the court. But it was hard for Scott Skiles to want to keep Harris out there given how productive Mike Dunleavy was.
Samuel Dalembert, C 10 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | -10Dalembert was painfully slow in attemping to guard the pick and roll all night long. He was burned by the Irving/Anderson Varejao pick and roll on back to back plays to start the second half, was immediately pulled for Larry Sanders and never returned.
Monta Ellis, PG 36 MIN | 8-20 FG | 6-8 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 23 PTS | -13Ellis started out hot, hitting 7-10 FG in the first half. The heat didn’t carry over into the second and he made just 3-10 FG after the long break. He was able to help control the offense while Brandon Jennings took kind of a back seat for a majority of the game and was able to get to the line a good number of times. Saturday’s Ellis was certainly better than the preseason and the opener against the Celtics version.
Brandon Jennings, PG 37 MIN | 5-13 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 13 AST | 13 PTS | -1413 assists again, matching his career high for the second time in this season’s two games. Jennings was constantly pushing the ball and finding teammates for easy baskets on fast breaks and bust outs. He wasn’t very aggressive for most of the game, as Cleveland stuck a much larger and more than capable of hanging with Jennings quickness wise Alonzo Gee on him for the majority of the game, to Milwaukee’s surprise. But Jennings pointed out after the game that the Bucks can simply let Ellis do a lot of the show running when such situations occur.Oh, and Jennings hit the game winner with no time left on the clock. That was a plus. How unlikely was Jennings make? Before that shot, in the past three seasons when the Bucks were down by three or less or tied with 10 seconds or less left in a game, Jennings was 2-19 FG (1-13 3FG). Wow.
Ekpe Udoh, PF 23 MIN | 2-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 5 PTS | +8Seriously Ekpe? 23 minutes and not one rebound? I don’t even get it. He does his other stuff well, but this blows my mind.
Larry Sanders, PF 30 MIN | 8-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 17 PTS | +19More is coming on Larry, as Saturday was quite an evening for him. He stuck around the hoop and dunked, but also attacked the basket with a couple drives, one of which involve a spin move and left-handed hook shot. He was all over the place, very active on the glass and a defensive factor too. One of his finest games ever.
Beno Udrih, PG 17 MIN | 5-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 5 AST | 11 PTS | +20Udrih and Dunelavy helped sparked a bench that torched the Cavs. His spin move into a layup in the second quarter was once of the nicest moves the Bucks have had in a couple seasons. Through two games, we’re seeing a lot of the same stuff out of Udrih that we saw last season, except with better shooting!
Mike Dunleavy, SG 35 MIN | 10-12 FG | 3-5 FT | 12 REB | 6 AST | 29 PTS | +24The 29 points are unexpected, but they come with the 6-7 3FG territory. It’s the 12 rebounds and six assists that really paint the picture of how active Dunelavy was on Saturday. When he’s able to mix and aggressive floor game with unconcious shooting like he did Saturday, it hardly seems fair. It’s like he’s playing the game on a lower difficulty level or something, it just comes so easy and he’s so crisp.

Four Things We Saw

  1. Bench, bench, bench, bench, bench. Milwaukee’s reserves outscored the Cavs backups 62-15. 62-15!! The Cavs starters, led by Irving kept this close for most of the game, but Milwaukee’s bench was too much for Cleveland to overcome. This game was a pretty clear illustration of the depth the Bucks had been talking about throughout training camp.
  2. Kyrie Irving was a terror, with 27 points and seven assists and a now forgotten basket that tied the game with .7 seconds left in the game. Milwaukee struggled mightily with him on the pick and roll all night, especially when Anderson Varejao started hitting mid-range jumpers in the third quarter, opening it up more for the young point guard. He looked like a Chris Paul/Derrick Rose dynamo type all night long.
  3. After such stingy defense against the Celtics, Milwaukee struggled to defend the Cavs on Saturday, largely because of the play of Irving. Unlike Rondo, Irving is the offensive centerpiece of virtually everything Cleveland does and he led them to 102 points on 47% shooting. Both of those numbers are higher than Coach Skiles wants to see this season. Defending opposing point guards was a problem the Bucks had last season and it affected all of their schemes on Saturday, as players had to continually rotate out of position and Cleveland capitalized with plenty of open looks.
  4. But that shot from Jennings though. Goodness.
  5. Logic indicated the Bucks would topple the Cavs after taking out a better Celtics team on Friday, but no one thought it would be very difficult. Skiles warned that the Cavs would be coming to play hard after being embarrassed at home by the Bulls the day before and they came out with great fire. This was a game of runs that seemed like it was going to come down to one team making just a few more plays. Well, the Bucks made at least one more play and now sit 2-0.

Categories: Recaps

Jeremy Schmidt writes the Milwaukee Bucks blog Bucksketball. He founded it in…

16 Comments

        • I’ve been as big a Larry Sanders critic as anybody these past couple of years, but I am so glad he’s finally coming around. I’ve always said if he dials back some of his antics, plays like a PF/C and learns to catch the ball, he could be the next Tyson Chandler. I’m honestly more excited to see what he could develop into moreso than Brandon Jennings.

  1. I’ve been waiting for that game from Sanders for two years now. Respect to him for how hard he’s working on the mental aspect of his game.

  2. I was a big fan of the Sanders pick when it happened, but he seemed bent on proving me wrong the last couple years (and this years’ preseason, what up with that?), but man he looks good so far. When he and Udoh are out there, watch out son! Forget the Jennings and Ellis nickname, we need a Sanders/Udoh name. Sandoh? Uders? Yous is talking crazy and I likes it.

  3. Nail biting games are so much fun when BJ pulls off a buzzer beating win! Because the Bucks bench is better than Cav, an overtime would have been okay, but that win…WOW!

    It was so great to see the enthusiasm. The crowd yelling for Larry when he fouled out. Gotta love Milwaukee! Larry and teammates all grinning from ear to ear. Jennings buzzer shot and his dancing across the court. Teammates all hugging. Fans jumping out of their seats.

    Now THAT’S a season opener!

  4. Jennings last shot was a thing of beauty Larry Sanders is finally starting to look more comfortable hope that continues good start to the season 2-0 :D

  5. This was probably the best (or 2nd best) Buks I’ve ever been to. I was there for the last playoff game when we beat the Atlanta Hawks at home (game 3 or 4), but last night was awesome! We played like we were really jet-lagged or very tired….but we won in the best way possible!

    Also the B.S. call that fouled out Larry, and the BC just start shouting “Larry!!!” It was almost like the game stopped. It was incredible!!

  6. I’m disappointed (but not surprised) that espn didn’t even have the story on the front nba page.

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